Who needs Wonder Woman when there’s Hillary Clinton?


I love that her superhero costume was bridal white, the eternal symbol of her gender; recalling both the fight for women’s suffrage and the institution of marriage, that for too long was the only way to lift women out of obscurity and into society.

I love that white wears ironic on her, because her marriage has both helped and hurt her. And because, when she spoke at the convention, Hillary Clinton was no man’s bride: She was a woman of history, a promise to the passionate that even if you’ve been beaten down, you can still triumph. And she dressed fittingly – fresh, luminous, new — for her wedding to our country.

I love that she began her speech as a mother, with gratitude and acknowledgment, starting with the most important person in her life — her child. I love that she’s the kind of leader who honors others for their role in her success. And that she’s the kind of person who can say of her onetime rival, President Barack Obama, “I’m better because of his friendship.” And I love that she chose to validate her latest rival, Bernie Sanders, with powerful words of promise: “You put economic and social justice issues front and center where they belong,” she said, telling his supporters, “I’ve heard you: Your cause is our cause.”

I love that despite what anyone says, she is still — by law — a wife. And she understands her complicated relationship to her complicated husband as a “conversation.” One that started in a law library 45 years ago and which, she said, has lasted “through good times that filled us with joy, and hard times that tested us.” It doesn’t get more honest or transparent than that.

I love that when the crowd cheered for her, she held her hand to her heart and that her smile was as wide as the cheers were wild.

I love that as a candidate she offers substance, experience and intelligence in abundance; that her policy positions are so studied and meticulous, I am confident that she can handle any worldly challenge and any world leader. Hillary doesn’t just say what she’ll do; she tells you how she’ll do it.

I love that when the House Select Committee grilled her during an 11-hour marathon hearing on Benghazi last October, she turned a pressure cooker into a political parley, and was so well prepared, answering question after question with wit and wisdom, she changed the hearing intended to destroy her into a prime-time presidential platform.

I love that her scandals have become meaningless to me. I don’t care that she had a private email server or that the Clinton Foundation has received donations from Gulf States, or that she earned money from Wall Street speeches. I don’t believe her commitment to public service and working class families is tempered in any way by self-interest and ambition. People are more than one thing, and I trust her moral commitment to the underserved, overlooked and ill-treated. I love how absurd it is that no matter how much measurable good she does — whether getting healthcare to children, recourse to sexual assault survivors, or support for 9/11 responders — conspiracy theories regarding her motives abound unabated by facts.

I love how she’s accused of flip-flopping positions out of political expediency when really it demonstrates her ability to change and grow and compromise. I love that her mistakes stem from her commitment to a 40-year career that has only increased in responsibility, prestige and influence. And that the people who criticize her for every little thing fail to see that her life of public service has demanded more of her as a person and citizen than most of us would ever want or allow.   

I love that she went undercover in a segregated school to study the role of race in education – 30 years ago. And that she advocated for universal healthcare a decade before Obama was even elected to the Senate.

I love that she is fiercely smart, ultra savvy, and hyper-qualified to run for president of the United States.

I love that loving her puts me into a club with Meryl Streep and Lena Dunham.

I love that when I tried to take notes during her speech, I couldn’t stop crying. Because I know what this means to my 93-year-old grandmother, who carved her own set of cracks in that stubborn ceiling. And I know what it would have meant to my mother, who worked hard and sacrificed, but knew too well the disadvantages dealt to women, to finally see her role model and idol accept the nomination for president. I cried because I know that this nomination means – for every woman in America and around the world who has been told, “No,” who has been paid less, who has been passed over, ignored, belittled, ridiculed, humiliated, raped, shoved aside, manipulated, exploited, cheated on, disbelieved and discounted – that a woman can rise to the world’s most powerful position. That the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards equal opportunity for all.

I love that a woman has what it takes to lead our country. I love that our next president might be blonde, wear mascara and drape jewels around her neck.

I love the hope, possibility and wonder Hillary’s story inspires: “When there is no ceiling, the sky is the limit.”


Danielle Berrin is a senior writer and columnist at the Jewish Journal.

Republican-led panel accuses Clinton State Department of Benghazi lapses


Congressional Republicans on Tuesday accused the Obama administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of failing to protect U.S. diplomats in the 2012 Benghazi, Libya, attack that killed four Americans.

In an 800-page report that Democrats have derided as a political vendetta, Republicans also accused Clinton, now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, and her staff of a “shameful” lack of response to congressional investigators looking into the tragedy and assailed Clinton's use of a private email server for official business.

The findings are sure to fuel attacks on Clinton on the presidential campaign trail, where she faces the Republicans' presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, but they do not reveal any new substantial evidence of Clinton's culpability with regard to the attack.

Clinton's campaign dismissed the report as a partisan effort to derail her candidacy, arguing that the committee had not found anything that had not been discovered by previous congressional probes.

“After more than two years and more than $7 million in taxpayer funds, the committee report has not found anything to contradict the conclusions of the multiple, earlier investigations,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement, adding that “this committee's chief goal is to politicize the deaths of four brave Americans in order to try to attack the Obama administration and hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign.”

At a news conference on Capitol Hill, Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, the Republican chairman of the special panel, outlined what he said was a disconnect between the unfolding violence on the ground in Benghazi and the perception among top Obama administration officials that “the fighting had subsided” at the U.S. diplomatic compound.

Gowdy said the panel uncovered “new information on what happened in Benghazi,” including details contained in emails from then-Secretary Clinton that were handed over to the committee.

RYAN STATEMENT

Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, did not mention Clinton by name in a statement he released but said committee's report “makes clear that officials in Washington failed our men and women on the ground when they were in need of help.”

The lack of a mention of Clinton may have been aimed at rebutting Democrats' claims that the probe was politically driven. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, Ryan's lieutenant, last year suggested that the panel was established, in part, to stall Clinton's political momentum.

