Political fallout for President Obama over the attack on the United States in Benghazi is only escalating—particularly after the father of slain CIA contractor Tyrone Woods called White House officials who refused to authorize military strikes “cowards” who “are guilty of murdering my son.”
The CIA was the principal agency behind operations in Benghazi, though the State Department has taken heat for the lack of security at the U.S. compound. When the White House starts leaking details about the CIA’s role in a war-torn country seething with anti-U.S. militant groups, you know the blame game’s taking a vicious turn. A growing number of news outlets are making the case for a cover-up, as did the San Diego Union-Tribune this week: “It has now been seven weeks since the terrorist attack. We deserve to know the truth.”
Fighting between Kurds and Arab rebels in northern Syria risks opening a new front in Syria’s war.
Former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky gives the backstory on secret negotiations that could have led to an Israeli-Syria peace deal in 2010, and wonders if Western leaders are learning the truth about deals with dictators: Have the horrors being perpetrated in Syria, let alone the dismal aftermath of the revolts in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, roused Western governments and opinion-makers from their blind faith in dictatorial regimes as a force for stability or reform?
Israel has acknowledged after nearly 25 years of secrecy that it killed a deputy of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in a raid in Tunisia. The operation involved current top leaders, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon. Israel has been long suspected of assassinating Khalil al-Wazir, better known as Abu Jihad. But only now has the country’s military censor cleared the Yediot Ahronot daily to publish details, including an interview with the commando who killed him, at least 12 years after the newspaper obtained the information. “I shot him with a long burst of fire,” now-deceased commando Nahum Lev told Yediot. “I was careful not to hurt his wife, who had showed up there. He died.”
Huge crop losses in Haiti from Hurricane Sandy are driving predictions of a coming famine. “The storm took everything away,” said Jean Debalio Jean-Jacques, the Ministry of Agriculture’s director for the southern department. “Everything the peasants had in reserve—corn, tubers—all of it was devastated. Some people had already prepared their fields for winter crops and those were devastated.”
Long read: The remarkable story of a Jew from Ethiopia to Sudan to Lebanon to New York—and his self-narrated film documentary, 400 Miles to Freedom.