More Marginal Notes on Benghazi

Tom Avitabile - More Marginal Notes on BenghaziOn November 1st, 2012, I posted Marginal Notes on Benghazi.

Essentially it was a look back at an early, denoted manuscript of my book The Hammer Of God, in which – around the margins – I made notes about alternate plot lines.

The one which I wrote about saw the “bad guys” orchestrating the kidnapping of our ambassador in order to use him as a bargaining chip. Their goal was to free the blind sheikh (the first world trade center terrorist who tried to bring the towers down in 1993). The sheikh was supposed to be the prize in a high-level diplomatic exchange for the life of the ambassador.

In that instance, it was a case of “It’s an alternate fiction until it happens.” Well it’s happening.

On March 14th, though we just heard of it yesterday, “An al Qaeda terrorist stated…that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was killed by lethal injection after plans to kidnap him during the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack in Benghazi went bad.”

So, suddenly, that wild-ass, out-of-the box dose of fiction, that even I rejected as a little “out there,” is now coming a little closer to “in here.”

If you read the previous blog then you know the triangulation of my supporting thesis, (purely a supposition and creative exercise), summarized here:

  • The dubiously elected President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, made a promise to free the blind sheikh from American custody at his inauguration – and set it as a primary goal of his (American-backed) administration.
  • Getting this erstwhile national hero of Egypt returned to his home sands in the Maghreb would surely help Morsi score political points with his people. So the US decided to help him by staging a little theatrical play titled  – “Kidnap ours and we’ll trade ya for yours!”
  • Somewhere along the way, two ex-navy seals who either never heard, or disobeyed, the orders to stand down, went into this kabuki dance shooting real bullets, according to some accounts killing up to 60 of the enemy (sorry to all the men cast as ENEMY).

Those darn snipers ruined the whole performance. But the cover stories were set and the word went out that it was a YouTube video that caused the murderous attack.

Of course, even then I called the script above a fantasy oozing dramatic embellishments of actual events. Today, after the boastful “confession” of the al Qaeda guy, maybe not so much.

The Case For ‘Kill on Sight’

imageThe circumstances in my book, The Hammer of God, that mirror both the deadly Benghazi attacks and the Algerian Natural Gas facility raid and hostage siege were the subject of my blog, ‘Marginal Notes On Benghazi.’  In that piece, I floated an abandoned plot line from the marginal notes I made as I was writing and developing the core action of my novel. In this alternate version, the American Ambassador to Egypt is kidnapped, held in a petroleum facility in the desert and used as a bargaining chip to release a terrorist mastermind in U.S. custody.

Current events seem like a reshuffling of those pieces around a game board. But the result is the same.  Yesterday, the terrorists holding the hostages announced they were willing to trade the American prisoners for the Blind Sheikh. Now for those who don’t know, the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman was convicted in the First World Trade Center bombing in 1993.  Although in the book, the “Mastermind” that the bad guys want released is not the Blind Sheik, but Sheik Alzir El Benhan, the architect of a Bio Terror Attack, in the terror game he holds the same point value.

Another marginal note I did not reveal in the blog was “Why not kill him?” That was a thread of “fiction” where one of my special Ops guys who captures, El Benhan considers putting a bullet in his head and thus ends the cycle of attacks, kidnaps, ransom and repeat, that he knows will ensue if American Justice is carried out and this mastermind killer is allowed 3 squares and a cot for the rest of his natural born days.  His fear is, the Sheik, while enjoying constitutionally guaranteed protections as our prisoner, would become the rationale and prize that spurs further kidnapping and death in attempts to get him released.  The soldier’s math; kill one guilty guy now, save many, maybe even thousands, of innocents later.  Of course as a writer, I quickly nixed that idea, because it would kill my book. If my ‘Sheik’ died the whole story would die with him.

Tom AvitabileSo my question is, why is the blind Sheikh still alive? Whose story is the Government of the United States trying to keep going? Who is deciding that letting one high value terrorist live is worth the retaliation and death that his followers and fanatics in the future will bring.

If that sounds harsh, consider this, the Sheikh was captured tried and sentenced in the mid 90s. Recently, the new President of Egypt was not more than a few minutes in office before he promised his electorate, the 80 million people of Egypt, that he would free the Blind Sheikh from American prison.  By the way, the same guy the current hostage takers want to trade American lives for.

For those keeping score. The American reporter, and first ‘YouTube’ execution victim, Daniel Pearl is still dead from brutal decapitation. The Ambassador and 3 other Americans slaughtered in Benghazi also remain dead. (No one has been charged or even accused in the Benghazi Attacks and no one has lost their jobs in the U.S. government either!)  Monica Smith and her unborn child (7-months) and 5 other New Yorkers are still dead from the First Attack on the World Trade Center.

I believe the Blind Sheikh will have U.S. taxpayer funded, breakfast and lunch and diner today and probably be allowed to listen to TV and hear the reports from Algiers.

As of this posting it has been reported that all the hostages in Algeria are dead.  Our prayers and sympathies go out to their families.