Trump has regularly blamed Clinton for the death of Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three others in attacks in Benghazi by militia groups on Sept. 11, 2012, and said the incident undercuts her argument that she is the stronger candidate on national security.

Trump's campaign had no immediate comment, but Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Clinton's actions as secretary of state were “disqualifying.”

“Hillary Clinton was in charge, knew the risks, and did nothing” to protect personnel on the ground in Libya, he said.

Democrats on the Benghazi committee released their own report a day before Tuesday's release, accusing Republicans of conducting an overzealous investigation.

According to a website maintained by committee Democrats, the investigation cost more than $7.1 million, a figure that excludes money spent on investigations by the seven other congressional committees that investigated the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic and CIA posts in Benghazi.

The Gowdy committee investigation lasted 782 days, longer than congressional probes of Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, the Iran-Contra scandal and Hurricane Katrina.

Since it was established in May 2014, the Gowdy committee held four public hearings, according to its website, which said that it interviewed 107 witnesses, mostly behind closed doors, including 81 who never appeared before the other committees that investigated the attacks. It reviewed about 75,000 pages of previously unexamined documents.

Clinton defends her Benghazi record in face of Republican criticism


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday deflected harsh Republican criticism of her handling of the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, and urged her questioners in Congress to put U.S. national security ahead of politics.

At a sometimes heated hearing, Republicans accused the front-runner in the 2016 Democratic presidential race of misinforming the public about the cause of the attack by suspected Islamic militants that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi.

Republican Representative Jim Jordan said Clinton had misleadingly implied the attack was a reaction to an anti-Muslim video. On Thursday, Clinton, who denies suggesting the video was the cause, called Jordan's accusation “personally painful.”

“I've thought more about what happened than all of you put together,” she told the Republican-led panel. “I've lost more sleep than all of you put together. I've been racking my brain about what could have been done, should have been done.”

The appearance before the Benghazi panel was a major political test for Clinton, who has been on a hot streak with a strong performance in last week's first Democratic debate and the news on Wednesday that her strongest potential challenger, Vice President Joe Biden, will not seek the Democratic nomination for the November 2016 election.

The hearing also follows weeks of political brawling over whether the House committee's real goal was to puncture her front-running presidential prospects. The committee is made up of seven Republicans and five Democrats.

Clinton told the panel the attacks must not discourage U.S. action globally and said the incident already had been thoroughly investigated.

“We need leadership at home to match our leadership abroad, leadership that puts national security ahead of politics and ideology,” Clinton said in her only early reference to the political controversy that has dogged the panel.

17-MONTH-OLD PROBE

The panel has spent 17 months looking into the attacks that killed J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans at the U.S. mission compound.

At one point, Clinton impassively stacked papers while Republican Chairman Trey Gowdy and senior Democrat Elijah Cummings argued loudly over Cummings' request that the closed-door testimony of Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal be publicly released.

Clinton listened intently, head in hand, as Gowdy heatedly questioned her about the constant emails she received from Blumenthal. Republicans noted that ambassador Stevens did not even have Clinton's email address.

“You didn't need my email address to get my attention,” Clinton said.

Cummings said congressional Republicans set up the panel for a partisan witch hunt.

“They set them loose, Madame Secretary, because you're running for president,” he told Clinton, calling for an end to the “taxpayer-funded fishing expedition.” He said the committee had spent $14.7 million of taxpayer money over 17 months.

Clinton defended her leadership in Libya as America's top diplomat and denied longstanding Republican allegations that she personally turned down requests to beef up security in Benghazi.

“He did not raise security with me. He raised security with the security professionals,” Clinton said of Stevens.

Republican Representative Peter Roskam told Clinton she was the chief architect of U.S. policy in Libya and that “things in Libya today are a disaster,” but Clinton said President Barack Obama made the final call on U.S. Libya policy.

Clinton's long-awaited appearance before the panel follows months of controversy about her use of a private home email server for her State Department work, a set-up that emerged in part because of the Benghazi committee's demand last year to see her official records.

GOWDY ON THE DEFENSIVE

Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, has been on the defensive over a series of comments from his fellow Republicans implying the committee's real aim was to deflate Clinton's poll numbers.

“Madame Secretary, I understand some people – frankly in both parties – have suggested this investigation is about you. Let me assure you it is not,” Gowdy told Clinton.

“Not a single member of this committee signed up for an investigation into you or your email system.”

Clinton refrained from questioning the panel's motives, which she has done in recent public statements on the campaign trail.

“Despite all the previous investigations and all the talk about partisan agendas, I'm here to honor those we lost and to do what I can to aid those who serve us still,” she said.

She said the emails being made public and examined by the committee did not encompass all of the work she did as secretary of state.

“I don't want you to have a mistaken impression about what I did and how I did it,” she said. “Most of my work was not done on emails with my closest aides, with officials in the State Department, officials in the rest of the government.”

She cited communications through secure phone calls, in-person conversations and top-secret documents.

The committee's Democrats, who may discuss abandoning the inquiry after Clinton's appearance, say they think there is little left to unearth on Benghazi that more than a half-dozen previous inquiries did not find.

A 2012 report by a government accountability review board sharply faulted State Department officials for providing “grossly” insufficient security in Benghazi, despite upgrade requests from Stevens and others in Libya.

Hillary Clinton urges State Department to release emails


U.S. Democrat Hillary Clinton on Wednesday broke her silence over a budding controversy involving her use of personal email for work when she was secretary of state, saying she wanted the U.S. State Department to release them swiftly.

Clinton's statement was aimed at cooling a political firestorm over allegations that she inappropriately used her personal email for work while secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

“I want the public to see my email,” the potential 2016 presidential candidate said in a tweet. “I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.”

