Covering the Persident’s ass
Covering the Persident’s ass
American personnel on the ground in Benghazi the night of the 2012 terror attack are outraged after learning that the CIA’s inspector general never conducted an investigation into what happened – despite two CIA workers being killed in the attack and despite at least two complaints being filed by CIA employees.
Former Ambassador Chris Stevens, another State official and two ex-Navy SEALs working for the CIA were killed in that attack.
Many in the agency were told, or were under the impression, that an investigation was in the works, but that is not the case.
One person close to the issue told Fox News: “They should be doing an investigation to see what the chief of base in Benghazi and station chief in Tripoli did that night. If they did, they’d find out there were some major mistakes.”
This source claimed an investigation would likely uncover a lot of details the public does not know.
Asked why such a probe has not been launched, a CIA spokesman said: “CIA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) always reviews carefully every matter that is brought to its attention, and takes appropriate action based on a variety of factors.”
Still, at least two complaints were filed by CIA employees concerned about the attack, which began at the U.S. compound and eventually spread to the CIA annex one mile away. There is no question that CIA personnel saved a lot of lives; those on the ground that night continue to herald the heroism of the individuals who responded to try and help Stevens and others under attack.
Yet questions remain about the overall decision-making, possible destruction of evidence and warnings of an impending attack.
“There needs to be a CIA investigation… there was a lot of things done wrong,” one special operator said.
But a CIA spokesman said the OIG has already “explained fully” to the agency’s congressional oversight committees “why it did not open an investigation into Benghazi-related issues.”
“That decision was based on a determination that the concerns raised fell under the purview of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board, and that a separate OIG action could unnecessarily disrupt the FBI’s criminal investigation into the Benghazi attacks,” the spokesman said.
The Accountability Review Board probe was ordered by the State Department, and the board reported its findings in December 2012.
But separate investigations haven’t stopped the OIG from investigating issues before. Why they held back in this instance is a question starting to filter through the agents at the CIA. Fox News has been told some of the investigators initially assigned to review the Benghazi complaints are “very upset and very frustrated” that they were told to stop the process.
Some members of the Senate Intelligence Committee expressed some of these same concerns in their review of the Benghazi attacks. On page 15 of the Republican response on Jan. 15, it states: “…the committee has learned that the CIA Inspector General did not investigate complaints relating to the Benghazi attacks from CIA whistle blowers. Whether these complaints are ultimately substantiated or dismissed is irrelevant. On a matter of this magnitude involving the deaths of four Americans, the Inspector General has a singular obligation to take seriously and fully investigate any allegation of wrongdoing. His failure to do so raises significant questions that we believe the Committee must explore more fully.”
Fox News has also learned that the Senate Committee was told by the CIA that the investigation did not take place because it would interfere with the State Department Accountability Review Board, which was conducted to “examine the facts and circumstances of the attacks.” While that review contained major criticism aimed at State Department officials in Washington, it didn’t directly mention the CIA.
“Since when does the CIA defer to State? The ARB is in a total different agency anyway,” one special operator said.
Former U.S. United Nations spokesman Richard Grenell also is critical of the CIA actions. “It’s puzzling that the Obama administration is so reluctant to do a real investigation of the facts surrounding the Benghazi attack,” he said. “The ARB conveniently never interviewed Hillary Clinton or her political team about what they knew in the lead up or how they reacted during the crisis. And now we learn that the CIA wasn’t interested in conducting a real investigation either.”
The frustration within the agency is building over the fact that many see the CIA inspector general as their last line of defense internally. While the internal complaints are classified, Fox News has learned that besides questioning the actions of the station chief and chief of base, the complaints also question dealings with the Libyan security forces – and include questions about the reliance on a group of local volunteer militiamen called the February 17 Martyrs Brigade for security and their likely participation in the attack.
Republican allegations that former CIA Acting Director Mike Morell misled Congress over the White House’s role in crafting the flawed Benghazi “talking points” took a dramatic turn Thursday, with the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee telling Fox News it’s likely Morell will be recalled to testify.
Investigators also are reviewing the testimony of former CIA Director David Petraeus, Morell’s old boss, to assess whether he should be recalled as well.
