For John, BLUF: SecState Clinton's Testimony is probably a waste of time for most of us, but interesting political theater.
I have not been watching Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testify on the Benghazi Imbroglio. Lets face it, life is short and Congressional Testimony can be almost endless. The two key issues are (1) did we have a clue what we were doing when we joined others in helping to take down Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi and (2) who cooked up that stupid cover story about the video, and why.
Over at Night Watch Analyst John McCreary had this to say about the recent terrorist attack in Algeria:
Algeria-US: Update. A senior Algerian official said that one of the terrorists captured at the In Amenas gas plant said under interrogation that some of the dead Egyptian terrorists also participated in the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi last year. Three terrorists are in custody.Yes, with regard to item one, there are some serious foreign policy issues to address. The fact is, if the Middle East and North Africa are to progress, at some point they need to make the move toward a more representative form of government, in which the People get to make their own mistakes. This, in turn, could result in a reformation in Islam that drags it out of the 12th Century and allows for reinterpretations that allow for freedom for women and for less drastic punishments for crime. I am not sure it needs to allow for interest on loans, since Islamic financing seems to being doing fine. The separation of law into two realms, one secular and one religious, might be a good thing. The question is, was last year the year for this change? Remember your school history? The French Revolution was in 1789, but was terminated at Waterloo in 1815, but may have not yet fully played out. These "revolutions" go on for some time. We had a small twinge from 1860 to 1865 here in the US, even though your revolution was over and we had a solid constitution by 1789.
The official said the terrorists staged in southern Libya with arms purchased in Tripoli, Libya. He also said, "This is the result of the Arab Spring…. I hope the Americans are conscious of this."
Comment: There is no way to corroborate the detainee's statement. What is worth noting is that the Algerian official's statements help explain why the Algerians might have had few qualms about assaulting the terrorists, despite the risk to foreigners. The Algerian government expects more attacks and the outcome will probably not be much different for foreigners.
The government has opposed US policy in the Arab world, especially the overthrow of the Qadhafi government. Some officials are making it very clear they hold American policy ultimately responsible for the gas plant attack in Algeria, the invasion of northern Mali by Islamist fighters and future attacks to come.
Americans working in Algeria are at increased risk from terrorists. Moreover, their safety does not appear to be a major factor in government planning for rescue operations.
With regard to item two, it seems to me that someone should go to jail for trampling on the Constitution of the United States and someone in a position of authority in the Federal Government should apologize to Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, whether he is in jail for parole violation or not.