If you have read Trento and Risen you too would look at this Egypt/Libya Embassy Crisis and subsequent political crapola as not being simply an unconnected, spontaneous series of events that rise without notice on the newsreel. Maybe it is that the timing is just so perfect, maybe it is that it seemed that the Romney team was so trigger happy and maybe it just seems to contrived from a manufactured flashpoint where the potential effect is so politically advantageous.
That was my first inclination after I began to take in the reported facts. First the Egyptian Embassy walls are breached from a protest mob over some indignation of a cultural religious slight by an obscure and previous unknown provocative "D" grade film. The breach was essentially symbolic where the mob gains access of the flagpole and hoists their flag. Romney immediately pounces and fires off some political charge that seems out of place and weird.
But then reading Greg Sargent's blog post on the subsequent controversy of the NY Times article originally outlining the history of the stupid public statement and you get a clue as even the NYT article was revised taking out the revealing quote.
“We’ve had this consistent critique and narrative on Obama’s foreign policy, and we felt this was a situation that met our critique, that Obama really has been pretty weak in a number of ways on foreign policy, especially if you look at his dealings with the Arab Spring and its aftermath,” one of Mr. Romney’s senior advisers said on Wednesday. “I think the reality is that while there may be a difference of opinion regarding issues of timing, I think everyone stands behind the critique of the administration, which we believe has conducted its foreign policy in a feckless manner.”Astute DC reporter/blog curator TPM's Josh Marshall caught it as the original story disappeared:
So basically, we saw this thing happen. It fit with our campaign narrative. So we pounced.But let us forget about the meme that the Romney camp lacked judgment, patience, presidential deference, and even competence, my thinking is that they were aware that something was brewing and they pounced because they had this thing set up as part of a planned narrative.
Back to Josh Marshallas to what I have been thinking since Tuesday afternoon.
The events in the Middle East over the last 48 hours stand on their own and speak for themselves. But this ‘movie’, the one that allegedly triggered the riots, has so much mystery and bizarreness behind it that I can’t help wondering whether there isn’t more to it, more bad acts or double dealing than we realize. I don’t think a bunch of Coptic Christians impersonate Israeli Jews and say they’re raising their funds from 100 super-rich Jews for nothing. Here’s the latest weirdness on that front.What really is fishy? Is it that the producer is was some alias Sam Bacile where original WSJ on Tuesday broke a story on the mystery man.
On Tuesday, the Journal spoke to a man who claimed to be the director and called himself Sam Bacile. He described himself as a 52-year-old Israeli-American real-estate developer, called Islam a "cancer," and said the film had been funded by Jewish donors to the tune of $5 million.
But as the Journal reports, there are no records of a "Sam Bacile" either in the U.S. or Israel. The Journal also reports that "Sam Bacile's" phone number was traced to an address in Cerritos, Calif., which appears to be the home of somebody named Nakoula Bassely Nakoula. Along with a "Sam Basselley," Mr. Nakoula is listed as one of the film's producers. In a conversation with the Associated Press, he denied being Sam Bacile but claimed to be a Coptic Christian and the manager of the company that had produced the film. Records indicate that a man named Nakoula Nakoula recently served a prison sentence for bank fraud. Among his known aliases are Mark Basseley Youssef and Youssef M. Basseley.
This is like the first five minutes of a late Prime Time police episode. Subsequent reports show that Basseley is connected to anti Muslim activist, mosque fighter Steven Klein
More than 100 Chaparral High School students received fliers Friday afternoon from a group opposed to plans for the construction of a mosque in Nicolas Valley, a rural community in the northeast corner of Temecula. [...] The group handing out the fliers included Steve Klein, a San Jacinto man who has staged similar events in Southern California;Then yesterday Huffington Post said Bacili is actually Nakoula Basseley Nakoula
Law enforcement has identified Nakoula Basseley Nakoula as the man behind "Innocence of Muslims," the anti-Islam movie that is widely blamed for riots around the world, the AP reportsAnd now we learn this guy is a serial criminal as the LA County DA reports
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, told The Associated Press in an interview outside Los Angeles Wednesday that he managed logistics for the company that produced "Innocence of Muslims," which mocked Muslims and the prophet Muhammad.
The movie has been blamed for inflaming mobs that attacked U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya this week as well as U.S. Embassy in Yemen on Thursday.