“We are having some transcript reviews. We’ve been continually doing that through the committee,” Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told Fox News. “We’re looking at Director Petraeus’ transcripts and reviews – looking at what information we have now available. Sometimes that second interview can be equally important and it is likely we will have Director Morell up to testify before the committee.”
The debate continues to focus on why the talking points did not reflect the best available intelligence, and what influence the administration brought to bear on the flawed public narrative of the attack in the days immediately following Sept. 11, 2012 – that narrative initially claimed the attacks sprung out of protests over an anti-Islam film.
Among the allegations, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee said in a January 2014 Benghazi report that Morell insisted the talking points were sent to the White House for informational purposes, and not for their input – but e-mails, later released by the administration, showed otherwise.
In response to Rogers’ comments, Morell said in an email to Fox News, “I sent him a letter this afternoon saying that I would very much welcome an invitation to testify in open session before the Committee on Benghazi.”
Since retiring from the CIA, Morell has taken on high-profile assignments for the administration, including the NSA review panel and the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. He is now a paid TV commentator for CBS News, has a book deal, and works for Beacon Global Strategies, whose founder Philippe Reines has been described by the New York Times magazine as Hillary Clinton’s “principal gatekeeper.”
Asked if he was leaving the door open for recalling Petraeus, Rogers said: “Absolutely, We’re not going to take any lead off the table. And if there’s some clarifying questions that we can get done that leads to a conclusion, an appropriate conclusion and the finding of fault in this particular event we’ll – everybody is subject to coming back to the committee.”
Immediately after the attack, then-Director Petraeus rankled some lawmakers when they say he characterized Benghazi as consistent with a flash mob, and downplayed the skill needed to fire mortars with deadly accuracy on the CIA annex. CIA personnel on the ground in Benghazi recently testified that five mortars rained down on the annex in under a minute, and three were direct hits, killing former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and Glen Doherty, who were defending the compound. A source close to Petraeus insisted at the time that he knew it was terrorism from day one.
No determination has been made but Rogers said if witnesses are recalled, his preference is for public testimony. “I would prefer to have an open session. I think that would be, I think enlightening to everybody who has concerns about what happened on that September 11th day that took the lives of our Americans.”
Also Thursday, three U.S. senators who met with Morell and then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in late 2012 took to the Senate floor, calling for Rice to testify as well. Rice, who stirred controversy in 2012 for blaming the attack on protests, recently told NBC News the talking points were based on the best-available intelligence. Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., want her back on the Hill.
“We now have facts that she was absolutely wrong. Of course, the question also remains what in the world was Susan Rice doing speaking that morning?” McCain said.
Ayotte added, “We need to have her testimony before the Congress to get to the bottom of why these representations were made. Mr. Morell needs to be brought before the Congress and ultimately we need a select committee.”
Graham said there was ample intelligence in the days after the attack that there was no protest, citing eyewitness accounts from U.S. personnel on the ground in Benghazi. “Why didn’t the CIA pick up the phone and call the FBI agents interviewing the Benghazi survivors in Germany on the 15th, 16th and 17th of September, days after the attack?”
In a November 2012 meeting, Graham said Morell accused the FBI of refusing to share those accounts. “He said – Mike Morell – the FBI basically would not share that information because it is an ongoing criminal investigation. My mouth dropped. When the meeting was over, I ran back to my office. I called the FBI… They also denied that their agents ever withheld information from the CIA.”
In an earlier email to Fox News on Feb. 13, Morell said: “I stand behind what I have said to you and testified to Congress about the talking point issue. Neither the Agency, the analysts, nor I cooked the books in any way.”
When asked specific questions on Feb. 20 about Republican allegations he provided misleading testimony, Morell did not answer the questions, instead referring Fox News to the CIA public affairs office.
Spokesman Dean Boyd provided this statement to Fox News on Feb. 20: “As we have said multiple times, the talking points on Benghazi were written, upon a request from Congress, so that members of Congress could say something preliminary and in an unclassified forum about the attacks. As former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell has stated publicly time and again, the talking points were never meant to be definitive and, in fact, the points themselves noted that the initial assessment may change. He has addressed his role in the talking points numerous times. We don’t have anything further to add to the large body of detail on the talking points that is already in the public domain.”