The controversy has suddenly put Clinton into trouble just as she is planning to launch a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. It has prompted some Democrats to wonder whether someone else should be their candidate to succeed President Barack Obama.

The State Department said it will review the emails provided by Clinton “using a normal process that guides such releases.”

“We will undertake this review as quickly as possible. Given the sheer volume of the document set, this review will take some time to complete,” spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

Clinton's tweeted statement came hours after a congressional committee investigating the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, issued subpoenas for her emails.

The U.S. House of Representatives' Select Committee on Benghazi demanded all communications from Clinton related to the incident, in which a U.S. ambassador was killed.

The panel also sent letters to Internet companies telling them to protect any documents relevant to the ongoing investigation, Jamal Ware, communications director for the Benghazi committee, said in a statement.

Representative Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the Benghazi panel, told reporters that within two weeks, he must either have the documents or a “really good explanation” for why not.

Republicans have been scrutinizing Clinton's actions and communications surrounding the Benghazi attack, when Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed during an assault on a U.S. facility. Republican lawmakers believe she did not do enough to ensure the safety of Americans in Libya.

Representative Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the Benghazi committee, said the Republicans' actions have led him to believe they simply want to attack Clinton. He noted that Colin Powell, the secretary of state under former President George W. Bush, a Republican, had used personal emails.

The email controversy appears to have caught the Clinton camp off guard when it erupted.

In an appearance in Washington on Tuesday night, Clinton avoided the topic altogether in a 30-minute speech at a gala dinner for the Emily's List political organization.

The State Department has defended Clinton, saying that at the time there was no prohibition on using a personal email account for official business as long as it was preserved.

But experts have called her use of personal email highly unusual and that her practise possibly left her communications open to hacking.

The State Department said Clinton last year turned over emails from the period after a records request and that 300 of these were sent to the Benghazi committee.

A total of 55,000 pages of material covering the time she was in office were turned over, the agency said.

Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration, said he believed “the sole use of a private email account by a high-level official to transact government business is plainly inconsistent with the Federal Records Act and longstanding policies of the National Archives.”

Overlooked, battle for Watiyah air base key to Libya’s future


This story originally appeared on themedialine.org.

Russian heat-seeking rockets terrorize the fighters scattered along the front at the Watiyah air base in Western Libya. “Torpedoes are dangerous because they precisely target cars, often full of men,” one of the fighters told The Media Line while adjusting his walkie-talkie in preparation for his deployment along the front lines.

“Thirteen men were killed in one day last week, and three ambulances were destroyed. Also, an ambulance driver got killed by the same Russian guided rocket,” said Dr. Ashraf Al-Mansouri, who is responsible for the field hospital set up in a gas station about six miles away from the fighting. Here, the supply of anesthetics and analgesics often run out.

Over three years after the uprising that ousted former strongman Col. Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is once again drowning in civil war. The fighting has continued unabated since last May, bringing to mind the former dictator’s prophecy about a “Somalia-ization” of the Libyan conflict.

Last August, armed groups led by the powerful militias of Misrata, a city 120 miles east of Tripoli, launched “Operation Fajr Libya” to take the control over the entire capitol, driving out the fighters of the Zintan Brigades, government-funded armed units emanating from the city of Zintan that featured prominently in the revolution that ousted Gaddafi.  Although the two sets of militias were comrades-in-arms during the 2011 uprising, shortly afterward they began to compete to fill the power vacuum left by Gaddafi. Misrata allied with the Muslim Brotherhood while Zintan ended up fighting alongside Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s loyalists.

Haftar is a former Gaddafi-era officer who defected in the 1980s and returned to the country in 2011.  His allies today include security men from the old regime, prominent eastern tribes, federalists demanding greater autonomy for the east, and the Zintan militias. Last May, Haftar launched “Operation Dignity” against the fundamentalist Islamist groups in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

The split reached the national institutions, the House of Representatives (HOR) being supported by Zintan and the outgoing National Congress by Misrata. In August, Misrata drove Zintani armed groups from the capital Tripoli, forcing the internationally recognized HOR to take shelter in the eastern city of Tubruq.

While mainstream media focuses on the struggle between Gen. Haftar and fundamentalist groups in Benghazi, and on the clashes at oil terminals along the eastern coast of the country, the fight for the Watiyah air base remains in the shadow but in reality is one of the key battles that will determine the resolution of Libya’s civil war.  

The war between the Islamists, who nowadays count the Islamic State (ISIS) among its among its ranks, and Haftar’s forces is ideological and threatens to plunge the country into an abyss.

Last September, fierce fighting between militias resulted in conflicting charges of heinous acts, the deaths of thousands and gross violations of human rights.

In October, Haftar used Russian-made MIG 23s to strike ammunition depots in Zawiyah, Sabratah and Gharian, and then bombed Mitiqa airport in Tripoli. The Air Force general in charge of the Tripoli-based forces, Colonel Ali Abudeya, called Haftar a “terrorist because he strikes Mitiqa which is a civilian airport.”

By November, at least eight militias teamed-up to launch an assault on the Watiyah air base to put a halt to Haftar’s airborne strikes in a campaign seen as being the last stand of Haftar’s influence in the west. If the airport falls, Haftar and company will lose access to supplies, food, and weapons.

Zintan, some 50 miles south of Watiyah, would be completely isolated, and the airstrip that was built strategically after the 2011 revolution would not be able to guarantee refueling. As well, Haftar and the Tubruq based authorities would arguably lose the western region of Tripolitania, given that Libya has already begun to divide the country into the National Independence era’s three provinces of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan.

The battle for Watiyah airport also poses an even more insidious threat to the entire country in the form of the radicalization of the local population paving the way for an ideological war that further divides the nation. 

