THE MOHAMMAD VIDEO SLEIGHT-of-HAND

May 4, 2014

I AM RE-POSTING THIS ARTICLE TODAY, 10.21.15, TO HELP PREPARE YOU FOR MS. CLINTON’S APPEARANCE BEFORE THE HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON BENGHAZI TOMORROW. I ALSO HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS C-SPAN INTERVIEW WITH SHARYL ATTKISSON, WHO WAS A CBS REPORTER ON 9.11.12. http://www.c-span.org/video/?328725-5/washington-journal-sharyl-attkisson-benghazi-attack&live

©2014 jbjd

On the night of Tuesday, September 11, 2012 al Qaeda affiliated terrorists in Benghazi, Libya began attacking the U.S. diplomatic compound there, and the CIA Annex nearby. By the time they cleared out the next day, they had murdered 4 (four) Americans : J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador; Sean Smith, Information Officer, U.S. Foreign Service; and Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both U.S. Navy SEALs.

In the 21 months since the attack, the meme became cemented that an internet video maligning the Islamic Prophet Mohammad had not only triggered this catastrophe, but also ignited similar conflagrations at American Embassies worldwide. But then, the Ben Rhodes email finally arrived.

Now, I think I figured out how what I believe is a false Mohammad-video-qua-villain meme got started; and I think the record establishes when, where, and why.

Time and Place

September 11, 2012 was the 11th anniversary of the bombings on the Twin Towers. Only 4 (four) days earlier, Barack Obama had bragged to delegates at the DNC Convention: “al Qaeda is on the path to defeat; and Osama bin Laden is dead.” The general election, pitting the Democrat incumbent against Republican challenger Governor Mitt Romney, was just 7 (seven) weeks away. The Gallup poll had the candidates in a dead tie.

The seeds of the Mohammad-video-qua-villain meme that sprouted during the ongoing attack in Libya, were planted hours earlier, before an incident involving our Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. Cairo and Benghazi are in the same time zone. Washington, D.C. is 6 (six) hours behind, Eastern Time (ET). Thus, noon local time in Cairo/Benghazi on Tuesday, is 6:00 AM ET on Tuesday here.

Genesis

Sam Becile, aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Nicola Bacily, Robert Bacily, Erwin Salameh, Ahmad Hamdy, Kritbag Difrat and PJ Tobacco, an Egyptian Coptic Christian based in CA, pleaded no contest to federal bank fraud charges in California in 2010 and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer. But in August 2011,  he decided to make a movie.

The low budget film, originally called “Desert Warrier,” was shot on location in CA under a permit obtained by a group called Media for Christ, a nonprofit organization based in Duarte, which advertises its mission as promoting Christian values. The amateur actors Nakoula had recruited off of Craigslist thought they were starring in historical fiction depicting the life of “Master George,” living in Egypt 2,000 years ago. But Nakoula, bothered at Muslim treatment of Christian Copts, had something else in mind. Through heavy-handed  post-production editing,  the amateur filmmaker somehow managed to convert the innocuous ‘Warrier’ into a parody called “Innocence of Muslims,” depicting the Prophet Mohammad, Islam’s founder, as a villainous, homosexual and child-molesting buffoon. All references to Muslims or to the Muslim religion have been obviously re-dubbed. For example, actors could clearly be seen moving their mouths to pronounce the name “Master George” while the soundtrack had them uttering “Mohammad.” All unbeknownst to the original cast.

The 14-minute English language ‘promo’ for “Innocence” was uploaded to YouTube in June; it was translated into Arabic and uploaded several more times thereafter.

Nakoula contacted conservative U.S.-based Egyptian-American Coptic activist Maurice Sadeq and his pal Pastor Terry Jones, the Florida man who became notorious when he began burning Korans in 2010, to promote his film. Jones’ latest foray into ‘spectacle’ was “International Judge Mohammad ‘Mo’ Day,” September 11, 2012, when he planned to conduct a public trial of the Prophet Mohammad and broadcast it live on the internet.  On Thursday, September 6, Sadeq emailed promos of both Nakoula’s film “Innocence” and Jones’ “‘Mo’ Day'” trial, to journalists around the world.

