"This is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy, but it is in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims." -- White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
Methinks the White House doth protest too much.
To say that the violence throughout the Middle East in the past three days has nothing to do with the U.S. but is the product of a little nothing movie somebody made on the cheap is sort of like saying Godzilla doesn't mean to destroy Tokyo, he just wanted to take out his anger at Mr. Fujito Takahara of 324 Elm St.
Whatever the spurious excuse is, we are the target of Islamist anger. That is why they are targeting OUR embassies, killing OUR people, burning OUR flags and shouting death to America.
By blaming the video, the White House is trying to deflect attention from the unspeakable incompetence of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The whole video issue is shaping up as a really half-baked attempt to blame Israel, American evangelicals and conservatives in general for what is clearly a contrived, coordinated attack by Muslim extremist groups.
Initial reports said the video, "The Innocence of Muslims," was the creation of a conservative Israeli-American businessman named Sam Bacile. Bacile turns out to be a pseudonym for Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an American Coptic Christian who was registered as a Democrat from 2002 to 2008, then changed his registration to American Independent. According to Los Angeles County Sheriff's sources, he is on probation after conviction for dealing methamphetamine and committing financial crimes. On Friday, police and press were staking out his house, which has a statue of the Virgin Mary on the front porch.
Using the name "Bacile," Nakoula apparently tried to get Pastor Terry Jones (he of Quran-burning fame) involved in distributing or promoting the film in question. He also engaged Steve Klein, a decorated Marine veteran who has been an activist against Islamists in the U.S. since 9/11 and who has been a target of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks conservatives it considers "haters."
According to Klein, "Bacile" approached him with a script and an idea to make a movie that would draw in Muslims and trick them into watching anti-Islam propaganda that would make them question their faith and convert.
Klein, who is an insurance agent in Hemet, California, said the man disappeared then showed up again months later with a completed film and wanted Klein to promote it in exchange for consideration if the movie "took off." Klein was the American Independent candidate for state insurance commissioner in 2002.
Klein said Nakoula tried to advertise the film with fliers throughout Southern California mosques but not one ticket was sold.
Of his minor part in the film's production, Klein said, "Do I feel guilty that these people were incited? Guess what? I didn’t incite them. They’re pre-incited, they’re pre-programmed to do this."
The man most directly responsible for alerting Islamist media to the film's existence is apparently a man named Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Copt, who translated the film into Arabic and sent clips to the Egyptian media.
People who are familiar with Sadek have said he is an anti-Islamic publicity seeker who had been banned from his homeland and may have been looking for notoriety in the Egyptian press.
According to Religious News Service, Sadek calls himself a human rights attorney and is president of the National American Coptic Assembly, based in Chantilly, Virginia.
Maybe I've read too many spy novels, but the characters behind the movie, namely Nakoula and Sadek, practically scream intelligence agency operatives.
Note I didn't specify "foreign," though I'm open on that point.
The entire situation with the Middle East attacks smells of a setup. The embassies were poorly guarded. Information about the return of the U.S. ambassador to Libya was apparently leaked. Egyptian security forces had information about an attack as early as September 4, and the U.S. State Department had information about an attack two days before 9/11, according to British media.
Add all that to the failure to take even the simple common-sense precautions of stepping up security at embassies in the Mideast around the anniversary of 9/11 and there is an inescapable sense of intent here.
So while the liberal media and blogosphere go on about Mitt Romney "politicizing" 9/11 and the GOP springing a "September surprise," the real answers about who gave birth to this plot may be closer to the White House and an administration that is known to have high-level connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.