Nakoula ran afoul of the law in 2010, when he pleaded no contest to federal bank fraud charges after being indicted in a somewhat intricate scheme involving fake bank accounts created using stolen Social Security numbers. He was given a 21 month prison sentence and had to pay $790,000.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was arrested by the L.A. Country Sheriff's Department on March 27, 1997 and charged with intent to manufacture methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Nov. 3, 1997 to one year in county jail and three years probation. The D.A.’s office said he violated probation on April 8, 2002, and was re-sentenced to another year in county jail.But now reports are surfacing that Bacile is actually the fall guy, or at least the first layer of a fall guy. Now the spotlight is pointing to a more capable person, Joseph Nassralla Abdelmasih, owner of Media for Christ, and a right-wing media star during the NYC anti-mosque rallies is responsible. The studio was used is reported to be connected to Nassrala.
After a thorough and ostensibly legit audition process, we were hired as day players for a "historical war drama period piece" that was to be filmed in front of a green screen in Duarte, Ca. Red flags included (but were not limited to): the shoddy television studio that we were told was lent to us by an Egyptian Christian media group, [...] Israel worked with someone he can identify as Nakoula in the preliminary production phase. The cast member describes getting cash and person checks from Nakoula (or someone using a similar name to the 21 year old son of Nakoula). The use of Joseph Nassralla's studio is described as a "loan"This is sure twisted but then the LA Times reports trailer loaded on You Tube and the dubbing goes deeper.
Less than two weeks later, a 14-minute trailer for the movie — now called "Innocence of Muslims" — was posted on YouTube by a user identifying himself as Sam Bacile. The scenes in the trailer portrayed the prophet Muhammad as a buffoon, suicidal, gay, lascivious and condoning of pedophilia. [...]the dialogue in the trailer that makes specific attacks against Islam was re-recorded after the actors left the set.
But forgotten in the context was the Iran threat posed by Israel's Deputy Leader of the Knesset wrote an Op-Ed in the LA Times calling for a U.S.-Israel military action. and Prime Minister on Monday.
As the war of words heats up regarding a possible Israeli military strike on Iran, now is the time to look at one of the key arguments used by those opposed to such an act of self-defense. Time and again we have heard the question "Why now?" asked whenever an Israeli prime minister must make a decision that placed our nation's very existence in jeopardy. Each time, our leaders knew to focus on the real question — "What is the alternative?" — and then go forward on the lonely path toward a more secure and free Israel.There is just too much timing here, too many fall guys and too many pointers to Israel and the Spook network tied to more wars in the Middle East, the neo cons and the Romney Campaign. This smells like fish rotting on the stringer. Then there is the narrative and the connection to the summer non-apology tour that blew up in Romney's face as he couldn't meet a foreign official or nation that he couldn't insult fast enough. What they failed to anticipate was the murder of four US diplomats, one an Ambassador in a country that we just helped bring to freedom from the clutches of a terrorist despot. Romney's narrative suddenly goes pale in the light of the tragedies and the fact that no factual representations hold to the criticisms---except fantasy.
But this still smells of something like the Italian Yellow Cake creation.
Simultaneously to stirring religious anger over this provocative film reports are surfacing that the assassination of Ambassador Stevens was a revenge Terrorist Attack by Al Qa'ida for the drone missile killing of the recent #2 Abu Yahya al-Libi, AKA Mohammed Hassan Qaed, an al-Qa'ida operative timed for the anniversary of the 11 September attacks.
Senator Bill Nelson, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: "I am asking my colleagues on the committee to immediately investigate what role al-Qa'ida or its affiliates may have played in the attack and to take appropriate action."Latest reports from CNN's Security blogstate:
According to security sources the consulate had been given a "health check" in preparation for any violence connected to the 9/11 anniversary. In the event, the perimeter was breached within 15 minutes of an angry crowd starting to attack it at around 10pm on Tuesday night. There was, according to witnesses, little defence put up by the 30 or more local guards meant to protect the staff. Ali Fetori, a 59-year-old accountant who lives near by, said: "The security people just all ran away and the people in charge were the young men with guns and bombs."
