A New York Times in-depth report found no proof that al-Qaeda or any international terrorist groups played any role in the Benghazi attack, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
A senior Obama administration official said the White House does not dispute the article published Saturday about the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The six-part report goes on to say that an American-made video mocking Islam largely triggered the attack, which was not well-planned.
“The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi,” the Times report reads, referring to the late Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.
A New York Times in-depth report found no proof that al-Qaeda or any international terrorist groups played any role in the Benghazi attack
“And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”
The Times said its investigation took months and was “centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context.”
It is not surprising the White House would welcome this report. Since the attack, Republicans have accused the Obama administration of downplaying the perpetrators’ links to al-Qaeda for political gain. The attack took place during the last leg of the 2012 presidential campaign.
Then UN Ambassador Susan Rice (now the national security advisor) became a lightning rod of criticism after appearing on all the Sunday talk shows shortly after the Benghazi attack and arguing it was the result of the American-made video.
Republicans have also held several hearings into the administration’s handling of the attack and its aftermath.
CBS News has apologized for airing a report in October that gave false information about the September 2012 attack on a US diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.
A security contractor told 60 Minutes programme he had been present during the attack, but later gave a conflicting statement to investigators with the FBI.
Reporter Lara Logan said it was a “mistake” to put the contractor on air.
Four Americans died in the attack, including a US ambassador.
Lara Logan, a reporter for 60 Minutes, a storied current affairs programme, said on Friday a source had provided false information during a report aired on October 27.
The security official, identified as Dylan Davies, said he had been at the US compound during the September 11, 2012, attack.
Dylan Davies reported he had witnessed the attack, fought off an assailant, and later viewed the body of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
But other news outlets subsequently revealed Dylan Davies had told FBI investigators and his employers he was not at the Benghazi compound the night of the attack.
Lara Logan, a reporter for 60 Minutes, said a source had provided false information during a Benghazi report aired on October 27
“The most important thing to every person at 60 Minutes is the truth, and today the truth is we made a mistake,” Lara Logan told a CBS morning news programme on Friday.
“Nobody likes to admit they made a mistake, but if you do, you have to stand up and take responsibility and you have to say that you are wrong. And in this case, we were wrong.”
Lara Logan added that 60 Minutes planned to air a correction on its regular broadcast on Sunday evening.
CBS News chairman Jeff Fager told the New York Times Dylan Davies had lied to the network.
“There are people in the world who try to deceive others,” he said.
“We believe we have a really good system to guard against that. This guy got through that.”
Meanwhile, publication of a book written by Dylan Davies about the 2012 attack has been halted.
Threshold Editions said on Friday it was suspending publication of The Embassy House: The Explosive Eyewitness Account of the Libyan Embassy Siege by the Soldier Who Was There.
The book, written under the pseudonym Sgt Morgan Jones, was released on October 29.
The attack against the US consulate – which resulted in the death of Christopher Stevens, another state department worker, and two former Navy Seals – was originally said to have grown out of violent anti-American protests sparked by an anti-Islam film produced in the US.
It was later revealed to have been an organized, pre-planned assault by militia forces.
The US filed charges against a Libyan militia chief, Ahmed Abu Khattala, in August and an unknown number of other alleged attackers have also been charged.
Republicans denounced President Barack Obama’s handling of the incident, accusing the administration of failing to provide adequate security at the Benghazi compound and of neglecting to send a force to rescue the personnel after the attack began.
Also, the Republicans accused Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats of downplaying the attack in order to protect his 2012 re-election campaign.
Hillary Clinton faced her toughest critic in Wednesday’s Senate hearing over Benghazi attack when Senator Rand Paul criticized her role in the investigation as a “failure of leadership”.
“I think that ultimately with your leaving, you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11, and I really mean that,” Rand Paul said at the hearing.
“Had I been president at the time and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post.
“It’s not satisfactory to me.”
In a response that some critics saw as a way to deflect blame onto her inferiors, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “I am the Secretary of State. And the Accountability Review Board made very clear that the level of responsibility for the failures that they outlined was set at the Assistant Secretary level and below.” Hillary Clinton faced back-to-back hearings on Wednesday, the first in the Senate and an afternoon session in the House which remains underway.
The first hearing was rife with emotional moments, whether it be her sparring matches with Republicans or the moment where she got choked up while talking about the four Americans who lost their lives in the September 11 attack.
Hillary Clinton said the incident is not just about “policy, it’s personal”.
