Sunday, September 11, 2011

Egypt's military rulers ignored pleas from US as mob attacked Israeli embassy

Quote via Survival

"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons."
-- General Douglas MacArthur

With six Israeli security guards fending off an angry mob rampaging through the mission, Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, tried for two hours to get hold of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's de facto head of state, to demand an immediate rescue operation.

Aides told Mr Panetta that the general could not be found, Israeli officials were quoted as saying. The response prompted fury in Washington, and threats of US retribution. Field Marshal Tantawi's mysterious disappearance intensified speculation that Egypt's generals had deliberately failed to protect the embassy for political gain.

The armed forces, which are running Egypt until a civilian government is elected at the end of the year, are thought to be desperate to retain the political influence and financial privileges they enjoyed under President Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled by protests in February.

Officials in Israel, as well as a number of political activists in Cairo, have claimed that Field Marshal Tantawi turned down an opportunity to rein in the violence at the embassy in order to prove that, without a strong army, Egypt would descend into violence and anarchy.

Israel was forced to send military aircraft to Cairo to evacuate its ambassador and more than 80 diplomats after a mob, angered by the killing of three Egyptian border guards by Israeli forces last month, laid siege to the embassy. As the Egyptian police and army stood by, unwilling or unable to intervene, the rioters broke through the mission's defences and ransacked the building. The incident has plunged relations between Israel and its oldest Arab ally deep into crisis.

Fresh details disclosed yesterday showed how narrowly an even more serious incident was averted. Both Israel and America appeared concerned that the indecent could spiral into a repeat of the US embassy siege in Tehran after the Iranian revolution of 1979, when 42 US diplomats were held hostage for 444 days.

Mr Panetta was able to reach Field Marshal Tantawi shortly after one o'clock on Saturday morning, warning the Egyptian of "serious consequences" if any of the Israelis was killed.


Extraordinary: The light of freedom fading in America


99% correct

New evidence links Saudi Arabia to 9/11 hijackers

Via Cousin Bill

Weeks after terrorists brought down the World Trade Center, FBI agents swarmed into a Sarasota gated community to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a wealthy young Saudi couple who apparently had ties to some of the hijackers.

The couple and their two children abandoned their home abruptly, just a week or so before Sept. 11, leaving behind cars, furniture and food on countertops.

According to one published report, the FBI discovered phone calls between the house and at least two of the hijackers and several other terrorism suspects stretching back a year.

Yet until a Fort Lauderdale website reported the news this week, no mention of the couple has ever appeared publicly — not in the Sept. 11 commission report, nor in FBI briefings to congressional investigators, former Florida Sen. Bob Graham said Friday.

Graham called on President Barack Obama to reopen the case.

"This is the most important thing about 9/11 to surface in the last seven or eight years,'' Graham told the St. Petersburg Times. "It's very important for the White House to take control of this situation. The key umbrella question is: What was the full extent of Saudi involvement prior to 9/11 and why did the U.S. administration cover this up?''