A rebel commander in the city of Amazigh Jado told The Media Line that, “The terrorist groups are already inside the country, although they are still inactive. They are basically waiting until all of the revolutionary forces run out of ammunition to come out and conquer Libya.”  He concluded by saying that, “The international community seems to be blind. They waste their time talking with the national political representatives in Geneva, although the militias control Libya and they do not sit in Geneva.”

Last year, 2,825 people were killed in Libya's protracted conflict, and at least 120,000 people were forced from their homes. The United Nations-led national dialogue for the North African country’s stability is tenuous at best. The truce was systematically broken during the talks and no ceasefire has been scheduled despite the recent United Nations-brokered meeting with Libyan stakeholders in the city of Ghaddames last Wednesday.

Obama: Benghazi suspect will face ‘full weight’ of U.S. justice system


President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the recently captured suspected ringleader of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, would face the “full weight” of the U.S. justice system.

In a statement released by the White House, Obama said he had authorized the strike in Libya in which U.S. military troops, working with law enforcement personnel, captured Khatallah on Sunday.

“Since the deadly attacks on our facilities in Benghazi, I have made it a priority to find and bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of four brave Americans,” Obama said.

“The fact that (Khatallah) is now in U.S. custody is a testament to the painstaking efforts of our military, law enforcement, and intelligence personnel. Because of their courage and professionalism, this individual will now face the full weight of the American justice system,” he said.

Reporting by Jeff Mason and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Susan Heavey

Benghazi suspect Khatallah to be tried in the U.S. court system, not Guantanamo


The suspect in the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, who was captured over the weekend, will be tried in U.S. courts, U.S. officials told Reuters.

The decision to do so is in line with President Barack Obama's policy of bringing suspected militants caught abroad through the U.S. justice system rather than trying them in the military tribunal system at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah was captured by U.S. military forces on Sunday and is currently being held in a secure location outside of Libya, according to a statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby.

Reporting by Julia Edwards and Susan Heavey; Editing by Eric Beech

Statement by President Barack Obama on the apprehension of Ahmed Abu Khatallah


The United States has an unwavering commitment to bring to justice those responsible for harming Americans. Since the deadly attacks on our facilities in Benghazi, I have made it a priority to find and bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of four brave Americans. I recently authorized an operation in Libya to detain an individual charged for his role in these attacks, Ahmed Abu Khatallah. The fact that he is now in U.S. custody is a testament to the painstaking efforts of our military, law enforcement, and intelligence personnel. Because of their courage and professionalism, this individual will now face the full weight of the American justice system.

Even as we welcome the success of this operation, we also pause to remember the four Americans who gave their lives in Benghazi representing their country: Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty. As I said shortly after the attack, they exemplified the values that we stand for as a nation, including a commitment to freedom and justice. All Americans should be grateful for their service, just as we are grateful to all our personnel – civilian and military – who represent our country around the globe. We will continue to honor our fallen by carrying on their efforts in support of the Libyan people’s aspirations to live in a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic society.

With this operation, the United States has once again demonstrated that we will do whatever it takes to see that justice is done when people harm Americans. We will continue our efforts to bring to justice those who were responsible for the Benghazi attacks. We will remain vigilant against all acts of terrorism, and we will continue to prioritize the protection of our service-members and civilians overseas. We will also sustain our support for the Libyan people, as they work to overcome years of tyranny and do the difficult work of building a democracy.

White House: U.S. federal system can handle Benghazi suspect


The White House said on Tuesday the U.S. criminal justice system could prosecute the captured suspected ringleader of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and that he would be questioned for intelligence.

The comments came in response to criticism from some Republicans that President Barack Obama did not intend to send Ahmed Abu Khatallah, who was captured on Sunday, to the controversial U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“We have used the federal court system to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists,” White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

“As to whether (he) will be debriefed for intelligence purposes, I can't comment on the specifics, but as a general rule, we will always seek to elicit all the actionable intelligence and information we can from terrorist suspects taken into our custody.”

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Peter Cooney

U.S. captures suspected ringleader of 2012 attack in Benghazi


The United States said on Tuesday it had captured a suspected ringleader of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, a raid that killed four Americans including the U.S. ambassador and ignited a political firestorm in Washington.

President Barack Obama said in a statement he had authorized the operation in Libya on Sunday in which U.S. troops, working with law enforcement personnel, captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah. He told an audience later in Pittsburgh that Khatallah was being transported to the United States.

“Since the deadly attacks on our facilities in Benghazi, I have made it a priority to find and bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of four brave Americans,” he said in a statement. He said Khatallah would “face the full weight of the American justice system.”

After the 2012 attack, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, Republicans accused the Obama administration of playing down the role of al Qaeda in the attack for political reasons.

They also said then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had failed to take adequate steps to ensure the safety of American diplomatic personnel, an issue that is still resonating as Clinton considers running for U.S. president in 2016.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Khatallah was being held aboard an American ship after he was grabbed on the outskirts of Benghazi in an operation carried out by U.S. special operations forces.

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said U.S. troops had acted with “extraordinary skill, courage and precision,” and the complex operation resulted in no casualties. Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said all U.S. personnel involved had left Libya.

A U.S. official said Khatallah would be charged and prosecuted through the U.S. court system and would not be sent to the prison for suspected al Qaeda militants in Guantanamo, Cuba.

That is in line with Obama's policy of prosecuting suspected militants caught abroad through the U.S. justice system rather than trying them in the military tribunal system at Guantanamo Bay prison, which he is trying to close.

A criminal complaint released by the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., accused Khatallah of killing a person in the course of an attack on a federal facility, providing material support to terrorists and using a firearm in commission of a crime of violence.

SPECIAL INTERROGATION TEAM

The Libyan government had no immediate comment on the U.S. announcement. The Pentagon said the United States had notified Libya of the operation, but a spokesman did not say whether it was before or after the capture.