Controversial Cairo television host Sheikh Khaled Abdallah aired clips of the dual Mohammad films on an Islamic-focused television station on Saturday. On Sunday, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa publicly denounced “the actions undertaken by some extremist Copts who made a film offensive to the Prophet.” (About a 10th of Egypt’s 83 million people are Christians. The rest are Muslim.) Salafist leader Wesam Abdel-Wareth, also the president of Egypt’s ultra-conservative Al-Hekma television channel, called for a protest against the film ‘Mohammad’s trial’ at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, September 11, outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

On Monday, September 10, Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party contacted the U.S. Embassy, in writing, announcing the protest planned for tomorrow. While making clear it wasn’t calling for an open-ended sit-in in front of the embassy, the party nonetheless demanded that the U.S. government ban broadcast of the film and issue an official apology for its offensive content. (Ahmed Khalil, a senior leader of the party, would later tell a reporter, the actions of “certain U.S. citizens” who produced the film served to jeopardize Washington’s relations with the entire Muslim world.)

That same day, Dr. Jones released a YouTube announcing he would screen Nakoula’s anti-Islam trailer tomorrow, September 11, as part of his campaign to turn the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America into “International Judge Mohammad ‘Mo’ Day.” (Notice, the airing is scheduled after work, at 6:00 PM our time, which is midnight over there.)

On Tuesday, September 11 Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan announced the group planned to call for a million-man rally on Friday to register their opposition to the anti-Islam film. He, too, wanted the U.S. Administration to issue a formal apology for the film to the Muslim world, adding that the U.S. government should prosecute the “madmen” whose activities were harming Washington’s relations with Arab and Muslim countries. He also stressed that all demonstrations should remain peaceful in nature. “Protests should be peaceful and avoid any form of vandalism,” Ghozlan asserted. “They should be civilised demonstrations of the Egyptian people’s displeasure with this film.” He went on to warn that “any non-peaceful activity will be exploited by those who hate Islam to defame the image of Egypt and Muslims.”

By noon on September 11, approximately 5 (five) hours before the scheduled protest, Embassy staffers, responding to entreaties from both the Nour Party and the Muslim Brotherhood to disclaim any Mohammad-related offensive speech, posted this on the Embassy’s Twitter account, under the heading “US Embassy condemns religious incitement”:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

Selected sentences from the statement were also tweeted out by embassy staff.

Those tweets could be seen here at 6:00 AM ET.

HuffingtonPost printed a Reuters story on Tuesday about the Cairo protests, referencing both Nakoula’s movie about Mohammad, and the one featuring the Prophet’s trial by Pastor Jones. (I took a picture so as to preserve the posting time(s), just in case. Note, these are local times.)

HuffPo.Cairo

An Egyptian state website carried a statement by Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church condemning what it said were moves by some Copts living abroad “to finance the production of a film insulting Prophet Mohammad.”

About a 10th of Egypt’s 83 million people are Christians.

It was not immediately clear which film angered protesters.

However, according to the website http://www.standupamerianow.org, the Christian Pastor Terry Jones, who angered Muslims by burning a copy of the Koran, was due to take part in an event on Tuesday called “International Judge Mohammad Day” in Florida in which it would symbolically put the Prophet on trial and play it out live over the Internet.)

The Cairo demonstration of protest against the Mohammad film(s) got underway as scheduled 5 hours later, at 5:00 PM local time, or 11:00 AM ET.