Fox News also asked Petraeus if he would appear voluntarily if recalled by the House Intelligence Committee, and there was no immediate response.
House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled their new “Investigation of Benghazi” website which appears to be a Benghazi file repository of committee reports and other declassified publications related to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and Diplomat Sean Smith.
In a couple of brief paragraphs the website explains that the mission of the House Republicans is to discover what occurred on that night in Benghazi and to uncover exactly what the Obama administration is attempting to cover up:
Shortly after the attack, House Republicans asked the Obama administration to explain to the American people the Administration’s actions leading up to and during the attack itself, as well as the fact that publicly-available information consistently contradicted Administration accounts describing the cause and nature of the attack. Our fight for answers and justice continues today.
For over a year now, House Committees have engaged in serious, deliberate, and exhaustive oversight investigations of what led up to this tragic event, what happened that night, and why the White House still refuses to tell the whole truth. All of the unclassified information and findings from this ongoing investigation can be found on this website.
This page continues to be updated as more information becomes available. The most recent update was made on January 29, 2014.
One of the most interesting sections of the new repository is titled House Committee on Foreign Affairs and includes the following files:
* “Benghazi: Where is the State Department Accountability?” September 18, 2013
* “Terrorist Attack in Benghazi: The Secretary of State’s View,” January 23, 2013
* “Benghazi Attack, Part II: The Report of the Accountability Review Board,” December 20, 2012
* “Benghazi and Beyond: What Went Wrong on September 11, 2012 and How to Prevent it from Happening at other Frontline Posts, Part I,” November 15, 2012
4/23/13 Interim Report 5 Cmte Letter
* Outgoing: 04.23.13 – POTUS, Five Committee letter re Benghazi
05/27/13 OIG Continued Concerns
* Incoming: 05.10.13 – OIG, Dep. IG Harold Geisel, Under review RE Continued concerns with ARB report
* Outgoing: 05.10.13 – OIG, Dep. IG Harold Geisel, Continued concerns with ARB report
* Outgoing: 09.27.13 – OIG, Dep IG Geisel, Questions on OIG ARB Review
05/29/13 Status of ARB-Cited Employees
* Incoming: 08.23.13 – State Dept, RE. Status of ARB-cited employees
* Outgoing: 05.29.13 – State Dept, Sec. Kerry, Status of ARB-cited employees
10/30/13 Benghazi Annex Response
* Incoming: 10.30.13 – DOD, Hagel, RE. Benghazi Annex response
* Incoming: 11.12.13 – State, Kerry, RE. Benghazi Annex response
* Incoming: 12.11.13 – CIA, RE. Benghazi Annex response
* Outgoing: 2013-10-30 DEI & Royce to Brennan-CIA – Benghazi Annex response
* Outgoing: 2013-10-30 DEI & Royce to Hagel-DOD – Benghazi Annex response
* Outgoing: 2013-10-30 DEI & Royce to Kerry-DOS – Benghazi Annex respons
10/30/13 Rewards for Justice Program
* Incoming: 11.15.13 – State Dept, Kerry, RE. Benghazi Rewards for Justice
* Outgoing: 10.30.13 – State Dept, Kerry, Benghazi Rewards for Justice
11/19/13 Benghazi Four Employment Status Update
* Incoming: 01.17.14 -State Dept, RE. Benghazi Four Employment Status Update
* Outgoing: 11.19.13 – State Dept, Kerry, Beghazi Four Employment Status Update
* Outgoing: 12.13.13 – State, Follow-up on status ARB-cited employees
The list of other available reports is quite extensive but many of them are heavily redacted. The page should prove to be a valuable resource for anyone investigating the Benghazi terrorist attack.
The U.S. military had a multitude of forces in the region surrounding Libya when terrorists attacked the Special Mission in Benghazi and murdered four Americans, according to an unclassified Navy map obtained by Judicial Watch this week.
The map features the Navy fleet positions in the North Africa Area of Responsibility (AOR) on September 11, 2012, the day Islamic jihadists raided the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the first diplomat to be killed overseas in decades, and three other Americans were murdered in the violent ambush.