It was the second time the administration has said U.S. special operations forces have gone into Libya to detain a militant. A U.S. Army Delta Force team grabbed al Qaeda suspect Nazih al-Ragye, better known as Abu Anas al-Liby, in Tripoli in October 2013 and sent him to a U.S. Navy ship for interrogation.

Al-Liby was later charged in a U.S. federal court in New York in connection with the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, which killed more than 200 people.

Khatallah was expected to be questioned by an elite inter-agency interrogation team created in 2009 to seek information from suspects in an effort to prevent future terrorist attacks, a U.S. official said.

The official could not say whether members of the U.S. High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, which is housed at the FBI's National Security Branch, were already in place to question Khatallah aboard the ship where was held.

Lawmakers welcomed Khatallah's capture, but Republicans said they were concerned about whether the administration would take full advantage of the opportunity to interrogate him for his intelligence value.

“I want him to be held a sufficient period of time under the law of war to gather intelligence,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. “We're shutting down intelligence-gathering. We're turning the war into a crime, and it will bite us in the butt.”

“I think they should take him to Guantanamo,” said Senator John McCain of Arizona. “That's why we have the detention facilities and it's totally inappropriate to keep him any place else.”

Senator Dick Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, said Khatallah stood a better chance of actually facing trial if his case went through the criminal justice system. Only a handful of people had been tried before military commissions while several hundred had been convicted in federal court, he said.

“It's a tired response from their side,” he said of the Republican calls for a transfer to Guantanamo.

Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Julia Edwards, Missy Ryan and Susan Heavey; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by David Storey, James Dalgleish and Cynthia Osterman

U.S. House committee subpoenas Kerry over Benghazi


The U.S. House of Representatives' Oversight Committee has issued a subpoena for Secretary of State John Kerry to testify at a May 21 public hearing concerning the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the committee said on Friday.

Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said the panel wanted Kerry to answer questions about the State Department's response to the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack.

Issa, a California Republican, said the State Department has not fully complied with previous subpoenas for documents related to the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, that killed four Americans.

Separately, House Speaker John Boehner, said he intends for the House to vote to create a new select committee to investigate the Benghazi incident.

The Benghazi attack has become a political issue for Republicans, who say President Barack Obama's administration did not do enough to help the Americans in Benghazi and then focused on protecting Obama's image during an election year.

The Kerry subpoena came a few days after Obama critics pounced on emails from U.S. officials released by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch on Tuesday. The group said the emails showed the White House was concerned primarily with image issues.

“The fact that these documents were withheld from Congress for more than 19 months is alarming,” Issa said in a letter to Kerry accompanying the subpoena. “The Department is not entitled to delay responsive materials because it is embarrassing or implicates the roles and actions of senior officials.”

Issa also said the State Department had shown “a disturbing disregard” for its obligations to Congress.

Benghazi also has political implications for Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the attack and is a likely presidential candidate in 2016.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, editing by Bill Trott and G Crosse

The Obamacare Apocalypse


Last week, a professor of physics and astronomy ” target=”_blank”>Koch brothers’ plan to stop them.  It’s possible that some of the Republican governors who refused Medicaid money for 8 million of their constituents will find themselves so wildly unpopular that they’ll do a 180.  It’s possible that people in the individual market stranded by the law and their insurance companies will find solutions.  Hell, it’s even possible that healthcare.gov will work.

So it’s not nuts to think that by the time Obama leaves office, the American health care system will be better in lots of ways, Obamacare will be the new normal and solid majorities will like it.  There may be no “Keep Your Hands Off My Obamacare” signs during the 2016 campaign, but it’s possible that the painful rollout of the exchanges will be forgotten.

That would ruin things for the drama queens in the media.  Their master narrative is Countdown to Armageddon.  Demagogues need end times to raise money.  News needs to shout apocalypse to get attention.

It’s not just Obamacare.  Imagine that CBS News had no reason to retract the Benghazi piece on “60 Minutes.”  If accounts of Dylan Davies’s F.B.I. interviews hadn’t made their way to the ” target=”_blank”>The Last Hours: Warming the World to Extinction,” a 10-minute movie written by Thom Hartmann and directed by Leila Conners makes terrifyingly clear, climate change is on track to cause the sixth mass extinction in geologic history. The fifth, the K-T extinction 65 million years ago, was caused by an asteroid hitting the earth off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula – and it killed the dinosaurs.  The third mass extinction – the Permean, the worst – was caused by volcanic eruptions in the Siberian Traps that warmed the oceans six degrees Celsius and melted trillions of tons of methane that had been frozen beneath the sea floor and ice sheets.  The methane this released into the atmosphere doubled the warming the volcanoes caused and killed 95 percent of all life on earth.  Today, fossil fuel burning and industrial agriculture are increasing greenhouse gases at rates never before recorded by humans, physicist Michael Mann says in the film, “far greater than any of the most rapid events that happened in the deep geological past,” including the Permean extinction. 

Talk about doomsday scenarios.  If this keeps happening, Obamacare, along with everything else we love, hate or talk about, will be irrelevant, because our species won’t be around to love, hate or talk about anything. But you would not know that things are as dire as they are from watching the news, which is just how Exxon-Mobil, Monsanto and the Koch brothers like it.

The day before the Times reported a tenfold increase in the odds of an asteroid strike, Erik Petiguara, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley martyk@jewishjournal.com.

Producer of anti-Muslim film released from L.A. prison


The producer of the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” which sparked violence in the Middle East and elsewhere, was released from a Los Angeles prison.

Mark Basseley Youssef, 55, of Los Angeles, was released to a halfway house to serve the remaining weeks of his prison term. He was sentenced  to prison last November for  violating his probation in a 2010 check-kiting case.

Youssef will leave the halfway house on Sept. 26, but will be on probation for the next four years, according to Reuters.