By this time, the promo for “Innocence” first posted on YouTube in June had been up for more than 2 months, and was now accompanied with Arabic translated versions re-posted thereafter. The joint promos of “Innocence” and “‘Mo Day Trial” sent to the press had been broadcast on Egyptian t.v. Prominent figures had called on Egyptians to protest. Yet press accounts describe that out of a total population in Egypt of 83 million, 90% of whom are Muslims; no more than “2,000” people –  “Salafist activists” – were gathered in the Embassy compound. Live news feeds interspersed with pre-recorded images from the scene confirm accounts that the crowd remained peaceful, despite sporadic cries of “Obama, Obama there are still a billion Osamas,” and the occasional firecrackers, sometimes mistaken for bullets. A few flares were lit.

An Ahram Online reporter at the scene described members of the Salafist party could be seen coaxing enthusiastic protesters to come down from atop the Embassy’s walls, while many members of the Egyptian security forces who had been summoned to maintain order in advance of the gathering now sat on the sidewalk, appearing relatively relaxed.

Most of the crowd was gone by 10:00 PM local time, Tuesday, September 11; it was only 4:00 PM here. As the update to the HuffingtonPost article linked above confirms, there were no injuries, among either protesters or Embassy staff. The only property damaged was an American flag, which vandals replaced with a black flag favored by ultraconservatives and militants and labeled with the most basic Islamic profession of faith: “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his prophet.”

With the demonstration concluded, the Embassy issued more tweets. (IMPORTANT: times (and corresponding dates) in bold are ET and not local time.)

4:47 p.m., 9/11/12. @USEmbassyCairo tweets: “As Spokesperson Nuland said, protestors breached our wall and took down flag. Thanks for your concern and kind wishes.”

5:58-59 p.m., 9/11/12. @USEmbassyCairo tweets in three parts: “1) Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. 2) Of course we condemn breaches of our compound, we’re the ones actually living through this. 3) Sorry, but neither breaches of our compound or angry messages will dissuade us from defending freedom of speech AND criticizing bigotry.”

(At 6:00 PM ET, Stand Up America Now begins a livestream of Jones’ anti-Muslim presentation online. It is midnight, local time.)

Here is the last tweet from the Embassy, sent at 12:30 AM local time, Wednesday, September 12.

6:30 p.m., 9/11/12. @USEmbassyCairo tweets: “This morning’s condemnation (issued before protests began) still stands. As does condemnation of unjustified breach of the Embassy.”

There have been no public statements here about events in Cairo.

Propagation

Meanwhile, all hell was breaking loose in Libya, at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, 777 miles away.

The attack against the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi began at 9:30 PM local time, or 3:30 PM ET, around the time the peaceful protest in Cairo was breaking up. Here is a partial timeline of events. (IMPORTANT: times (and corresponding dates) in bold now reflect local time and not ET.)

9.40pm – CIA officials in ‘The Annex’ get a distress call from the consulate saying they are under attack.

10.05pmArmed only with handguns, team of about six CIA security officers leave their base for the public diplomatic mission compound.

10.30pmWith bullets whistling overhead, the CIA team move into the compound after unsuccessfully trying to get heavy weapons and help from local Libyan allies.

U.S. and Libyan guards enter burning building and pull out the body of Sean Smith.

11.10pmA Defense Department drone, which had been on an unrelated mission some distance away, arrived in Benghazi to help officials on the ground gather information.

11.30pmU.S. personnel who had been working or staying at the mission all accounted for, except for Ambassador Stevens.

11.40pm – Driving back to the secure base, the evacuees come under further fire.

12am – The installation itself comes under fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades.

12amA CIA security team based in Tripoli, which included two U.S. military officers, lands at Benghazi airport and begins plotting how to locate the missing ambassador.

1am – The patchy attacks on the base begin to die down after 90 minutes of fierce fighting.

The Ambassador, as an unidentified patient, is admitted to Benghazi Medical Center just after 1:00 AM local time (7:00 PM ET), described as unresponsive. He is declared dead 15 minutes later, at 1:15.