Dozens of vessels were stationed in the region on that day, including two aircraft carriers (Dwight D. Eisenhower and Enterprise), four amphibious ships, 13 destroyers, three cruisers and more than a dozen other smaller Navy boats as well as a command ship. Carriers are warships, the powerhouse of the naval fleet with a full-length flight deck for aircraft operations. During the Benghazi attack, two carriers were based to the east in the Arabian Sea, the Navy map shows.
Two amphibious assault ships (Iwo Jima and Gunston Hill) were situated to the east in the Gulf of Oman and one (New York) was in the Gulf of Aden, the map shows.
The recently released Senate report on the Benghazi attack reveals that the Islamic militia hired to protect the fated U.S. special mission had “vandalized” and “attacked” the mission in the months prior to Sept. 11, 2012.
The new detail raises the question of why the State Department, headed at the time by Hillary Clinton, would continue to employ the 17th of February Martyrs Brigade, an al-Qaida-linked organization, to provide external security to the U.S. facility.
The 88-page Senate report, reviewed in full by WND, states the U.S. Benghazi mission “had been vandalized and attacked in the months prior to the September 11-12 attacks by some of the same guards who were there to protect it.”
That piece of information was not mentioned in the State Department-sanctioned Accountability Review Board, or ARB, investigating the attack.
WND reported Tuesday the Senate report also for the first time reveals the 17th of February Brigade militia refused to “provide cover” for the U.S. security team that was trapped inside the compound.
The ARB paints a picture of the 17th of February Brigade as largely aiding in the evacuation of the U.S. personnel at the mission.
The 17th of February Brigade operates under the Ansar-Al-Sharia banner.
Ansar al-Sharia, tied to al-Qaida, has been implicated in carrying out the attack.
Senate report contradicts State Department
The Senate report states “there were three armed members of the Libyan 17th February Brigade militia” present and working as part of the mission’s security external detail during the attack.
“Outside the compound, the security team asked 17th February Brigade members to ‘provide cover’ for them to advance to the gate of the Temporary Mission Facility with gun trucks,” the report says. “The February Brigade members refused, saying they preferred to negotiate with the attackers instead.
“Eventually,” states the report, “the security team initiated their plan of assault on the mission compound. Some members of the 17th February Brigade ‘jump[ed] into the vehicle’ and ‘a few 17 Feb members follow[ed] behind on foot to support the team’ according to the informal CIA notes provided to the Committee.”
The Senate picture of 17th of February Brigade members refusing to “provide cover” contrasts sharply with the image of the brigade painted in the State Department’s ARB.
The ARB claims the 17th of February Brigade helped American personnel escape a roadblock while fleeing the compound.
“The driver, ARSO 1, reversed direction to avoid a crowd farther down the street, then reverted back to the original easterly route toward the crowd after a man whom the DS agents believed to be with February 17 signaled them to do so.”
The ARB recounted how the 17th of February Brigade complained to the local Libyan government on the U.S. special mission’s behalf after a uniformed Libyan police officer was caught taking pictures of the compound prior to the attack.
The ARB states that as soon as the attack began, the 17th of February Brigade guards advanced “toward the Villa B area.”
Continued the ARB: “At the urging of the Annex security team and friendly militia members, who warned that the compound was at risk of being overrun, the TDY RSO and four ARSOs departed for the Annex without having found Ambassador Stevens.”
It’s all about spreading Islam
The Ansar al-Sharia group promotes strict Shariah, or Islamic law, implementation and the creation of an Islamic empire, or caliphate. It was first to take responsibility for the attack in social media. The group later claimed it “didn’t participate [in the attack] as a sole entity,” stating the assault “was a spontaneous popular uprising” in response to the anti-Muhammad film.
Witnesses told media they saw vehicles at the scene of the attack bearing Ansar al-Sharia’s logo and said gunmen taking part boasted of belonging to the group.
The role of Ansar al-Sharia’s 17th of February Brigade in providing security at the compound may prompt more questions following the naming last week of senior Ansar leader Abu Sufian bin Qumu as a ringleader in the Benghazi attack.
The Washington Post reported gunmen under the command of Qumu participated in the Benghazi attack, according to a U.S. official.