“I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters and the wives left alone to raise their children,” she said, her voice shaking.
“I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews.”
Hillary Clinton appeared more composed during the hearing in the House of Representatives, which is underway now.
“As I have said many times since September 11, I take responsibility,” Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“Nobody is more committed to getting this right. I am determined to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger and more secure.”
Hillary Clinton insisted on Wednesday that the department is moving swiftly and aggressively to strengthen security at U.S. missions worldwide after the deadly September 11 raid on the consulate in Libya.
In probably her last appearance on Capitol Hill as America’s top diplomat, Hillary Clinton once again took full responsibility for the department’s missteps leading up to assault at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Hillary Clinton alternated between being feisty and emotional in her responses.
Though each of the members of the Senate committee were congratulatory at the beginning of their remarks regarding her wide-reaching travels during her time as Secretary of State, three Republicans were her toughest critics.
The first was Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, a Tea Party favorite, who took issue with the fact that Hillary Clinton and her team did not immediately interview the other evacuees who were able to leave Libya safely.
“We had four dead Americans! Whether it was attack preplanned by terrorists or it because of a guy out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill Americans- what difference at this point does it make?!” Hillary Clinton responded.
Hillary Clinton chokes up, bangs fist on table during Benghazi testimony
After the heated exchange, Congressman Ron Johnson said that her emotional answer was just a way to avoid answering the question.
“It was theatrics. Again, she didn’t want to answer questions so she makes a big show of it,’ he told reporters afterwards.
“I’m not trying to be obnoxious here, I’m just trying to get the answers I believe the American people deserve to hear. It’s been four months.”
The next confrontation came from Senator John McCain. The senator and Hillary Clinton has worked together for years and have a generally friendly relationship, which was initially clear.
“It’s wonderful to see you in good health and as combative as ever,” John McCain said.
From there, things took a less convivial tone as John McCain grilled her about the fact that UN Ambassador Susan Rice made several appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows following the attack on behalf of the administration, where she claimed the attack was started by a protest that got out of hand.
Susan Rice was a hot-topic throughout the nearly three-hour hearing, and Hillary Clinton stood by her fellow diplomat.
“People have accused Ambassador Rice and the administration of misleading Americans… nothing could be further from the truth,” Hillary Clinton said during her testimony.
Susan Rice and the rest of the administration were “speaking off of what had been determined as the most acceptable talking points”.
Hillary Clinton went on to say that it was in American’s nature to give answers before they are confirmed fact, and that may have caused problems in this case.
“We get out there, here’s what we think happened, it’s subject to change,” she said of the claims made by Susan Rice.
John McCain has been one of the biggest critics of President Barack Obama and Susan Rice, effectively blocking her nomination to replace Hillary Clinton by saying that their moves in the days following the attack were not sufficient.
“We did not conclude, finally, that there were no protests at all until days after the attack,” Hillary Clinton said, explaining the long timeline.
“Even today, the motivation, the actions before they got onto the compound, is still not nailed down.”
Still she maintains that the motivation should not be the main focus of the investigation and subsequent American actions regarding the issue.
Hillary Clinton said that the reason for the attacks is “less important today… than to find them and to bring them to justice”.
Arguably the most abrasive interrogation came from Senator Rand Paul, who said that she should have been fired after she admitted that she did not read every diplomatic cable that comes through the State Department.
Rand Paul is widely considered to be a likely future presidential nominee for the Republican Party, so it may not be the last time that he squares off with Hillary Clinton.
“As I have said many times since September 11, I take responsibility,” Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at various points.
“Nobody is more committed to getting this right. I am determined to leave the State Department and our country safer, stronger and more secure.”
Though Hillary Clinton received no such demotion, an official U.S. inquiry concluded that the State Department was completely unprepared to deal with the attack, citing “leadership and management” deficiencies, poor coordination and unclear lines of authority in Washington.
Four lower-level U.S. officials were placed on administrative leave following the release of the inquiry, which did not find Hillary Clinton personally at fault.
This was Hillary Clinton’s second-to-last appearance on Capitol Hill as the nation’s top diplomat, as she will return on Thursday to attend the hearing of Senator John Kerry, who is expected to replace her as the Secretary of State.
While tarnishing Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, the controversy over the Benghazi attack also cost Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, her chance to succeed Clinton as secretary of state.
Republicans in Congress harshly criticized Susan Rice for her comments days after the attack in which she said the incident appeared to be the result of a spontaneous demonstration rather than a planned assault.