At sometime between 3:00-4:00 AM, Libyan security forces locate the body at the hospital. Americans at the annex describe his features. Libyans identify the body as Ambassador Stevens.

No doubt within minutes, everyone from Benghazi to Washington knows.

It is 9:00-10:00 PM, ET.

Around 10:00 PM ET, President Obama called Secretary Clinton.

The conversation is about to pivot to Cairo.

Embassy staffers in Cairo had begun posting the conciliatory yet resolute tweets on their feed 16 hours earlier. Their words had remained visible to anyone monitoring the site, without adverse reaction, all this time. Now, they were taken down.

10:10 p.m. 9/11/12 Politico cites an unnamed administration official saying, “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government.”

(The Politico link works, for now; but, just in case…)Clinton.Benghazi.Statement.3

Clinton.Benghazi.Statement.2

According to FactCheck.org, Ms. Clinton issued her first public statement about Benghazi at “about 10:00 PM.” (Emphasis added.) Fortunately, her statement was also posted on MSNBC at precisely 10:32. (Emphasis added.) She mentioned one person had been killed; no doubt, it was Ambassador Stevens. (Clarification 06.22.14: This “person” could also have been Sean Smith, whose body was removed from the Embassy at around 10:30 PM local time on the 11th, which was around 4:30 PM ET (in D.C.) But parsing out blame, she didn’t specifically cite to a film about Mohammad – either Nakoula’s ‘Innocence’ or Jones’ ‘trial’ – or even to any “video.” Instead, she blamed his death on “inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” (Emphasis added.)

Clinton’s statement is linked to the SoS web site, but her words are no longer there. FactCheck provides a link to MSNBC but, it has been pulled from there, too. FactCheck went on to say, the next day, September 12, she spoke to the State Dept. That link leads to another “404.” So, I took a picture of the statements she made on both days, from the FactCheck web site, in case that disappears.

President Obama would not be heard on Benghazi, until the next day. (Statements attributed to him on the 12th can still be accessed through the FactCheck links but I used pictures, anyway.)

IMPORTANT: WHEN YOU READ THE EDITORIAL INTRODUCTIONS FACTCHECK PROVIDES, KEEP IN MIND THIS BENGHAZI TIMELINE WAS FIRST POSTED ON OCTOBER 26, 2012 . 

Clinton.Benghazi.Statement.1

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Clinton.Benghazi.Statement

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Obama.Benghazi.Video

These carefully chosen words in public statements from both the President and the Secretary, last night and today – “senseless violence”; “inflammatory material”; “act of terror” – not only conflated the peaceful nature of the demonstration Cairo with the brutal assault in Benghazi but accomplished much more. Almost immediately, this ‘offensive’ material piqued the interest of both national and international media, resulting in the free distribution of Nakoula’s work worldwide.

On Thursday, September 13, protesters returned to the Embassy in Egypt, throwing rocks this time. The Embassy in Yemen was attacked by violent protesters  By Friday, violence had spread to India, Tunisia, Germany, Lebanon, and Sudan.

“Talking Points”

On May 16, 2013, The Swampland (Time) posted a timeline compiled from the 100 pages of e-mails the White House released to the press the previous day. Of course, this was done before Judicial Watch successfully petitioned the court in an FOIA suit to compel release of the documents subpoenas from the House Oversight Committee had thus far failed to procure, which included the now-infamous Ben Rhodes email.

The timeline begins with this entry dated September 14, 2012, both explaining why the drafting of talking points originated with the CIA, and making clear, as far as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was concerned, the issue here was not Cairo, but Benghazi. (I have been unable to locate an original written request for talking points, but I found a sort of paraphrasing of what appears to be that request, among these released documents.)

[A]t this morning HPSCI coffee with DCIA, HPSCI members eagerly sought some sort of “white paper” they could use to reply to numerous media requests asking for comments on other inflammatory press articles regarding the Benghazi attacks.

