Tag Archives: Libya

America’s Libyan Assassination Program

Last week’s prison break in Benghazi is just the latest indicator that Libya, and Benghazi in particular, is sliding deeper into chaos and sectarian violence. Between the prison breaks, riots, bombings, and shootings, there is something else that has gone overlooked. While much of the violence appears to be tribal in nature (with Libya roughly divided into three regions, East, West, and South), or conflict between the moderates and Islamists, or even a liquidation of Gaddafi era officials, there is also another player on the scene. One that is keeping a much lower profile.

Our first indication that something was up came in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi on 9/11/12. The details of the attack itself are laid out in Benghazi: The Definitive Report, which I wrote with Brandon Webb. But here is an additional piece of information not in the book. When Ambassador Chris Stevens was lost in the smoke caused by a fire lit by the Ansar Al-Sharia militia, a Diplomatic Security Service member made several valiant attempts to go back into the fire to find him. Eventually, he had to break off his search due to smoke inhalation. The last time I inquired about this individual, I was told that he was still in the hospital due to the smoke inhalation he suffered. Ty Woods then arrived at the annex with his Global Response Staff element and they fought off Ansar Al-Sharia, recovered the remains of Sean Smith, and saved the other Americans. But Stevens was nowhere to be found and Ty’s element had to retreat back to the annex with the other Americans.

Read the rest at SOFREP.com

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Democracy Now! on Benghazi and Covert Operations


Watch myself with Brandon Webb on Democracy Now!


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Coming Soon: Benghazi E-Book by Jack Murphy and Brandon Webb


Coming in early February is my non-fiction ebook which I co-wrote with Brandon Webb.  If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been posting on SOFREP as much as usual, it is because of this project.  I spent months on this ebook.  I sifted through the stacks in the basements of Columbia, read through diplomatic cables that came out via Wikileaks, combed through white papers, and went back and researched relevant books to get the most complete picture on Benghazi and Libya.  Beyond that, I consulted with numerous sources on Benghazi who helped flesh out the big picture and what really happened that day.

It was a long, uphill battle in which many of my own assumptions about the attack on the US Consulate and the death of four Americans was called into question.  One of the deceased was in fact best friends with Brandon Webb and an acquaintance of mine.  For this reason alone, we felt compelled to get the most complete story.  Yes, the media lied to you, but maybe not in the ways that you think.

Brandon and I are both proud of this book and will be doing some press for it upon release.  Because this book questions assumptions and even includes on the ground accounts of what happened that night there will be a lot of controversy.  I know what kind of heat is coming.  When people have been caught up in a scam their natural reaction when that scam is revealed is to withdraw even deeper into the fraud.  It is a protective measure, no one wants to admit that they were wrong.

As I wrote in the prologue of the book, let the chips fall where they may.

Now available for pre-order.


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Benghazi, Libya: The Inside Story Coming Soon

Brandon and I are grinding away at this ebook about Benghazi and are slowly making some progress.  It is a complicated topic that very quickly shoots out in a few dozen different directions.  I think today I’m going to write into it how General Petraeus figures into this mess, or rather, how he doesn’t.


(Pictured: Private Security Contractor in Libya during the Civil War with an HK 417. The ebook will also cover previously unreleased information about PMC’s in Libya as Gaddafi’s reign came to an end)


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Video from the Libyan Civil War

All videos © Matthew Van Dyke.  Check out more at Matthew’s website to learn about the new documentary that he is currently filming inside Syria.  On his biography page you can also read about how Matthew decided to travel to Libya to help some of his freinds fighting the war against Gaddafi’s forces, including his capture and incarceration by the Libyan military.  You can also learn much more about his experiences as a freedom fighter by reading the interview I conducted with him right here on SOFREP a number of months ago.  Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Check out the rest on SOFREP!

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RIP Glen Doherty

Recent events in Libya have once again splashed into major headlines in the United States after the US consulate in Benghazi was over run and four Americans were killed. Among the dead were US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and two of America’s quiet professionals, Former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Ty Woods.

Glen was a SOFREP team member, our resident Naval Special Warfare editor. Brandon was very close with Glen and had this to say to ABC news about his friend and fellow SEAL, “Glen was a superb and respected operator, a true quiet professional. Don’t feel sorry for him, he wouldn’t have it. He died serving with men he respected, protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and doing something he loved. He was my best friend and one of the finest human beings I’ve ever known.”

While we mourn the loss, Brandon is correct. These were hard men who died living the life that they chose. They wouldn’t want us to feel bad, and certainly would not want our pity.

I was fortunate enough to meet Glen at a book signing that he and I did with Brandon earlier in the year. Even just knowing him as an acquaintance, my impression of Glen was that he was the real deal. Glen was also an example of a quiet professional. There was a part of his life that was public as he co-wrote the 21st Century Sniper with Brandon, but there was also a part of his life that was very private which he never spoke about publicly. Glen’s SOFREP biography was partial, and that is how it will remain.

The vicious murder of four Americans and the over-running of the US consulate reeks of conspiracy, a deal gone wrong, a sudden shift in allegiances, or simply a coordinated attack perpetrated by unknown players.