The Post identified Qumu as “leader of Ansar al-Sharia in the Libyan city of Darnah,” while the extensive, 54-page Library of Congress document said Qumu in 2012 was “the leader of Ansar Al-Sharia” in Libya and not just in Darnah.
The Post reported witnesses told American officials that Qumu’s militia arrived in Benghazi before the attack and that the State Department was set to implicate him in the deadly assault.
The information will be used in part to designate Qumu’s branch of Ansar al-Sharia as a terrorist group, along with two other al-Sharia branches, reported the Post.
Qumu, formerly a driver for Osama bin Laden, was released by the U.S. from Guantanamo Bay in 2007 and was transferred to a Libyan prison where he remained until he was freed in a 2010 amnesty deal.
The extensive Senate report on the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack dropped a major, unreported bombshell: The commander of U.S. forces in Africa was not aware of the existence of the besieged CIA annex.
The staggering detail raises the question of what was transpiring at the fated annex and nearby U.S. special mission and why key members of the Defense Department, including those responsible for responding to emergency situations, were not aware of it.
Questions now must be also raised as to why, on the night of attack, command of an elite unit known as C-110, or the EUCOM CIF, was reportedly transferred from the military’s European command to AFRICOM, or the United States Africa Command.
Page 28 of the 85-page report states:
“With respect to the role of DoD and AFRICOM in emergency evacuations and rescue operations in Benghazi, the Committee received conflicting information on the extent of the awareness within DoD of the Benghazi Annex. According to U.S. AFRICOM, neither the command nor its Commander were aware of an annex in Benghazi, Libya.
“However, it is the Committee’s understanding that other DoD personnel were aware of the Benghazi Annex.”
Page 77 of the report further divulges that Gen. Carter Ham, then-commander of U.S. Africa Command, “was not even aware there was a CIA annex in Benghazi at the time of the attacks.”
Continued the Senate report: “We are puzzled as to how the military leadership expected to effectively respond and rescue Americans in the event of an emergency when it did not even know of the existence of one of the U.S. facilities.”
On the night of the attack, Ham was placed in charge of the C-110, a 40-man Special Ops force maintained for rapid response to emergencies. The force was trained for deployment for events like the Benghazi attack. Command was transferred from the military’s European command to Ham in the middle of the attack.
Ultimately, the C-110, which had reportedly been training in Croatia during the attack, was not deployed to respond in Benghazi. Instead it was ordered to return to its forward operating base in Italy.
H/T Weasel Zippers
One word, PREVENTABLE!
More than a year after the 9/11 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, the State Department has finally confirmed the terror groups responsible. The designation further proves the incident did not happen as a result of a protest but was planned in detail.
“Created separately after the fall of the Qadhafi regime, Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi and Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah have been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian targets, frequent assassinations, and attempted assassinations of security officials and political actors in eastern Libya, and the September 11, 2012 attacks against the U.S. Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya. Members of both organizations continue to pose a threat to U.S. interests in Libya. Ahmed Abu Khattalah is a senior leader of Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi and Sufian bin Qumu is the leader of Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah,” a State Department spokesman declared in a a statement. “The Department of State has announced the designations of Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi, Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah, and Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia as separate Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as Specially Designated Global Terrorist entities under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. In addition to these group designations, the Department of State has also designated Ahmed Abu Khattalah, Sufian bin Qumu, and Seifallah Ben Hassine, commonly known as “Abou Iyadh,” as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.”
According to prior reports and intelligence, these groups have ties to al Qaeda terror groups in the region.
“The U.S. Government is committed to taking all appropriate actions against the organizations and individuals responsible for the attacks against the U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya and Tunisia. We remain committed to working with the Libyan government to bring the perpetrators of the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks to justice and to ensure the safety of our personnel serving overseas. Likewise, we continue to urge the Tunisian government to bring to justice those responsible for the September 14, 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis,” officials in the State Department assured.
The perpetrators of the 9/11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi are still on the run, none of them have been arrested. A reward of $10 million is being offered for information leading to an arrest or conviction of those responsible for the attack.
The attempt to rehabilitate Hillary Clinton begins as the New York Times revives the long-ago debunked “video clip” excuse for the well-planned Benghazi massacre while denying documented al-Qaida involvement.