HPSCI has asked for unclassified points immediately that they can use in talking to the media.

(The ‘raw’ documents can be viewed at http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/15/read-newly-released-benghazi-emails/)

It’s 2 days out, and no one else but Clinton and Obama is talking publicly about Cairo, only Benghazi.

At some point, someone chooses Susan Rice, then U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., to represent the Administration on the Sunday talk shows.

The Swampland provides a ‘clean’ version of the talking point edits annotated, in color, which is immeasurably easier to follow. These are well worth perusing. But I just want to point out a couple of prominent points in this alteration proposed by that NSC spokesman dude Tommy – that’s what the 32-year-old likes to be called – Vietor.

benghazi.emails.cairo

Notice, the emphasis is now being shifted to Cairo. But what happened since Tuesday to merit this new found attention there?

Let’s assume for the sake of argument, the comments from President Obama and Secretary Clinton were not intended to steer the conversation from Benghazi to Cairo. That is, let’s pretend on Monday the CIA learned through social media of potential demonstrations ‘tomorrow,’ and alerted the Embassy.  Presumably, they – the CIA – would be closely monitoring the situation the next day. Undoubtedly, they would have read the Embassy’s twitter feed in real time. But remember, the Cairo demonstration on September 11 was quite peaceful, with nary a gun, let alone a mortar, in sight. The CIA – and anyone else monitoring the situation – would have seen this, too. This could explain why the tweets were fine before the President and the Secretary sought to link Cairo with Benghazi, requiring their removal the next day.

There’s also this fact, reflected in the email. Denis McDonough, the President’s Chief of Staff, is running this show. And he, at least, appears to be good at his job. For example, while these ‘CIA talking points’ were created so as to satisfy a request from the Hill; in his appointed ‘talking points’ oversight role, he could have just insisted that these be run by State. But such heavy-handedness could raise suspicion. Instead, he adeptly disguised the order, framing it as mere common sense consideration, in case State, like House Intelligence, had to answer questions from the media, too.

And then, there’s this.

Petraeus.Benghazi.1PNG

Petraeus.Benghazi

No doubt David Petraeus, Director of the CIA was displeased with the current and final iteration of the talking points the agency had created less than 24 hours earlier. No doubt, notwithstanding the alterations imposed by several other ‘eyes’ from throughout the Executive branch, these would serve as the unclassified talking points (“UNCLAS”)  requested by the Legislative branch, specifically Rep. Ruppersberger, HPSCI “Vice Chair.” And, despite Jay Carney’s recent sojourn into obfuscation; no doubt, these same edited ‘CIA talking points’ were delivered to Susan Rice on Saturday, as indicated, for use in her upcoming appearances on the Sunday talk shows the next day, with the Director’s grudging acquiescence, consistent with White House ‘requests’ to “coordinate” the talking  points, with State.

At best, the link between events in Cairo and Benghazi found in the ‘CIA talking points’ is still too tenuous…

The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post and subsequently its annex. There are extremists participated in these violent demonstrations.

and, needed more aggressive shoring up if the “inflammatory material posted on the Internet” seed planted by both the President and the Secretary days earlier, was to flourish as the cause, and not the effect of the melees.

Cue Ben Rhodes and the magically appearing email – he has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from NYU – he wrote on Friday, as the basis of the 4:00 PM ‘preparation’ call to Susan Rice on Saturday, in advance of her appearances on the 5 Sunday shows.

Rhodes.Benghazi.1PNGRhodes.Benghazi.2PNGRhodes.Benghazi.3PNGRhodes.Benghazi.4PNGRhodes.Benghazi.5PNG

Here’s where the word “video” first appears.

The Administration’s forced integration among Cairo and Benghazi and the video was fully achieved with Ms. Rice’s stalwart appearances on those 5 Sunday shows, September 16.

ABC’s “This Week”

But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.

CBS’s “Face the Nation”

The FBI has a lead in this investigation. The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. That what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video.