An Egyptian-born Coptic Christian also known as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Youssef is believed to have uploaded to YouTube a 14-minute trailer of “The Innocence of Muslims” translated into Arabic, despite not being allowed to use the Internet without permission from his probation officer.

The crudely produced film ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad touched off a torrent of anti-American demonstrations in Arab and Muslim countries. But links between the film and the assault on U.S. diplomatic posts in the Libyan city of Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the ambassador, Christopher Stevens, were debunked.

In the wake of the initial violence following the release of the trailer, two media outlets interviewed a California man who gave his name as Sam Bacile and reportedly said he had produced, directed and written “The Innocence of Muslims,” and that Jewish donors had bankrolled the production.

But his claims, which included that he was an Israeli American in the real estate business, quickly came under scrutiny and were found to be untrue. It was later revealed that Bacile was Youssef.

Is Obama George W. — or even Nixon? The secrecy factor


The Obama administration has in recent weeks suffered a 1-2-3 scandal outbreak:

– The Benghazi tragedy-as-fiasco gained legs when internal emails emerged suggesting a massaged timeline of who knew what, when;

– The IRS owned up to focusing on conservative groups in delaying approval for tax exempt status in the last election;

– The AP furiously revealed that for two months last year the Justice Department had tracked its phone calls, apparently in a bid to track down government leakers in a story about the thwarting of a Yemen-based terrorist plot.

So the emerging narrative is, is President Obama another George W. Bush or (gasp!) Richard Nixon? And will this finally lose him the liberals?

The Reform movement’s Religious Action Center is already on the record with fairly no-holds-barred outrage regarding the IRS story:

Reports that the IRS focused attention on applications for tax exempt status from groups with apparently politically conservative names and ideologies are deeply concerning. The IRS must establish neutral guidelines for its work that do not favor or disadvantage any political ideology. Abiding by these guidelines will ensure the IRS upholds the non-partisan status that is key to maintaining public trust in its work.

No individual or organization should incur extra attention from the IRS solely on the basis of political ideology and no entity should feel implicit or explicit pressure to alter its mission or actions based on fear of politically-motivated action from the IRS – or any other government agency.

We look forward to a full explanation from the IRS as to how this situation developed and how it will be prevented from occurring in the future.

Jon Stewart had fun last night with the 1-2-3 meme:

And naturally, we’re already deep into Nixon comparisons.

The Nixon years are an inverse of the old 1960s encomium: Anyone who misremembers them so badly can’t have lived through them. Nixon made rivals into enemies, tried to make enemies into criminals, and made the Constitution confetti along the way. Obama, so far, is a long way from there.

But the Bush comparisons seem to have legs, and not least because it has been Obama’s defenders who over the last couple of days have raised them. The Bush era IRS in 2004 went after the NAACP, they have noted, and the Bush administration sought New York Times and Washington Post phone records under the same terms that the Obama DOJ did the AP.

Which raises the question: How does this square with a president who campaigned on a vow not to be Bush, particularly as it related to government secrecy?

One caveat: The Bush administration sought to criminalize the gathering of information, not merely its leaking. It tried to set a precedent that ultimately would have criminalized the journalists in these cases, not just the leakers.

JTA covered the story, naturally enough — the “leakees” in this case were two former AIPAC staffers. And notably, one of Attorney General Eric Holder’s first acts was to shut the case down.

Senate panel sets Tuesday vote on Hagel nomination


A U.S. Senate panel plans to vote on Tuesday afternoon on the bitterly contested nomination of Chuck Hagel as President Barack Obama's new secretary of defense, the committee said on Monday.

Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which must approve Hagel's nomination as Pentagon chief before a vote by the full Senate, intends to ask the committee to vote in an open meeting at 2:30 p.m. EST.

Hagel, 66, a Republican and former Nebraska senator, has been the target of harsh criticism from senators in his own party, who raised questions over whether he is sufficiently supportive of Israel and tough on Iran.

Hagel's testimony before the committee during his Jan. 31 confirmation hearing has also been criticized. Even some Democrats have said he appeared unprepared and at times hesitant during aggressive questioning by Republican panel members.

Levin intends to have the committee vote on Hagel's nomination after its members discuss it.

Hagel's backers are still convinced he will succeed the retiring Leon Panetta at the Defense Department and have called Republican delays and threats to prevent the vote on his nomination political posturing.

The Democrats have 14 votes on the armed services panel, to 12 for the Republicans, and Hagel needs only a simple majority to be cleared by the committee for a vote by the full senate, where the Democratic caucus outnumbers Republicans, 55-45.

No Democrat has come out against Hagel, and at least two Republicans – Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Mike Johanns, who holds Hagel's old Senate seat – have said they will vote for him.

A few other Republicans have said they would not support the use of any procedural mechanism that would force the Democrats to round up 60 votes to confirm Hagel.

Levin had hoped to have the committee vote on Hagel's confirmation last week, but delayed amid Republican demands for more information on issues including Hagel's business dealings and past speeches.

Levin has characterized some of the requests as an attempt to set a new standard for a cabinet nominee.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who has been among the most vocal Hagel opponents, on Sunday threatened to block a vote on his confirmation until the Obama administration provides more information about the deadly September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Graham had previously threatened to block the vote if Panetta did not appear before the committee to discuss Benghazi.

Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the committee in a four-hour hearing on Thursday, but Graham said he was still not satisfied.

Graham and some other Republican lawmakers have questioned Obama's response to the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi incident in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed.

Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Jackie Frank and Philip Barbara

Yemeni security forces on highest alert after Al-Qa’ida targets U.S. ambassador


Yemeni and US embassy officials went on high alert recently after Al-Qa'ida offered a bounty to kill US ambassador to Sana'a Gerald Feierstein or any American soldier in the country.