Susan Rice, who has said her comments were based on talking points from the U.S. intelligence community, eventually withdrew her name from consideration for the top U.S. diplomatic job.
“We were misled that there were supposedly protests and then something sprang out of that, an assault sprang out of that,” Senator Ron Johnson said, referring to Susan Rice’s appearance on Sunday television talk shows.
Hillary Clinton said the department is implementing the 29 recommendations of an independent review board that harshly criticized the department as well as going above and beyond the proposals, with a special focus on high-threat posts.
“Make no mistake about it, we have got to have a better strategy,” she said.
She also defended the State Department’s immediate response to the attacks, saying it was “timely and exceptional” and “saved American lives”.
But she noted that the U.S. is facing “increasingly complex threats”.
“We should never forget that our security professionals get it right more than 99 per cent of the time,” she said.
Hillary Clinton added that there is a “sliding scale” of about 20 U.S. missions globally that are at risk.
Mohammed Abu Jamal Ahmed, one of the suspects in the Benghazi attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, has been arrested, NBC News is reporting.
Mohammed Abu Jamal Ahmed, who is accused of playing a role in September’s deadly attack against the U.S. Consulate in Libya, was detained in Cairo, according to NBC, which cited two unnamed sources in its report.
In addition to his possible involvement in the Benghazi attack, Mohammed Abu Jamal Ahmed is also accused of illegally trafficking weapons from Libya to Egypt.
Mohammed Abu Jamal Ahmed was freed from an Egyptian prison around the time that former President Muammar Gadhafi was ousted from power.
He is believed to be affiliated with a number of militant groups in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Wall Street Journal reported in October that he was trying to establish a new branch of al-Qaeda.
Mohammed Abu Jamal Ahmed, one of the suspects in the Benghazi attack that killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, has been arrested in Cairo
Sources told the Journal that he had already secured financing for the group.
Early intelligence reports suggested that Mohammed Abu Jamal Ahmed had established training camps in Libya for the fighters involved in the September 11 attack that killed four Americans, according to Journal.
The White House and the Pentagon initially said the attack was a spontaneous reaction to anti-Muslim film The Innocence of Muslims directed by an American.
That story later changed, however, as it was revealed that those involved in the attack had militant ties – and that administration officials were aware of those ties when they publicly claimed that the attack was in response to anti-Muslim film.
Congressmen watched harrowing footage of the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, being dragged out of the consulate during the terror attack which killed him.
Members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees were shown a video of Chris Stevens being taken out of the building in Benghazi while it was attacked by radical Islamists on September 11.
The lawmakers watched the video during a hearing in which the acting director of the CIA told them that the administration’s mistaken statements on the causes of the raid were down to incorrect intelligence information.
The footage was shown as part of an attempt by the CIA to provide the fullest account yet of the deadly assault, which left Stevens and three other Americans dead.
It captured some of the last moments of Chris Stevens’ life, showing the attack on the consulate building as well as Stevens being removed from the building as he suffered from the injuries which would eventually kill him.
Mike Morell, the acting CIA director who took over for disgraced boss David Petraeus, told the committees that UN ambassador Susan Rice had been provided with an unclassified version of what happened during the deadly September attack in Libya that was incorrect
Senator Dan Coats told CNN the video was “combination of video from a surveillance camera and a drone”.
He added: “It gave us a good picture, from the surveillance standpoint, what was happening.”
Mike Morell, the acting CIA director who took over for disgraced boss David Petraeus, told the committees that UN ambassador Susan Rice had been provided with an unclassified version of what happened during the deadly September attack in Libya that was incorrect.
Emerging from the session, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said Michael Morell told the panel that Susan Rice was given an initial assessment that a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video evolved into an attack on the consulate.
Susan Rice’s comments on national talk shows five days after the attack has drawn fierce criticism, with some Senate Republicans vowing to block her nomination if she is tapped to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Adam Schiff said the ambassador’s interview remarks were based on the “best initial assessment”.
The CIA has opened an investigation into the conduct of its former director David Petraeus, who resigned last week citing an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell.
A CIA spokesman says the inquiry by the agency’s inspector general would see if there are any lessons to be learned.
Paula Broadwell, 40, was found to have classified information, but both she and General David Petraeus deny it came from him.
David Petraeus will testify on Friday on Capitol Hill about September’s deadly attack on the US consulate in Libya.