The United States intelligence community does not believe the core of al Qaeda was behind this week's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, a U.S. intelligence official told CNN Thursday.Thus the story suddenly goes from a staged weakness where America is apologizing for a film produced to provoke anger to a Terrorist attack that assassinated an Ambassador and gathered intel on US supporters.
The official said the picture is becoming clearer within the intelligence community as to what group or groups were responsible for the attack. Given what officials know about al Qaeda in Libya, U.S. intelligence believes it is very unlikely that core al Qaeda was behind the attack. But the official said the intelligence does not rule out that the attack was perpetrated by al Qaeda sympathizers.
Regardless of Romney's usual double and triple talk where he reiterates and misrepresents the timetable in today's ABC News Interview:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Boy, there has been quite a controversy in the last couple of days, since those killings in Libya, the chaos in the Middle East. And we heard some of that at your event today. President Obama has stepped in as well. He said your comments on Tuesday night displayed a tendency of yours to "shoot first and aim later." What's your response?The long explained point is "this is politics".
ROMNEY: Well, early on, with the developments in Egypt, the embassy there put out a statement which stayed up on their website for, I think, 14-15 hours.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But before the protestors had breached the wall.
ROMNEY: Well, it first went up before they breached the wall. But it stayed up. And they reiterated the statement after they breached the wall, even after some of the tragedy in Libya, the statement stayed up. And I thought the statement was inappropriate and pointed that out. And of course, the White House also thought it was inappropriate. But of course, now our attention is focused on the loss of life and the tragedy of having a remarkable ambassador and diplomatic members, have their lives taken. This is a great sadness and tragedy for America.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You said the statement showed a tendency to sympathize with those who waged the attacks. And what the statement seems to be is condemning the continuing efforts of individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims. Where do they show sympathy for those who waged the attacks? It was done before the attacks happened.
ROMNEY: Well, the statement as I indicated stayed on the website for some 14-15 hours. The statement was reiterated after they had breached the sovereignty of the embassy.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Coupled with a condemnation-
ROMNEY: Even- and even-
STEPHANOPOULOS: -of the attacks, though.
ROMNEY: And even after the killing in Libya. And by the way what I said was exactly the same conclusion the White House reached, which was that the statement was inappropriate. That's why they backed away from it as well.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They didn't say that it was showing sympathy for the attackers.
ROMNEY: Well, I think the statement was an inappropriate statement. I think it was not directly applicable and appropriate for the setting. I think it should have been taken down. And apparently the White House felt the same way.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So no regrets?
ROMNEY: Well, I indicated, at the time, and continue to that what was said at that time was not appropriate, that they continued to have that. They reiterated the statement after the then breaching of the grounds. And I think that was wrong. And by the way my statement was the same point, which was that the White House said they distanced themself from the statement. I also thought it was an inappropriate statement. I made the statement- my point at the same time, I think, the White House did. So I think we said about the same thing there. I just thought the statement was wrong.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And so- and no direct response then, when the president says you shoot first and aim later?
ROMNEY: Well, this is politics. I'm not going to worry about the campaign.
, and the entire incident up to the killing of Americans was politics and a set up to confirm a larger narrative that was carefully crafted and invested. [And you know that even the most carefully planned operation things can go wrong or unexpected as we didn't expect the Libyan attack, so now we look foolish, but still we never apologize.]
My guess is that as this unfolds two stories will begin to emerge, both shadowy in the fog of the Middle East. There won't be a direct line but circumstantial evidence might arise that the film and its silent backers were connected to private SPOOKS who are also tied to Israel's intelligence network in an effort to inflame the Middle East and in part attack Obama's foreign policy political strength. That provocateurs will emerge who incited the crowds in Egypt and other places. Go to the narrative idea that none of this would have happened under Romney---fantasy of course as if Romney has special powers to control the emotions of Islamic extremists.
But remember Romney's own words: "Well, this is politics. I'm not going to worry about the campaign."
And the other shadowy item will be the independent actions of Al Qaeda in Libya which blew up the nice set up and has shown the cool hand of the Administration at hand. Politically it will be important to apprehend those assailants or take out the Libyan Al Qaeda cell in Benghazi which would destroy Romney's carefully crafted meme.
What is learned is that again we see the Right wing network of Spooks and Daggers attempting to politicize the election. The same way they did with Carter in 1980 making deals with the Iranians not to release the hostages until Reagan was inaugurated.