Black flags of AQ over post-Qaddafi Benghazi, compiled by Libya 360
The unexpected news of SecState Clinton's appearances on the Hill yesterday is the "spreading jihadist threat." The news is not that it's spreading, or that it's a threat, but rather that Hillary Clinton invoked the term "jihadist." Repeatedly. In both the Senate hearing and in the House hearing after lunch, during which, presumably, Obama administration speech commissars could have emergency-texted her that the terminology of O-choice remains "violent extremism." But no. Clinton talked "global jihad" all day, even if she did echo the same old Bush-Obama-disaster-policy that believes strengthening/stabilizing the new "regimes" of the Arab Spring is the way to combat it. Never mind that the jihadists and the regimes share a common goal: Islamically correct (sharia) totalitarianism.
Live-tweeting yesterday's proceedings, I first logged the J-phrase at 9:52 am EST, writing: "Clinton notes `global jihadist threat.' A first?"
No word on the reaction from Mrs. Clinton's OIC partners in the Judenfrei "Global Counterterrorism Forum," which last month opened its brand new International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism in (naturally) Abu Dhabi.
It was ultra-surreal to hear Clinton warn against allowing Mali, hotspot du jour, becoming a safe haven for AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Mahgreb): It already is due to Obama-Clinton-Samantha-Power-Susan-Rice policies that toppled US-"war on terror"-ally Qadaffi. The Libyan dictator had himself become an key opponent of Hillary's newfound "global jihad," north African front, before being killed by US-backed, AQ-linked, Libyan "rebels."
Shouldn't the good people of the Senate and House have asked Mrs. C about this sudden lurch in lingo that indicated a sudden lurch in policy? How does she define jihad in Mali differently from jihad in Libya -- or Egypt, for that matter? Her words didn't raise a blip on the Congressional screen, however.
In the end, not much did. For example, since Benghazi compound "security" was uppermost in Congress's mind, couldn't someone have asked why Wissam bin Hamid -- leader of Libyan Shield militia, which fought Qaddafi under black flag of Al Qaeda under bin Hamid, who is also suspected by US government analysts of being the leader of Al Qaeda in Libya -- was providing security for US interests in Benghazi?
After all, the August 2012 Library of Congress report that contains this information was actually cited in a question to Mrs. C., along with photos of the prevalence of black flags of Al Qaeda in LIbya and the wider umma (by Rep. Marino, I think it was). Another representative cited more generally the September 11, 2012 cable, the last to be signed by the late Amb. Christopher Stevens. This cable describes an incident on September 9, 2012 during which bin Hamid threatened to withdraw security from US compound over supposed US support for a moderate polticial candidate. But no one put these items together. The same LOC report, not incidentally, references a news story about a March 2012 parade in Sirte led by bin Hamid, whose guest of honor was one Mokhtar bel Mokhtar, the leader of AQIM in the Sahara.
Even if bin Hamid were not suspected of being the leader of AQ in Libya, that's just one degree of separation between a local leader of security for the US compound in Benghazi and the leader of AQIM in the Sahara. What do you think of that, Hillary?
We will likely never know. Still, the simple, no-dots-connected mention of the AQ flags was enough to elicit a memorable if unfortunate expression of postmodern babble from our Secretary of State.
"The United States has to be as effective in partnering with the non-jihadists, whether they fly a black flag or any other color flag, to be successful."
Mme. Secretary, what "non-jihadist" flies the black flag of Al Qaeda?