The CIA said in a statement on Thursday: “At the CIA we are constantly reviewing our performance. If there are lessons to be learned from this case we’ll use them to improve.
“But we’re not getting ahead of ourselves; an investigation is exploratory and doesn’t presuppose any particular outcome.”
In his first interview since resigning, David Petraeus told CNN on Thursday he had not given any classified information to his former lover.
He also said he quit because of the affair, not the assault two months ago on the consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.
The CIA has opened an investigation into the conduct of its former director David Petraeus, who resigned last week citing an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell
David Petraeus will be questioned by lawmakers behind closed doors on Friday about that attack, which has been the focus of Republican claims that the Obama administration misled the American people.
Meanwhile, intelligence officials continued on Thursday to defend their handling of the investigation into David Petraeus’ affair.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and acting CIA Director Michael Morell appeared before the House intelligence committee.
Dutch Ruppersberger, the panel’s top Democrat, said after the hearing that he was satisfied with the FBI’s investigation.
He said the agency was right not to have notified political leaders sooner, because of rules set up post-Watergate to prevent meddling in criminal investigations.
But another committee member, Representative Adam Schiff, also a Democrat, said “there’s a lot of information we need … with respect to the facts about the allegations against General Petraeus”.
At a press conference in New Orleans, US Attorney General Eric Holder was also asked why the justice department did not inform the White House or lawmakers earlier about the investigation.
Eric Holder said: “As we went through the investigation and looked at the facts and tried to examine them as they developed, we felt very secure in the knowledge that a national security threat did not exist.”
The scandal was discovered when FBI officials looked into harassing emails, allegedly from Paula Broadwell, that were sent to a Florida socialite who is a family friend of the Petraeuses.
The inquiry has also ensnared the US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen.
John Allen is under investigation for sending what officials describe as “flirtatious” emails to the Tampa hostess, Jill Kelley.
Adultery is illegal under military law, but General John Allen denies wrongdoing.
The White House faces growing demands from Capitol Hill for answers about what the FBI and President Barack Obama knew about the David Petraeus scandal and why the president was not informed about the months-long investigation until after his re-election.
The fact that David Petraeus, who was scheduled to give testimony on Thursday about CIA intelligence surrounding the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Libya, but now that appearance has been delayed because of his resignation on Friday.
As more information is released, it is clear that Representative Eric Cantor- one of the country’s most powerful Republicans- was notified of the investigation involving David Petraeus on October 27, more than a week before the election.
Federal investigators from the FBI and the Justice Department- including Barack Obama-appointee Attorney General Eric Holder- had been aware of the ensuing scandal for months
In addition to their displeasure at being left in the dark until just hours before David Petraeus made his very public announcement on Friday, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are concerned that the timeline of the various notifications was purposefully slowed down to allow for some degree of a cover-up over Petraeus’ scheduled testimony.
The timing of the Petraeus resignation and this week’s Benghazi hearings means the two issues have, for now, become inextricably linked.
As CIA director, David Petraeus is understood to have interviewed the CIA base chief and head of the CIA response team about what happened in Benghazi when Ambassador Chris Stevens, diplomat Sean Smith and CIA contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed.
At the same time, Congress wants to know why, if senior FBI figures knew of the affair in the late summer, President Barack Obama was not informed until last week and, additionally, why leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence committees learned of the resignation from the media.
According to the White House, Barack Obama was not told of the FBI investigation and David Petraeus’ affair until last Thursday, even though he meets regularly with the head of the FBI.
Some Republicans have suggested there might be a cover-up over Benghazi or that the news was held back until after the election.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat and chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Representative Mike Rogers, a Republican and chair of the House Intelligence Committee, have expressed their dismay at not having been informed earlier.
General Michael Hayden, former CIA chief, said the timing of the resignation was “mysterious”.
He told Fox News: “Hanging out there is the requirement in law to keep the intelligence committees fully and currently informed about significant intelligence activity.
“It’s not surprising that Senator Feinstein and Chairman Rogers have shown a lot of pique at not being let in on this a bit earlier.”
According to the FBI, their investigation began in the spring when Jill Kelley, described as an unofficial “social liaison” to the Joint Special Operations Command in Tampa, told a friend in the FBI that she had received harassing emails from another woman.
Jill Kelley, who is Lebanese-born, and her husband Scott were friend of David Petraeus, 60, and his wife Holly. The FBI investigation established that Paul Broadwell, 40, a married mother of two, had sent the emails.