Once again, American foreign policy decisions are revealed as being fundamentally irrational on a number of levels. While our Soldiers actively fight Islamic extremists in Afghanistan, the State Department and other agencies support them in places like Libya and Syria.

As American Matthew Van Dyke, who we interviewed here on SOFREP, has stated, it is a relative minority of Libyans who are religious extremists. I would extend this argument across the Middle East in some ways, however, it is a highly influential minority with a varying levels of public sympathy, the groups of sympathizers being fairly large in some areas.

As long as people in the Middle East live in poverty and under autocratic rule, there will always be an appeal to extremist doctrines when every other ideology has failed.

While I respect Van Dyke’s informed and experienced opinion, I also feel the need to warn Americans. I routinely meet graduate students in Columbia University who believe that if they can just crack the code, if they can just institute the correct conditions, than American-style democracy will bubble up out of the ether.

This belief is contradicted by direct and recent experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. In this context, American realism needs to be subjected to careful scrutiny. Supporting Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists in the so-called Arab Spring may seem like cold strategic calculus needed to unseat dictators, but this policy decision is fundamentally insane.

Of the foreign fighters we squared off against during the height of the Iraqi insurgency, many came from Libya. Of those that came from Libya, the majority of them came from Benghazi.

From the Washington Times,

“Prior to President Barack Obama’s decision in March 2011 to support the Libyan rebel uprising and overthrow dictator Muammar Qaddafi, a report released by the U.S. Army’s Combating Terrorism Center at West Point entitled “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look At The Sinjar Records” reviewed intelligence captured by coalition forces that included biographical data on over 700 records of foreign nationals that entered Iraq between August 2006 and 2007.

The report showed that an alarmingly disproportionate number of fighters entering Iraq to oppose the U.S.-led coalition presence there had been recruited from Libya, particularly the cities of Darnah and Benghazi, the present-day site where our embassy was attacked.”

These extremists were among those that America propped up in order to topple the Gaddafi regime. Sometimes the enemy of your enemy is still your enemy, not a friend that you can use in a convoluted divide-and-conquer strategy.

The killing of Glen, Ty, Sean, and Christopher appears to be a horrendous case of blowback.


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An American Freedom Fighter in the Libyan Civil War: Part 2

In part 1 of this series we covered the exploits of Matthew VanDyke, an American Georgetown grad who traveled to Libya to join his friends and participate in the armed rebellion against Gaddafi’s 40+ year dictatorship.  In part 2, Matt told me about the circumstances of his capture by the Libyan military.

“On March 12 I went with three other rebels on a reconnaissance mission to Brega. Ra’s Lanuf had just fallen to Gaddafi’s forces a couple of days before, and Brega would be attacked next.  We did not think that Gaddafi would move so quickly after taking Ra’s Lanuf and thought we had a few days before Brega would be attacked. The plan was to recon the city, identify defensive positions, and then return to Benghazi to gather more men and weapons before going back to Brega to help defend it.

On March 13, during the reconnaissance mission, we were ambushed by Gaddafi’s forces. I was struck in the head during the ambush and woke up in a prison cell to the sound of a man being tortured in a room above me. I have no memory of the ambush or what happened to the men I was with. One minute we were talking to some locals in the street who served us coffee and I took their picture, and the next thing I remember was regaining consciousness for a few seconds with my hands and legs tightly bound and me being carried, and then I woke up in the prison cell.

Read more: http://sofrep.com/4340/an-american-freedom-fighter-in-the-libyan-civil-war-part-2/#ixzz1oLegZZpO

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An American Freedom Fighter in the Libyan Civil War: Part 1

As Americans, especially those in military and intelligence circles, we have an obsession with giving everything a name or acronym.  Everyone gets a label and category.  I asked Matthew VanDyke what he was doing in the middle of the Libyan Civil War.  Was he a mercenary, a private security contractor, or a foreign volunteer?  His answer was straight forward and to the point: he was a freedom fighter.

While the Huffington Post and others mistakenly reported that he was a journalist, Matt will tell you that he was anything but.  He was conducting a recon mission when he was captured by the Libyan military and imprisoned.  Once freed, he joined back up with the rebels and manned the unweildly Soviet DShK machine gun on a jeep that looked like something straight out of Mad Max, trading fire and getting into skirmishes with Gaddafi’s forces on the front lines of the war.

While the National Security Council was meeting in the situation room at the White House, no doubt dabbing beads of sweat from their collective brows with handkerchiefs, Matt crossed into Libya and went to work.  Surviving the war, Matt returned to the United States and in the tradition of Ernest Hemingway, he brought back an amazing boots on the ground account of the Libyan Civil War.

It all started when Matt was contacted by an old friend named Muiz who he had met during a motorbike tour across Northern Africa, “If I die, please tell your friends about me.  On the streets fighting…fighting with hands…but we have no guns…people dying for Libya.”  Matt’s friends were taking up arms against Gaddafi’s forces.  They were prepared to sacrifice their lives for freedom.

Read more: http://sofrep.com/4332/an-american-freedom-fighter-in-the-libyan-civil-war-part-1/#ixzz1ntTDNEGR

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Must watch video: Former CIA Analyst tells CNN bimbos how it is.




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