Over the past week, the names Patricia Broadwell and Jill Kelley have dominated the news and headlines for a week now, becoming synonymous with the scandal in Benghazi. The saddest part of all of this fiasco is not how hurt Holly Petraeus must be, or how Gen. Allen could lose his shot at being the Supreme Allied Commander for NATO. Certainly, the shrapnel that has hit these two and their families is unfortunate. But what I find much more disheartening is how the aforementioned names have replaced those of Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods an Glen Doherty. Remember them? They were the Americans that lost their lives at the special mission in Benghazi.
No one is mentioning them anymore. No one talks about the wicked Ansar al-Sharia, the terrorist group responsible for the attack. No one is raising the name of Fawzi Bukatef, the man who led the militia responsible for protecting the facility, nor his known ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. While the images of biographer Broadwell and socialite Kelley are all over the internet, who’s seen an image of Abdel Hakim Belhadj, the associate of Bukatef with deep ties to al-Qaeda?
All of this marital infidelity makes for great tabloid fodder. Yet the most esteemed broadsheets are focusing on it instead of the victims and the perpetrators of the 9/11/12 attacks. It remains to be seen why this is so, but the answers–hopefully–will arise out of the numerous hearings and investigations being conducted and promised by the government and Congress.
KABUL, Afghanistan (CBS) – NATO captured a senior leader of the al Qaeda- and Taliban-allied Haqqani network active inside Afghanistan, the alliance said Saturday, describing it as a “significant milestone” in disrupting the terror group’s operations.
NATO said Haji Mali Khan was seized Tuesday during an operation in eastern Paktia province’s Jani Khel district, which borders Pakistan. It was the most significant capture of a Haqqani leader in Afghanistan, and could dent the group’s ability to operate along the porous border with Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas.
The Taliban are firing rockets at our embassy in Kabul. “Militants Launch Attack on U.S. Embassy in Kabul,” by Alissa J. Rubin and Jack Healy in the New York Times, September 13:
KABUL, Afghanistan — Insurgents launched a complex assault against the United States Embassy and the nearby NATO headquarters on Tuesday, pelting the heavily guarded compounds with rockets in an assault that raised new questions about the security of Afghanistan’s capital and the Westerners working there.At least 10 explosions — apparently from rockets launched by militants — and waves of automatic weapons fire were reported amid the drone of sirens and English-language warnings telling Americans inside the embassy to take cover.
It was unclear whether anyone — Western or Afghan — had been hurt or killed, but it appeared that one rocket had struck a minibus belonging to the Tak Beer private school, and witnesses said that young adults had been carried away bleeding and apparently unconscious.
Kerri Hannan, a spokeswoman for the American embassy, said that no embassy personnel were injured in the attack.
Afghan officials said several attackers were behind the assault, but it was unclear precisely how many assailants there were or whether they were attacking from a single or multiple locations. The attackers were holed up on several floors of a tall, partially built concrete building that offered a bird’s-eye view of the secured diplomatic and military compounds about a half mile away. Flashes from gun barrels could be seen as the militants fired from their perch. Afghan security forces returned fire from the ground, sending puffs of concrete dust into the air as bullets slapped the building.
“We don’t know how many suicide bombers are in the building,” said Col. Abdul Zahir, of the criminal investigative division of the Kabul police. “They’re shooting at the embassy. We’re still in fighting position. We can’t say anything.”
Two explosions were also reported near the Afghan Parliament, but it was unclear whether militants were specifically trying to attack the government building, or other targets….
Vancouver Sun (Canada), Heidi Blake, Christopher Hope
Some of the U.S. diplomatic cables that were obtained by WikiLeaks show that al-Qaida could be on the verge of producing radioactive weapons. One of those cables discusses a 2009 NATO meeting, where the security chiefs of member states warned that al-Qaida was planning to build makeshift nuclear roadside bombs for use against coalition troops in Afghanistan. Another cable that detailed official talks in London in February 2009 noted that British defense officials were deeply concerned that a scientist working on Pakistan’s nuclear program could work with terrorists to steal enough nuclear material to make a weapon. The documents also show that an Indian national security adviser told U.S. officials in June 2008 that terrorists had tried to obtain fissile material and that they now have the knowledge to manufacture an explosive device that is more sophisticated that a radiological bomb, also known as a dirty bomb. In addition, the documents show that terrorists could weaponize biological agents such as anthrax and smallpox.