In monitoring Paula Broadwell’s emails, it was discovered that she was receiving emails of a sexual nature from a mysterious Gmail account.
It was eventually discovered that the mysterious emails were from David Petraeus, who admitted the affair.
CIA Director David Petraeus resigned on Friday November 9 citing an extramarital affair
On October 31st, however, and before anyone else on Capitol Hill or in the White House knew, the FBI friend of Jill Kelley contacted Representative Dave Reichert regarding concerns about national security and asking for a member of the Republican congressional leadership.
Dave Reichert directed the FBI man to Representative Eric Cantor, House Majority Whip, who spoke to him and then informed the FBI of the conversation.
Ronald Kessler, a Newsmax journalist, said he was informed of the affair and FBI investigation by an FBI source on October 10th. David Petraeus and Paul Broadwell were interviewed during the week of October 29th and both admitted their affair.
Paula Broadwell was interviewed again on November 2nd, at which time the FBI is said to have concluded that no charges would be brought either for cyber stalking or security breaches.
David Petraeus has told friends he did not have an affair with Jill Kelley, 37, a mother of three. In a statement issued on Sunday, Jill Kelley asked for privacy for her and her family and neither confirmed nor denied an affair.
Speaking on CBS, Senator Lindsey Graham, a personal and confidant of David Petraeus, said: “Well, if there`s no effect of the affair on national security, I think we need to move on. But at the end of the day, the one thing that has to happen, in my view, is we’ve got to get to the bottom of Benghazi.
“I hate what happened to General Petraeus for his family and the families for those involved, but we have four dead Americans in Benghazi. We have a national security failure long in the making.
“I don`t see how in the world you can find out what happened in Benghazi before, during, and after the attack if General Petraeus doesn`t testify, so from my point of view, it`s absolutely essential that he give testimony before the Congress so we can figure out Benghazi.”
He added: “I would suggest that we have a joint select committee of House and Senate members and we do this together, not have three different committee going off in three different directions, so we can get to the bottom of it like we did in Watergate and Iran Contra. I think that would be smart for the Congress to combine resources.”
Just as with Watergate, the central issue over events surrounding David Petraeus’ resignation is crystallizing into something similar to the one Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee famously asked during the Watergate hearings: “What did the President know and when did he know it.”
Neither Robert Mueller, FBI director, not Eric Holder, attorney general, has commented on when they learned of the investigation. Both the FBI and Justice Department has said no one in the White House was told of the investigation until last week.
Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor, compared what happened in Benghazi to Watergate and told Fox News it was essential David Petraeus testified. Even though he is now a private citizen, David Petraeus can be compelled to appear.
“The frustration is justified,” Rudy Giuliani said.
“And it’s in the national interest. Now we’re going to have a hearing next week, and the man who knows the facts, David Petraeus – he’s the only man who can really tell us what the CIA knew, what they did, why they did it, how they did it. He’s not going to testify.
“And this is a very convenient way to get the administration out of a very, very difficult situation. But is inevitable. This is like Watergate. This is inevitable. This is all going to come out.
“It may take a month, it may take five months, but this is all going to come out. And every single new cover-up they do just makes it much, much worse.”
Representative Peter King of New York, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on MSNBC that the FBI was “derelict in its duty” when it failed to tell the White House immediately when it learned of David Petraeus’s affair.
“Once the FBI realized that it was investigating the director of the CIA or the CIA director had come within its focus or its scope, I believe at that time they had an absolute obligation to tell the president. Not to protect David Petraeus, but to protect the president.
“The fact is he is a key part of the president’s foreign policy team, maybe more than any other CIA director in recent times.
“He was going around the world negotiating various understandings and agreements, I’m aware of that.
“And to have someone out there in such a sensitive position who the FBI thought perhaps could have been compromised or was under the scope of an FBI investigation who may or may not have been having an affair at the time, that to me had to have been brought to the president or certainly to the National Security Council. If not, the FBI was derelict in its duty.”
He added: “This is a crisis, I believe, of major proportions. This is not the usual political thing. We’re not talking about the secretary of commerce or some under secretary somewhere.”
CBS has quietly released an interview with President Barack Obama which was filmed one day after the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi – and in which he refuses to call the incident an act of terrorism.
The footage, released seven weeks after it was filmed, shows Barack Obama contradicting himself yet again on the attack that left ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.
When exactly Barack Obama called the September 11 al Qaeda attack in Libya “terrorism” has become an increasingly contentious area of debate – and the interview throws doubt on the president’s previous and later claims.
