September 15, 2012

Embassy attack, protests: Are they really about a movie?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 11:46 pm

Author’s note:
I cannot believe that the U.S. government and media are turning this into an issue about a YouTube video. There are many more reasons for people in Muslim nations to vent their anger. Like this:
U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other Americans tragically died on Tuesday, September 11th, in an attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Currently, protests have erupted in 49 locations around the world. The U.S. government and media claim that an anti-Islam movie spurred the attack and protests, but recent revelations from other sources suggest that may not be entirely true.

The “film” that sparked this global controversy is supposedly entitled “Innocence of Muslims.” All that has been seen thus far, however, is a roughly 14-minute “trailer” that is posted on YouTube (see video at left). There are versions of the video in both English and Arabic. The original English version entitled “Muhammad Movie Trailer” was posted by Sam Bacile on July 2nd. The New York Times reported that the video was dubbed into Arabic for the first time on September 4th. The version of the video, titled “The Innocence of Muslims” was posted on September 12th.

The timing of the posting of these videos and the time of the attack raises questions as to how this video is to blame. But there is more that suggests that a third-rate film is not to blame for the embassy attacks and the current global protests.

A full-length film may not even exist

According to the New York Times, the writer and producer of the film is Sam Bacile, allegedly an Israeli who spent about $5 million on the film with the help of over 100 Jewish donors.

The Christian Science Monitor reported, however, that there may be no anti-Islamic movie at all:

The online 14-minute clip of a purportedly anti-Islamic movie that sparked protests at the US embassy in Cairo and the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya is now looking like it could have been ginned up by someone sitting a basement with cheap dubbing software.

In summary, the global controversy is not over a full-length film as reported by many media outlets. It is over a poorly-dubbed, less than 14-minute YouTube video.

Confusion over who actually directed and who produced the “film”

Jeffrey Goldberg, writing for The Atlantic, says “Sam Bacile” is not Israeli and that it is not his real name. Goldberg managed to contact one of the few verifiable people involved in the production of the alleged film, Steve Klein, a self-described militant Christian activist in Riverside, California who worked as a consultant for Bacile. Klein told Goldberg that Bacile, the producer of the film, is not Israeli, and most likely not Jewish, as has been reported, and that the name is, in fact, a pseudonym. He said he did not know “Bacile”‘s real name.

Gawker claims that it has confirmed that a softcore porn director named Alan Roberts was listed as director on the summer 2011 casting calls and call sheets of “Desert Warriors.” “Castmembers and crew told us yesterday that Roberts was brought on by producer ‘Sam Bacile’ aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.”

An FBI investigation led to the questioning of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who they suspect to be the director of the film. According to NBC, Nakoula told the Associated Press he was not the director on the film, but rather a logistics manager.

According to The Smoking Gun, Nakoula became a government informant after his 2009 arrest for bank fraud and is currently on federal probation. Under the terms of federal probation for anyone who commits a financial crime, Nakoula would have been required to report all records of his bank and business transactions, including the $5 million allegedly used for film production.

The relevance of the confusion over who wrote, produced and directed “Desert Warriors” is not about finding and placing the blame on any individual. It is the confusion itself that is relevant.

Anyone familiar with Hollywood knows that everyone working on a film with a $5 million budget wants their role in it documented and publicized. It is not illegal to make any film, even if it is anti-Islam. Regardless of his role in making the film, it would not have been a violation of Nakoula’s probation as long as he reported any business transactions. That raises another red flag about the entire story.

The assault on the embassy in Libya was planned in advance

There is much evidence that the attack on the embassy in Libya was not the result of a protest over the video that turned violent, but rather was a planned, coordinated military-style assault. Even NBC news acknowledges that U.S. officials are “probing the possibility that Wednesday’s attack was planned and timed to coincide with the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”

Several media outlets, including the Independent UK, reported that the U.S. had credible information of the attack 48 hours before it occurred.

An eight-strong American rescue team was sent from Tripoli and taken by troops under Captain Fathi al- Obeidi, of the February 17 Brigade, to the secret safe house to extract around 40 U.S. staff. The building then came under fire from heavy weapons. “I don’t know how they found the place to carry out the attack. It was planned, the accuracy with which the mortars hit us was too good for any ordinary revolutionaries,” said Captain Obeidi. “It began to rain down on us, about six mortars fell directly on the path to the villa.”

Other media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, Russia Today and The Washington Post quoted U.S. officials saying that they believe the attack was planned in advance. CNN’s source claimed “Tuesday’s attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was planned in advance, and the attackers used the protest outside the consulate as a diversion.” Intelligence officials also reportedly said the attack on the Benghazi consulate was too coordinated or professional to be spontaneous.

If the attack on the embassy in Libya was planned at least 48 hours in advance, then that means it was planned prior to the international publicity that the inflammatory video received. Furthermore, the U.S. government acknowledges that rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and heavy machine guns were used in the attack. Who brings those to a spontaneous protest about a YouTube video?

Blowback from years of civilian deaths and meddling in other nations

Protests are occurring all over the world right now. The consistent theme, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, is that America must leave. The amount of U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan last month should have given our leaders the same message. The rage seen across the world has very little to do with the video. People in nations such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, etc. do not hate us for our freedoms, or for our religion.

Both Libya and Egypt witnessed drastic political upheavals in the past year, in which the United States played a crucial role. The “war on terror” turned Iraq into bloody chaos, causing tens of thousands of deaths and casualties, with millions of people displaced. Those people in the nations invaded and subverted by the U.S. through a decade of overt and covert wars hate America because every time they see their friends and neighbors blown to bloody bits before their eyes, the shrapnel is stamped, “Made in the USA.”

Their countries have been invaded on the basis of lies, their governments subverted to serve foreign interests, their women and children killed or maimed, their places of worship bombed, their cultural history buried under rubble. Some photos of that are available here.

Do the citizens of those invaded nations have reason to hate America, other than that silly little video?

Well, yes, they do.

The attacks and protests should serve as a reminder that it is time for the U.S. government to rethink its policies toward the Middle East or it will face a dead end there. It is time to bring our troops home and stop meddling in the internal affairs of other nations.

Read the full article, get links and video here: Madison Independent Examiner – Embassy attack, protest: Are they really about a movie?

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