These days it’s all the news that is fit to be made up that graces the pages of the once-proud Gray Lady that has morphed from a self-proclaimed “newspaper of record” to the house organ for the Obama administration.
The latest example is a piece on the Benghazi terrorist attack of Sept. 10, 2010, titled, “A Deadly Mix in Benghazi.” It resembles the infamous White House talking points — on steroids.
Great points, and a very good column you should read, no doubt. But, consider that on this blog, I wrote this yesterday
OH, you mean you did not hear the news? Well actually, they have not fully endorsed her, yet, but that is what this story is all about Absolving Miss What Difference Does it Make. See it WAS all about that video after all.
I also was the first to call this Operation Cover Hillary’s Ass 2016! Of course, someone will go on Fox, or somewhere else and use that, or very similar wording and they will be praised as insightful, a genius, or be described as on the cutting edge. And if I see Karl Rove, with his whiteboard, or Dick Morris saying that on TV, my head will explode. But, we know who said it first, ME! So, really, it should be me on Fox aweing Megyn Kelly, or Andrea Tarantos, who can restrain me anytime
or maybe Kimberly Guilfoyle. Or maybe, just maybe I would go on MSNBS, and wow Tamron Hall with my political insight, and she would come out of the closet, no not THAT closet, and announce her infatuation with Conservative guys, namely me.
Now, will this happen? Of course not! But I can have dreams can’t I?
OH, you mean you did not hear the news? Well actually, they have not fully endorsed her, yet, but that is what this story is all about Absolving Miss What Difference Does it Make. See it WAS all about that video after all
Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.
All the News that is fit to spin. Donald Douglas is also talking about what I am calling Operation Cover Hillary’s Ass 2016!
I read the report. It’s supposed to be so “complicated” you see. It’s impossible for the rubes to understand. But read it for yourself. Pure convenience. A story-line cooked perfectly for a political party on the ropes and about to go down hard. Meanwhile, so much remains unanswered. See the Weekly Standard, for just a start, “Questions They Won’t Answer.”
Obama justified his Libyan War to the American people by claiming that people of Benghazi were in danger from Gaddafi. After he succeeded in overthrowing Gaddafi, Benghazi reverted to its radical roots and became a city run by terrorist militias leading to the murder of four Americans.
And now a fifth American.
Every week, about a dozen Syrians arrive at Benghazi’s airport for what’s described as insurgent training. When they fly out, they’re carrying fake Libyan passports, according to three officials familiar with the comings and goings of foreigners at the airport.
The accounts of the officials, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the topic, are more evidence that this city in Libya has become a regional hub for Islamist extremists seeking to hone their combat skills.
It also raises questions about the role of Libya’s homegrown militia, Ansar al Shariah, in the global jihadi movement. Ansar al Shariah has its roots in the anti-Gadhafi uprising and it’s thought to have participated in the attack last year on U.S. facilities in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Any effort to train al Qaida-linked fighters here is unlikely to have gone forward without the backing of Ansar al Shariah, experts in the organization say.
Airport authorities can’t stop them because they themselves fear the repercussions of confronting militants. As one employee explained, pointing to an immigration official: “He is with Ansar al Shariah.”
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan conceded in a recent interview with The Washington Post that government investigations have turned up Tunisians, Algerians, Sudanese and Nigerians undergoing training in Benghazi.
Clearly Obama’s plan to overthrow Gaddafi and replace him with the fun-loving LIFG and other Muslim Brotherhood militias with historical ties to Al Qaeda was a good decision that is working out really well.
A congressman has revealed a new detail about the 2012 Benghazi attack, disclosing that staff members at the besieged U.S. special mission were told in a directive, “You are on your own.”
In an interview with CNN yesterday, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee, charged the State Department, then run by Hillary Clinton, was culpable in the attack and ensuing cover-up.
While CNN.com focused on a different aspect of Westmoreland’s interview, running the headline “GOP Rep: Benghazi Not A ‘Complete Cover-Up,’” other statements made in the nine-minute sit-down may be more significant.
Westmoreland’s committee recently questioned CIA agents and contractors who were on the ground during the attack.