At the second presidential debate in October, Barack Obama claimed he had first called the incident an act of terrorism during his Rose Garden speech just hours after the attack.
But the newly-released footage, filmed 12 hours after the Rose Garden appearance, shows he was still apprehensive about the label.
“Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya Attack, do you believe that this was a terrorism attack?” interviewer Steve Kroft asked in the 60 Minutes interview.
“Well it’s too early to tell exactly how this came about, what group was involved,” he responded.
“But obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.”
Obama refuses to call Libyan embassy attack an act of terrorism during 60 Minutes interview
Steve Kroft continued: “It’s been described as a mob action, but there are reports that they were very heavily armed with grenades, that doesn’t sound like your normal demonstration.”
Barack Obama responded: “As I said, we’re still investigating exactly what happened, I don’t want to jump the gun on this… And my suspicion is there are folks involved in this. Who were looking to target Americans from the start.”
The interview previously aired on October 19, but this section was edited out, Bret Baier reported on Fox. CBS only released this footage on Sunday – more than seven weeks after the interview.
The network even failed to offer it up when questions were raised during the presidential debate over whether he had called the attack terrorism before blaming it on rallies against an anti-Islamic film.
The mother of US Navy Seal Glen Doherty killed in last month’s Libya consulate attack has said his death has been used by the Romney campaign for political purposes.
Mitt Romney has been citing his meeting some years ago with Seal Glen Doherty.
His campaign said the candidate would respect Barbara Doherty’s wishes and stop mentioning her son.
The attack on the consulate in Benghazi on 11 September has become a political issue ahead of the election.
Glen Doherty was killed in the attack in Benghazi along with Ambassador Christopher Stevens and two other officials.
“I don’t trust Romney,” Barbara Doherty told Boston news station WHDH.
“He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda. It’s wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama,” she said.
Campaigning on Tuesday in the state of Iowa, Mitt Romney said that instead of running away from danger during the Benghazi consulate attack, Glen Doherty had run towards it.
He reportedly used the anecdote as a metaphor for what Republicans must do to regain the White House in November’s poll.
“They didn’t hunker down where they were in safety,” the former Massachusetts governor was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
“They rushed there to go help. This is the American way. We go where there’s trouble.”
“We go where we’re needed. And right now we’re needed. Right now the American people need us.”
Mitt Romney is reported to have mentioned Glen Doherty at other events on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Romney campaign said in a statement on Wednesday: “Governor Romney was inspired by the memory of meeting Glen Doherty and shared his story and that memory, but we respect the wishes of Mrs. Doherty.”
A campaign official confirmed Mitt Romney would not re-tell the anecdote.
Friends of Glen Doherty have spoken publicly about his encounter with Mitt Romney at a Christmas party.
His friend, Elf Ellefsen, told a Seattle radio station: “He said it was very comical. Mitt Romney approached him ultimately four times, using this private gathering as a political venture to further his image.”
“He kept introducing himself as Mitt Romney, a political figure. The same introduction, the same opening line. Glen believed it to be very insincere and stale,” Elf Ellefsen added, according to ABC News.
Anderson Cooper admitted on Friday that CNN had come across the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ personal journal and used parts of it in its reporting without disclosing the source.
On Wednesday on his show Anderson Cooper 360, the CNN host told Senator John McCain that “a source familiar with Ambassador Stevens’ thinking told us that in the months before his death he talked about being worried about the never-ending security threats that he was facing in Benghazi, and specifically about the rise in Islamist extremism and growing al Qaeda presence”.
Anderson Cooper added that “the source also mentioned [Stevens] being on an al Qaeda hit list”.
Two days later, Anderson Cooper acknowledged that CNN had obtained Christopher Stevens’ journal, and that some of the information regarding the late ambassador’s thought process in the months leading to the deadly September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was drawn from his entries.
Anderson Cooper admitted that CNN had come across the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens' personal journal and used parts of it in its reporting without disclosing the source
“On Wednesday of this week, we reported that a source familiar with Ambassador Stevens’ thinking said in the months before his death, Ambassador Stevens talked about being worried about what he called the never-ending security threats in Benghazi,” Anderson Cooper told his viewers Friday night.
“We also reported that the ambassador specifically mentioned the rise in Islamic extremism, the growing al Qaeda presence in Libya and said he was on an al Qaeda hit list.
“The information for that report, like all of CNN’s reporting, was carefully vetted. Some of that information was found in a personal journal of Ambassador Stevens in his handwriting.