NBC’s “Meet the Press”

Well, let us– let me tell you the– the best information we have at present.  First of all, there’s an FBI investigation which is ongoing.  And we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired.  But putting together the best information that we have available to us today our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of– of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.

CNN’s “State of the Union”

There was a hateful video that was disseminated on the internet. It had nothing to do with the United States government and it’s one that we find disgusting and reprehensible. It’s been offensive to many, many people around the world.

That sparked violence in various parts of the world, including violence directed against western facilities including our embassies and consulates.

“Fox News Sunday”

The FBI has a lead in this investigation. The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. That what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video.

Violent demonstrations break out in Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Phillippines, Sri Lanka, and Somalia, the next day.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

My mind is a terrible thing to waste.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/150743/obama-romney.aspx

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/world/middleeast/us-envoy-to-libya-is-reported-killed.html?_r=0

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/us/origins-of-provocative-video-are-shrouded.html

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/236861-religious-references-innocence-muslims-dubbed/

http://gawker.com/5942748/it-makes-me-sick-actress-in-muhammed-movie-says-she-was-deceived-had-no-idea-it-was-about-islam

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/Backchannels/2012/0912/There-may-be-no-anti-Islamic-movie-at-all

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/muhammad-film-consultant-sam-bacile-is-not-israeli-and-not-a-real-name/262290/#.UFDJ-E16XUI.twitter

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/236861-religious-references-innocence-muslims-dubbed/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/inflammatory-anti-muslim-movie-may-not-be-a-real

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0913/The-Coptic-Christian-in-California-behind-the-anti-Islamic-film

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-09-12/news/os-terry-jones-movie-embassy-bombing-20120912_1_florida-pastor-islam-protests

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/middle-east/458983-prophet-film-spurs-egyptian-anger-at-us.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/news-agencies-us-ambassador-to-libya-killed-in-attack-outside-consulate/2012/09/12/665de5fc-fcc4-11e1-a31e-804fccb658f9_story.html

http://www.france24.com/en/20120912-egypt-copts-condemn-anti-islam-film-fear-reprisals-cairo-sadek/

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/eg.html

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/52569.aspx

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/september-11-anniversary-protest-cairo-17213328

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/egypt-protesters-us-embassy_n_1874247.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/14/morris-sadek-the-maverick_n_1882931.html

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/0/52567/Egypt/Egypt-army-intervenes-to-pacify-Salafist-protest-a.aspx

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390444620104578008922056244096

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2226821/CIA-admits-role-US-consulate-attack-Benghazi.html

http://www.factcheck.org/2012/10/benghazi-timeline/

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/348677/10-pm-phone-call-andrew-c-mccarthy/page/0/1

http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/15/read-newly-released-benghazi-emails/

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/24/news/la-pn-changing-of-the-young-guard-20130224

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/1919_production-4-17-14.pdf#page=14

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/heres-a-timeline-of-the-confusing-statements-on-libya-and-egypt/262264/

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/11/16/flashback-what-susan-rice-said-about-benghazi/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/13/us-protests-idUSBRE88C0J320120913

http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/11/world/meast/egpyt-us-embassy-protests/

 

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RIGHT REJECTS RELIGIOUS ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

March 20, 2011

©2011 jbjd

Over the past couple of days, dozens of internet sites with a political bent decidedly to the right have erupted with a collective ‘whoa is us (read, U.S.)’ cry that the interplay between the courts, and Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) practice carried out according to principles enshrined in religion; signals we are allowing religious fanatics to take over our Republic.  And they are up in arms at that American prospect.