American officials were said to be determined not to allow a repeat of the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya, last September 11 that left Ambassador J. Christopher Stephens and four others dead.

“We take Al-Qa’ida threats to target the American ambassador and diplomats very seriously and we took all measures to foil any potential terrorist operation aiming to target them….We increased the security presence around embassies across the nation and we are ready to encounter any potential threats,” a high-ranking Yemeni Interior Ministry official told The Media Line, asking to remain anonymous in line with military protocols.

He added that Yemeni security bodies and the American embassy were cooperating to protect American diplomats, but refused to offer further details. Embassy spokesman Lou Fintor told The Media Line: “We take such threats very seriously and will continue to monitor the situation closely. We are operating in a highly sensitive and difficult situation.”

The Al-Qa'ida threat came in an audio message posted on the organization's websites last week. The Yemen branch of the organization offered three kilograms of gold (6.6 pounds) worth about $100,000 to kill the US ambassador and five million Yemeni riyals ($23,000) for killing any American soldier in the country. The offer is valid for six months and the bounties aim to “inspire and encourage our Muslim nation for jihad,” the message said.

The United States considers the Yemeni branch of Al-Qa'ida to be the global terrorist organization's most dangerous and active cell. The threats come as the US has stepped up its use of drones searching for terrorist operatives in Yemen's southern and southeastern provinces.

Just this past Friday, dozens of people in the town of Rada, briefly taken over by Al-Qa'ida last year, demanded the drone attacks be halted immediately. Rada is just one of several key towns in the southern and southeastern parts of Yemen taken over by Al-Qa'ida in 2011, but taken back by the Yemeni army with assistance from the United States in May 2012.

While Yemen and the US are taking the terrorist threats very seriously, Abaad Studies and Research Center Chairman Abdusalam Mohammed downplayed them, saying they only expose Al-Qa'ida's weakness. “If the militant group could assassinate the Americans, it would have done so without publicly announcing bounties for killing them,” he said.

“There are two possible scenarios for the threats,” he added. “The first is that they were really made by Al-Qa'ida. In this case the threats are not dangerous at all as they only help expose Al-Qa'ida's weakness in Yemen after its militants were driven out from their proclaimed Islamic emirate in the Abyan governorate and amid the continuing hunt against the [terrorist] elements by the army and American drones. The second is that there are local or international bodies planning to target embassies and diplomats in the country with the aim of causing chaos – this is what Yemen and the US should take into consideration.” He said those bodies might only be hiding behind Al-Qa'ida, and discounted any link between the increase in US drone strikes and these latest Al-Qa'ida threats.

Mohammed says he believes the American administration is taking the threats seriously because it can't allow for a repetition of the Benghazi attack. “Whether the threats are credible or not, the American government is not willing to leave any security loopholes for the militants to capitalize on and repeat Libya's scenario,” he added.

President Obama to nominate John Kerry for secretary of state


President Obama is set to nominate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as secretary of state.

A White House official said Obama would make the announcement Friday afternoon.

Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, chairs the Senate Foreign Relations committee and would likely be handily approved by that body.

Kerry's nomination comes after Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, pulled herself out of contention after she came under Republican attack for her role in peddling a misleading version of what caused a fatal Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Kerry has a strong pro-Israel voting record, but has rarely initiated the pro-Israel legislation, letters and non-binding resolutions favored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

[Related: John Kerry's statement of his record on Israel]

He also has been outspoken at times in criticizing Israeli policy, particularly during Israel's blockade of goods into the Gaza Strip.

Some conservatives are wary of his emphasis on outreach to rogue states; until Syria collapsed into a bloody uprising against the repressive Assad regime, he favored a degree of engagement with that country.

Media reports said that Obama would not for now announce defense secretary and CIA chief picks.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the secretary of state, is ill and has said she would like to leave the job as soon as possible.

Leon Panetta, the defense secretary, also wants to leave although he has not shown the same urgency as Clinton.

One of Obama's picks to replace Panetta, Chuck Hagel, is under fire by some pro-Israel groups for past remarks critical of the pro-Israel lobby and because he has favored a degree of engagement with Iran and terrorist groups.

The CIA top spot has been open since David Petraeus resigned in a sex scandal earlier this year.

Rice pulls name from State Dept. bid


Susan Rice, the front-runner to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as U.S. secretary of state, dropped her bid for the post.

Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was caught up in a controversy over her explanation of the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11.

“I didn’t want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting and very disruptive because there are so many things we need to get done as a country, and the first several months of a second-term president’s agenda is really the opportunity to get the crucial things done,” Rice told NBC in video released Thursday afternoon. “I much prefer to keep doing what I’m doing, which is a job I love at the United Nations.”

Clinton plans to retire next month.

Rice, relying at the time on intelligence briefings, claimed the Libya attack was spontaneous and sparked by an anti-Muslim film. Evidence has since emerged that it was a planned terrorist attack.

She had clashed at times with pro-Israel groups at the beginning of Obama's first term over the U.S. decision to join the U.N. Human Rights Council, a hotbed of anti-Israel sentiment, as well as her sharp condemnations of Israeli settlement expansion.

More recently, however, Rice earned pro-Israel plaudits, particularly for her tough resistance of Palestinian efforts to gain statehood recognition through the United Nations.

Joe Lieberman: No problem with Susan Rice


Departing U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman said he would not object to the nomination of Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, as secretary of state.

Tuesday's apparent endorsement by Lieberman (I-Conn.) of Rice is largely symbolic, as he is retiring as senator and likely will not be serving by the time Hillary Rodham Clinton, the current secretary of state, steps down — a move anticipated early next year.