“We came upon the journal through our reporting and notified the family. At their request, we returned that journal to them. We reported what we found newsworthy in the ambassador’s writings. A reporter followed up on what we found newsworthy, as I said, in the ambassador’s writings,” Anderson Cooper concluded.
Shortly after 1: 00 a.m. on Saturday, CNN published a story without a by-line on its website explaining how the journal came into its possession, and how the information it contains was used in the network’s reporting.
According to the article, CNN found Christopher Stevens’ journal four days after the ambassador was killed by Libyans protesting an anti-Muslim film produced by an American filmmaker.
Libya has made several arrests in connection with the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed.
New Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shaqur said the investigation was making progress.
The attack happened on Tuesday during protests over a US-made film that mocks the Prophet Mohammed.
Similar protests have spread across the Middle East and North Africa. Further unrest is expected at Friday prayers.
Clashes between riot police and protesters continued overnight in the Egyptian capital Cairo, where Islamist groups and others have called for a peaceful “million-man march” later on Friday.
US President Barack Obama has promised to do whatever is necessary to protect US citizens abroad and said he was urging foreign governments to guarantee their security.
A White House statement said he had thanked Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi for condemning an attack on the US embassy there and for launching an investigation.
“President Obama expressed appreciation for the co-operation we have received from the Yemeni government and underscored the importance of working together to ensure the security of US personnel,” the statement said.
Libya has made several arrests in connection with the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi
In Benghazi, US and Libyan officials are investigating the possibility that heavily armed militants used the protest as a pretext for a co-ordinated assault.
Libyan officials say those arrested are being interrogated on suspicion of having instigated the attack.
Four embassy staff died, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
PM Mustafa Abu Shaqur blamed the attack on “criminals” and said anger against the film could not justify it.
“The people, they don’t understand that such a case like this, the American government has nothing to do with it,” he said.
“Somebody made a film and they put it on YouTube. It was very offensive for sure but that doesn’t justify taking this wild actions against Americans or American embassies. People can come out and demonstrate and express their opinion peacefully.”
Following the attack, some Libyans have taken part in rallies in Benghazi and Tripoli denouncing the violence.
Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif told reporters that those arrested had been taken from their homes on Thursday but gave no further details.
No group has said it carried out the attack and Wanis al-Sharif said it was too early to say if those arrested belonged to a particular organization.
Meanwhile, further protests against the US-made film are expected on Friday.
In Yemen, demonstrators briefly stormed the grounds of the US embassy in Sanaa on Thursday and burnt the US flag before being driven back by security forces.
A White House spokesman said all those working in the embassy were safe and accounted for.
In Egypt, 224 people were injured in protests outside the US embassy in Cairo on Thursday, with some demonstrators demanding the expulsion of the ambassador. Police vehicles were set alight.
Egyptian media said that as night fell on Thursday, police were continuing to fire tear gas at stone-throwing protesters.
Calls for a million-man march in Cairo came from The Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafist al-Nour party and non-religious groups including the “Ultra” fans of Zamalek football club.
They said they had invited Muslims, Coptic Christians and all Egyptian citizens to join them.
President Mohammed Mursi said Egyptians rejected “any kind of assault or insult” against the Prophet Muhammad, but appealed for calm.
Small protests have also been reported in Bangladesh, Iraq, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia, and security has been increased at US embassies and consulates around the world.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the film, entitled Innocence of Muslims, as “disgusting” and “reprehensible” but said it was no excuse for violence.
The film was shot in the US and posted online earlier this year. It depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and the bloodthirsty leader of a ragtag group of men who enjoy killing.
However, the film’s exact origin and the motivation behind its production remain a mystery.
Some of the actors involved have since condemned the film, saying they had no idea it was to be used as anti-Islam propaganda.
A US state department official was killed and at least one other American was wounded when a gunmen stormed the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
It is believed the protest was held over a US-produced film that is said to be insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.
The militiamen raided the compound with grenades before setting it on fire.
On Tuesday, protesters against the film breached the walls of the US embassy in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
The film that sparked the demonstration is said to have been produced by a US citizen from California named Sam Bacile, and promoted by an expatriate Egyptian Copt.
The two men are described as having anti-Islamic views.
A trailer of the low-budget movie has appeared on YouTube translated into Arabic.
The video, called Innocence of Muslims, is shot in English, but provides Arabic subtitles.