The focus of their ire is a case in FL involving a business deal (contract) gone bad.  Evidently, the parties had agreed in advance to resolve any disputes that might arise under their contract, in some type of ADR which would be conducted according to Sharia law.   Seems one of the parties now refused to live by the terms of that agreement, denying the other the benefit of their bargain.  The aggrieved party asked the court to memorialize the terms of the contractual agreement to arbitrate in an Order to Enforce the Arbitrator’s Award. (I have been unable to find the original contract between the parties, or any documents other than the court order compelling the parties to abide by the terms of that contract.)  A picture of the court order can be  found on AtlasShrugs. Sharia Becomes Law in Florida

Parties routinely rely on the courts to resolve contract disputes.  So, asking the court to enforce this contractual dispute alone, is hardly newsworthy.  And, many contracts contain a provision to settle prospective disputes arising under the contract, outside of the court, through a specific process using rules agreed upon by the contracting parties.

ADR seems unlikely to be the cause of such consternation.

The Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute (“LII”) defines Alternative Dispute Resolution is “[a]ny method of resolving disputes other than by litigation.  Abbreviated as ADR.  Public courts may be asked to review the validity of ADR methods, but they will rarely overturn ADR decisions and awards if the disputing parties formed a valid contract to abide by them.  Arbitration and mediation are the two major forms of ADR.”  http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/alternative_dispute_resolution

In other words, parties to a contract are entitled to the ‘benefit of their bargain.’

Here is a pamphlet which describes court connected ADR services in Massachusetts.  http://www.mass.gov/courts/formsandguidelines/ccadr0601large.pdf This points out some of the advantages of using ADR to settle disputes, including process control and enforcability.

Process Control

In most court-connected dispute resolution processes except for dispute intervention, the parties have more control over the process. They may decide where and when to hold the proceeding, which methods to employ, who will be the neutral, which issues will be addressed, when each party will have a
chance to speak and whether the outcome will be binding or or nonbinding. With court connected dispute resolution, the parties can agree to a mutually acceptable resolution, thereby avoiding the uncertainty related to trial.

Enforceable Agreements

A mutually accepted agreement reached through mediation may be written and signed by both parties. The agreement is usually enforceable as a binding contract but is sometimes subject to judicial review. Other court-connected dispute resolution processes may also provide for submission of accepted written terms of settlement to the court.

Again, contracting parties are entitled to the benefit of their bargain.

Florida has enacted several ADR statutes.  For example,

682.03. Proceedings to compel and to stay arbitration (1) A party to an agreement or provision for arbitration subject to this law claiming the neglect or refusal of another party thereto to comply therewith may make application to the court for an order directing the parties to proceed with arbitration in accordance with the terms thereof. If the court is satisfied that no substantial issue exists as to the making of the agreement or provision, it shall grant the application. If the court shall find that a substantial issue is raised as to the making of the agreement or provision, it shall summarily hear and determine the issue and, according to its determination, shall grant or deny the application.  Id.

So let’s say, parties to a business transaction in FL contract to settle all disputes arising under this transaction through binding arbitration, and that the Arbitrator will be chosen through the American Arbitration Association (“AAA“).  Subsequently, a dispute arises but one party to the contract refuses to undertake such arbitration.  Under this law, the offended party has the right to petition the court for an order to proceed to arbitration under the rules previously agreed to by the contracting parties.  Because contracting parties are entitled to the benefit of their bargain.

And this is what appears to have taken place in the FL case that has sparked this outcry from the right.

So what is it about this case that makes it special?  Here, those mutually agreeable rules for ADR were based in religion.

Now, what heretofore existed as a benign contractual provision has evoked headlines like Florida judge orders Muslims to follow sharia law, against their will; and Say What!?! Florida Judge Rules A Case Should Proceed Under Sharia Law; and SHARI’A (Islamic) LAW now being practiced in Florida. Yes, FLORIDA!.

But choosing to conduct ADR by using agreed upon religious standards is really not that unusual.

Parties wishing to arbitrate their disputes “using an alternative dispute resolution process that is biblically faithful” can get help from Peacekeeper Ministries’ The Institute for Christian Conciliation and conducted under Christian Conciliation Rules, whose decisions are judicially enforceable.