The lawmaker told CNN his committee learned a directive was issued Aug. 11 – one month before the attack – telling Benghazi staff they were on their own.
“And so we are looking into that directive to find out exactly who put that out,” he stated.
Asked whether he thought the government did its job to protect the facility, Westmoreland replied, “Absolutely not.”
He pointed specifically to the State Department.
“I think this will come back to the State Department,” he said.
Later in the interview, he again pointed to Clinton’s State Department for making what he said were claims contradicted by the intelligence community.
“You had the State Department trying to tell one story, and you had the security – the intelligence community – that may have been trying to sell another story,” he said.
Westmoreland said the Benghazi compound “itself is not set up for protection.”
He stated that when his committee interviewed the people who were on the ground, “they said they were really surprised that the lack of security at the mission facility.”
“They also testified that the people at the facility had been wanting help, requesting help, requesting additional security,” he said.
Westmoreland said “they just couldn’t believe that those guys were over there as unprepared and unequipped as they were.”
Three more eyewitnesses to the Benghazi terrorist attack on September 11, 2012, will finally have the opportunity to speak to Members of Congress next week.
Without increasing insistence from the Hill, it is highly unlikely that their accounts would ever be heard. From day one, the Obama White House has been presenting misleading narratives about the events that night, and gag orders have aimed to keep survivors silent. Kudos to Senator Lindsey Graham (R–SC) and others in Congress for keeping the pressure up.
Three CIA employees who were eyewitnesses to the attack are expected to testify in a closed-door session before the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. They will add to the previously deposed firsthand accounts of the two security agents to the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.
The Obama Administration does not want this to happen. In a letter to Senator Graham, the State Department cited Justice Department advice that the eyewitnesses could be needed for a criminal trial, which could be jeopardized by their congressional testimony. Ironically for an Administration that failed to provide adequate security in Benghazi, concern for the eyewitnesses’ safety was also given as a reason.
Both excuses are pretty flimsy, particularly since not a single one of the Benghazi attackers has been apprehended more than a year after the event. And the State Department has not even posted a reward for any information leading to their capture.
Having finally gotten some of the eyewitnesses to come forward, Members of Congress will have to be prepared to help shield them from the potential reprisals from the Obama Administration.
The deputy chief of mission in Tripoli, Gregory Hicks, was punished for testifying before Congress by having his career sidelined at the State Department. He is currently on leave from State, having landed as a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
And a key witness in the compelling 60 Minutes segment on Benghazi that aired on October 27, Dylan Davies, a British defense contractor, who appeared under the pseudonym Morgan Jones, has found himself in a firestorm of allegations that he changed his narrative to sell his new book. Davies, meanwhile, has challenged the FBI to release his original post-Benghazi deposition to show that it was consistent with his on-air account. The FBI has refused.
Congressional oversight should not let up. As the Obama Administration has clammed up, and most of the media has been whistling past the graveyard, it is the only way the truth will come out.
This would be very hard to believe, but with President Obama? Not hard at all.
Nine senior commanding generals have been fired by the Obama administration this year, leading to speculation by active and retired members of the military that a purge of its commanders is underway.
Retired generals and current senior commanders that have spoken with TheBlaze say the administration is not only purging the military of commanders they don’t agree with, but is striking fear in the hearts of those still serving.
The timing comes as the five branches of the U.S. armed forces are reducing staff due to budget cuts, and as U.S. troops are expected to withdraw from Afghanistan next year.
“I think they’re using the opportunity of the shrinkage of the military to get rid of people that don’t agree with them or not tow the party line. Remember, as (former White House chief of staff) Rahm Emanuel said, never waste a crisis,” a senior retired general told TheBlaze on the condition of anonymity because he still provide services to the government and fears possible retribution.
“Even as a retired general, it’s still possible for the administration to make life miserable for us. If we’re working with the government or have contracts, they can just rip that out from under us,” he said.
Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, said the White House fails to take action or investigate its own, but finds it easy to fire military commanders “who have given their lives for their country.”
“Obama will not purge a civilian or political appointee because they have bought into Obama’s ideology,” Vallely said. “The White House protects their own. That’s why they stalled on the investigation into fast and furious, Benghazi and Obamacare. He’s intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”
The Chicago Way?