It was written, directed and produced by Israeli-American real-estate developer Sam Bacile in California, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Sam Bacile, 52, told the paper that he regards Islam as a “cancer” and was able to produce the film with $5 million that he raised with the help of about 100 Jewish donors.
The film depicts Muhammad as a fraud, showing him having sex and calling for massacres.
Throughout the video, “Muhammad” – portrayed by an American actor – is branded a “bastard”, “rapist” and “child molester” by other actors in the film.
A US state department official was killed when a gunmen stormed the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi
Muslims find it offensive to depict Muhammad in any fashion, much less in an insulting way.
Ultra-conservatives have claimed the actions are a protest against the film, which they say attacks Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, and is a form of blasphemy.
In the attack in Benghazi, unidentified armed men stormed the grounds, shooting at buildings and throwing handmade bombs into the compound.
Security forces returned fire but Libyan officials say they were overwhelmed.
“One American official was killed and another injured in the hand. The other staff members were evacuated and are safe and sound,” Libya’s deputy interior minister Wanis al-Sharif told AFP news agency.
The identity of the US official killed is not yet known. The consular worker was reported to have been shot.
In a statement, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed the death, saying: “We are heartbroken by this terrible loss.”
“Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” she said in a statement.
“The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”
Reports say a militia known as the Ansar al-Sharia brigade was involved in the attack, but the group has denied the claim.
Many people are still armed following the conflict that overthrew Col. Muammar Gaddafi last year.
There were calls on social media networks for protests against US interests in the capital, Tripoli, but no disturbances have been confirmed.
The rally followed a demonstration in Cairo, in which protesters breached the US embassy and tore down the United States flag, which was flying at half mast to mark the 9/11 attacks, and replaced it with an Islamist banner.
Thousands of protesters had gathered outside the US embassy in the Egyptian capital.
Egyptian protesters condemned what they said was the humiliation of the Prophet of Islam under the pretext of freedom of speech.
“Both Muslims and Christians are participating in this protest against this offence to Islam,” said one protester, according to Associated Press news agency.
US Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney criticized President Barack Obama for his response to the protests.
“It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks,” Mitt Romney said in a statement.
The battles are around Tripoli (Libya) and it seems that “Operation Mermaid Dawn” has begun, according to a military commander in Benghazi, colonel Fadlallah Haroun.[googlead tip=”vertical_mic”]
The time of freedom arrived with the rebels closing to Tripoli
“The fighters in Tripoli are rising up in two places at the moment – some are in the Tajoura neighbourhood and the other is near the Matiga (international) airport,” he told Al-Jazeera.
Tajoura is the Tripoli neighborhood most openly opposed to Gaddafi. Heavy fights has been in Souq al-Jomaa, Fashloum and Tajoura, a rebel representative told the AP.
While Tripoli seems to be besieged, Abdessalam Jalloud, former prime minister, left for Italy via Tunisia on Saturday. [googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”]
The government official told AFP “Jalloud left Djerba airport for Italy at dawn on a Maltese plane with his family”.
“We are verifying this information,” said Maurizio Massari from the Italian Foreign Ministry.
Early on Sunday morning Muammar al Gaddafi congratulated his men for repelling an attack upon Tripoli.
[googlead tip=”lista_medie” aliniat=”stanga”]Live audio on state television, Gaddafi expressed congratulation to his supporters for repelling a rebels attack. He called the rebels “rats”.
Moammar Gadhafi said Nicolas Sarkozy wants to steal the country’s oil and the rebels were “bent on the destruction of the Libyan people”.
Gaddafi impeled his supporters to “march by the millions” and put an end to a rebellion, that he called a “masquerade”.
Meanwhile, the rebels said the Gaddafi’s regime is heading to an end.
“The zero hour has started. The rebels in Tripoli have risen up,” said Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice-chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC), in the eastern city of Benghazi.
On Sunday an official in the rebel NTC said that operations in Tripoli were co-ordinated between opponents of Gaddafi in the city and the rebels in the east.
“There is co-ordination with the rebels in Tripoli. This was a pre-set plan. They’ve been preparing for a while. There’s co-ordination with the rebels approaching from the east, west and south,” he said.
Abdel Hafiz Ghoga said NATO warplanes were sending air strikes to distract Gaddafi’s forces.
“The next hours are crucial. Many of their (pro-Gaddafi) brigades and their commanders have fled.” he said
Apparentely, there is just a matter of time for the rebels until they will take Tripoli.