However, Lieberman's statement this week after meeting with Rice that she was telling “the whole truth” about why she initially depicted the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as a spontaneous eruption and not a planned terrorist attack undercuts criticism of Rice as unreliable by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Throughout much of his career, Lieberman has joined with McCain and Graham as a foreign policy hawk. His dissent now that he is free from such alliances could be used by Democrats to depict GOP attacks on Rice as political and not substantive.

The Benghazi attack is believed to have been the work of terrorists affiliated with al-Qaida — intelligence that Rice says was not made available to her in the days after the attack, when she was the Obama administration's point person in explaining U.S. reaction.

Four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, were killed in the attack.

President Obama has not said he would nominate Rice to the post, but also said he would not be deterred from doing so by McCain and Graham.

U.S. envoy to Libya killed over anti-Muslim movie


The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other American diplomats were killed, and the U.S. embassy in Cairo was attacked over an anti-Muslim movie.

Amb. John Christopher Stevens and three unnamed diplomats were killed Tuesday night in a rocket attack on their car in Benghazi, the White House confirmed Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday evening, Egyptian protesters climbed over the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, pulled down an American flag, and then tried to set it alight.

The attacks follow the release online of an Arabic translation of a movie directed by Sam Bacile, a 56-year-old California real-estate developer, titled “Innocence of Muslims.”

[UPDATE: More information on “Sam Bacile” here]

The two-hour movie, which according to the Associated Press cost $5 million to make and was financed by more than 100 Jewish donors, attacks the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, making him out to be a fraud.

The film was screened one time at a movie theater in Hollywood, Bacile told the AP.

Bacile went into hiding on Tuesday night, speaking to international media from an undisclosed location.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton condemned the attack. “The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind,” she said in a statement.

Slain U.S. Ambassador Stevens helped nurture Libyan democracy


Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya killed in the Libyan city Benghazi, was deeply involved in the transition of the North African state and had been U.S. envoy to the rebels who overthrew strongman Muammar Gadhafi last year.

Stevens, 52, who had been ambassador to Libya since May, was one of four Americans who died when Islamist gunmen stormed the Benghazi consulate and another safe house refuge on Tuesday night.

The California-born veteran diplomat, an Arabic and French speaker, served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Tripoli between 2007 and 2009, in the waning years of Gadhafi's mercurial and brutal rule in the oil-rich country.

As the country dissolved into civil war, he was appointed the U.S. envoy to the Transitional National Council, which was coordinating the revolt against Gadhafi, and returned aboard a Greek cargo freighter that docked in Benghazi in April, 2011.

President Barack Obama, who vowed to bring the killers to justice, stressed Stevens's deep ties to Libya and his commitment to helping Libyans build a nascent democracy out of the chaos of war.

“It is especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped save,” Obama said Wednesday. Benghazi had been the cradle of the anti-Gadhafi revolt.

“He risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the foundation for a new, free nation,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

Stevens graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1982, taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, and earned a law degree in 1989.

He joined the foreign service in 1991 and had posting in Cairo, Damascus, Riyadh, and Jerusalem, before working in Libya.

“The death of Chris Stevens is a travesty,” said friend Robin Wright, a journalist who worked extensively in the Middle East who is now a scholar at the United State Institute of Peace.

“He represented the very best of American diplomacy. He knew the streets, not the just the elites. He had an infection enthusiasm about the extraordinary history playing out across the Middle East, which he witnessed up close,” she said in a statement.

Reform leader, Jewish groups condemn Libya attack on U.S. envoys


A top Reform rabbi appeared with Libya's U.S. ambassador and Muslim and Christian leaders condemning the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya and the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, along with the anti-Muslim film that allegedly incited the violence.

A rocket attack Tuesday in Benghazi killed four U.S. diplomats, including the Libyan ambassador, Chris Stevens.

“This act of violence, and the similarly threatening violence at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, must be condemned unequivocally,” Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Reform movement's Religious Action Center, said at a news conference Wednesday at the National Press Club. “The losses of life in this manner are an affront to the values of humanity and tolerance that are at the core of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”

Saperstein appeared at the event  with  Ali Suleiman Aujali, the Libyan envoy to the United States; Imam Mohamed Magid, the president of the Islamic Society of North America; the Rev. Welton Gaddy, a Baptist who is president of the Interfaith Alliance; and Haris Tarin, the director of the Washington office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Saperstein also singled out for condemnation the film “Innocence of Muslims,” which is circulating on the Internet and has been accused of inciting the attacks. The film, made in America, insults Islam.

“It was clearly crafted to provoke, to offend and to evoke outrage,” he said. “The denigration of religion and religious figures and the intentional framing of religious texts and tenets in this manner must likewise be condemned.”

The Muslim speakers, including the Libyan ambassador, abjured violent protest against perceived insults.

“Our differences, if we want to express them, have to be in peaceful ways,” Aujali said.

Other Jewish groups condemned the violence, suggesting that in its wake the offense of the film was secondary.

“Whether this murderous attack was premeditated or in reaction to a profoundly offensive anti-Islam film, nothing justifies the violence and killings of an innocent U.S. diplomat and embassy personnel,” the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement.

The American Jewish Committee similarly emphasized, “Whatever the provocation by the exercise of free speech in the United States, nothing can justify this heinous attack on U.S. Embassy personnel who sought to assist in building a new era in post-Gaddafi Libya.”

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said “there can be no justification and no legitimization for such violence.”

Gadhafi tells rebel-stronghold Benghazi: Libya army is coming tonight


Muammar Gadhafi told Libyan rebels on Thursday his armed forces were coming to their capital Benghazi tonight and would not show any mercy to fighters who resisted them.

In a radio address, he told Benghazi residents that soldiers would search every house in the city and people who had no arms had no reason to fear.

“It’s over … We are coming tonight,” he said. “You will come out from inside. Prepare yourselves from tonight. We will find you in your closets.”

Read more at Haaretz.com.