The arbitrators’ decision shall be legally binding on the parties, except as provided by law, and may be filed as a judgment and enforced by a court of law. It shall be the sole responsibility of the parties to file a decision with the court and, if necessary, to have it enforced.

Beth Din of America , providing services “[f]irmly anchored in the principles of halacha (Jewish law),” explains solutions they are able to achieve for the parties are “enforceable in civil courts as they conduct proceedings “in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of secular arbitration.”

Prior to having a case heard by the Beth Din, litigants are required to enter into a binding arbitration agreement. The Beth Din conducts its proceedings in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of secular arbitration law, so that the rulings of the Beth Din are legally binding and enforceable in the secular court system.

Nevertheless, it appears that editors of the organization calling itself Congress.org, a project of the CQ-Roll Call Group, the largest news organization on Capitol Hill, had never heard of ADR grounded in religious beliefs before the present FL case involving Sharia.  Consistent with their stated mission “in facilitating civic involvement,” they incorporated their unreasonable interpretation of these events in FL into a letter posted for use by constituents to send to their state legislators throughout the country, urging laws that would prohibit U.S. courts from adopting Sharia law!  (Talk about facilitating civic ignorance…)  The letter asks officials rhetorically whether civil courts engage in the practice of remanding cases between Christians to the Christian churches for resolution, reasoning, therefore, it makes no sense to order matters involving Muslims to Sharia law.  (Such rhetoric stupidly implies that the reason the court in FL ordered arbitration to be conducted under Sharia was that the contracting parties were Muslim, rather than that they had both contracted to resolve their dispute under Sharia law in the first place!)

Letters To Leaders
All messages are published with permission of the sender. The general topic of this message is Women’s Issues:
Subject:
ExampleTo:
Governor Christine Gregoire
Rep. Ross Hunter
Rep. Deb Eddy
Sen. Rodney TomMarch 19, 2011

The case of Mansour v. Islamic Education Center of Tampa, Inc., (Case No. 08-03497, 13th District Court for Hillsborough County, Florida) is an example of Sharia law being imposed in the U.S. Paragraph 2 of the Court’s dispositive Order is a quote originally from the Christian Bible that says if someone sins go to that person to discuss it first, and if they do not listen then bring another witness. If they still do not listen, bring it before the church and (basically) excommunicate them from the community if they remain obstinate in sin. The Christian Bible also says it is shameful to have to go to court and sue fellow Christians, not being able to resolve conflicts within the church community which is the body of Christ. Mohammad rewrote (dictated actually as he was illiterate) the Bible in the 7th Century from what he knew of the Bible; THAT is why the Quran has similar-sounding passages.

Even so, do the civil courts remand cases between Christians to the Christian churches for resolution? No, the civil law upholds ethical BEHAVIOR and punishes unethical BEHAVIOR. The case herein is not asking the Court to interpret Islamic doctrine but to reasonably decide a contractual dispute. How can a civil judge tell the parties to figure it out for themselves as if U.S. law did not govern contractual obligations? The Judge is basically saying that Sharia law governs contracts between Muslims. That Judge is an enabler and enforcer of Sharia law and should be taken off the bench.

Please be vigilant in eliminating this kind of judicial betrayal and pass legislation prohibiting the use of Sharia law as an alternative to U.S. law.

As you can see, this letter posted by Congress.org evidences an ignorance of the accepted role religious arbitration already plays in ADR, throughout the country.  On that basis, I extrapolate that the other pundits incensed over the FL court order in the binding arbitration conducted according to mutually agreed upon Sharia law, could be similarly unaware, religious based ADR is nothing new and, therefore, are opposed to the use of Sharia law to decide this dispute in FL, and to the use of the courts to enforce an arbitration award, on the basis of ignorance of the facts and commonly accepted legal practice.

Or maybe they just hate Muslims.


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