Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) says there are “gaps of months, and months, and months” in the Hillary Clinton emails that have been turned over to Congress from her time as secretary of state. Clinton has been heavily criticized for setting up and using a private email system instead of a government email account during her tenure at the State Department.
Gowdy said he’s also concerned that there were no emails from one specific day included in the trove of emails.
“There are gaps of months, and months, and months. And if you think to that iconic picture of her on a C-17 flying to Libya, she has sunglasses on and she has her handheld device in her hand – we have no emails from that day,” Gowdy told CBS anchor Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” Sunday morning.
“In fact, we have no emails from that trip,” he added. “So it strains credibility to believe that if you’re on your way to Libya to discuss Libyan policy, that there’s not a single document that’s been turned over to Congress. So there are huge gaps.”
Gowdy said he has “lost confidence” in the State Department to maintain a public record for lawmakers and the American people.
“It’s not up to Secretary Clinton to decide what’s a public record and what’s not,” he said. “And secondly, what is our committee entitled to? We’re not entitled to everything. I don’t want everything. I just want everything related to Libya and Benghazi.”
Watch part of the interview below:
Islamist militias in Libya took control of nearly a dozen commercial jetliners last month, and western intelligence agencies recently issued a warning that the jets could be used in terrorist attacks across North Africa.
Intelligence reports of the stolen jetliners were distributed within the U.S. government over the past two weeks and included a warning that one or more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month on the date marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, said U.S. officials familiar with the reports.
“There are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing,” said one official. “We found out on September 11 what can happen with hijacked planes.”
The official said the aircraft are a serious counterterrorism concern because reports of terrorist control over the Libyan airliners come three weeks before the 13th anniversary of 9/11 attacks and the second anniversary of the Libyan terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.
Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the Benghazi attack, which the Obama administration initially said was the result of a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim video.
A senior State Department counterterrorism official declined to comment on reports of the stolen jetliners.
A second State department official sought to downplay the reports. “We can’t confirm that,” he said.
Meanwhile, officials said Egyptian military forces appear to be preparing to intervene in Libya to prevent the country from becoming a failed state run by terrorists, many with ties to al Qaeda.
Libya remains an oil-rich state and if the country is taken over completely by Islamist extremists, U.S. counterterrorism officials believe it will become another terrorist safe haven in the region.
The officials said U.S. intelligence agencies have not confirmed the aircraft theft following the takeover of Tripoli International Airport in late August, and are attempting to locate all aircraft owned by two Libyan state-owned airline companies, as security in the country continued to deteriorate amid fighting between Islamists and anti-Islamist militias.
Video surfaced on Sunday showing armed fighters from the Islamist militia group Libyan Dawn partying inside a captured U.S. diplomatic compound in Tripoli. The footage showed one fighter diving into a pool from a second-story balcony at the facility.
Tripoli airport and at least seven aircraft were reported damaged during fighting that began in July. Photos of the airport in the aftermath showed a number of damaged aircraft. The airport has been closed since mid-July.
The state-owned Libyan Airlines fleet until this summer included 14 passenger and cargo jetliners, including seven Airbus 320s, one Airbus 330, two French ATR-42 turboprop aircraft, and four Bombardier CJR-900s. Libyan state-owned Afriqiyah Airways fleet is made up of 13 aircraft, including three Airbus 319s, seven Airbus 320s, two Airbus 330s, and one Airbus 340.
The aircraft were reportedly taken in late August following the takeover of Tripoli International Airport, located about 20 miles south of the capital, by Libyan Dawn.
Al Jazeera television reported in late August that western intelligence reports had warned of terror threats to the region from 11 stolen commercial jets.
In response, Tunisia stopped flights from other Libyan airports at Tripoli, Sirte, and Misrata over concerns that jets from those airports could be on suicide missions.
Egypt’s government also halted flights to and from Libya.
Military forces in North Africa, including those from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt have been placed on heightened alert as a result of intelligence warning of the stolen aircraft.
Egyptian military jets reportedly have conducted strikes inside Libya against Libyan Dawn positions recently, and U.S. officials said there are signs a larger Egyptian military incursion is being planned.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi was quoted as denying Egyptian air strikes into Libya have taken place but suggested that military action is being considered.
Secretary of State John Kerry last week told his Egyptian counterpart that the United States would speed up the delivery of Apache attack helicopters, although it is not clear the Apaches would be used in any Libyan operations.
Egypt’s military-backed government appears to be seeking a more significant role in regional security after the Obama administration helped engineer the ouster of Libyan strongman Moammar Qaddafi in 2011. Since then, the Obama administration, through its announced policy of “leading from behind,” has stood by while Libya gradually has spiraled into chaos.
The Libyan government announced Sunday that it no longer controlled the capital of Tripoli.
“We announce that the majority of the ministries, institutions, and associations in the capital Tripoli are no longer under its control,” a government statement said.
Libya’s parliament in August declared both Ansar al Sharia and Libyan Dawn as terrorist organizations working to overthrow the government.
Ansar al Sharia, which is based in Benghazi, recently publicized on social media that it has obtained large numbers of more sophisticated weapons, including SA-6 surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft guns, rocket-propelled grenades, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, assault rifles, and armored vehicles. The group is closely aligned with al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria.
Abderrahmane Mekkaoui, a Moroccan military expert, told Al Jazeera television, which first reported the airline theft Aug. 21, the alert regarding the stolen jetliners was preventive and covers the region from Cairo to Lagos Nigeria.
Mekkaoui said the jets being held by the Libyan group called Masked Men Brigade that was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department in December.
The Masked Men Brigade is linked to al Qaeda and Ansar al Sharia—the group behind the Benghazi terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2012.
Until the Libya Dawn takeover of the airport, announced Aug. 24, two other militia groups, known as Al Qaqa and Al Sawa controlled the airport and all aircraft belonging to Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways.
Mekkaoui said “credible intelligence” reports given to states in the region indicated the Masked Men Brigade “is plotting to use the planes in attacks on a Maghreb state” on the 9/11 anniversary.
Counterterrorism expert Sebastian Gorka said that if the theft is confirmed, the stolen aircraft could be used in at least two ways.
“The first would be how commercial airliners were used on Sept. 11, 2001, literally turning an innocent mode of mass transit into a super-high precision guided missile of immense potency,” said Gorka, who holds the Maj. Gen. Charles Horner chair at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Va.
“The second tactic could be to use the airframe with its civilian markings as a tool of deception to insert a full payload of armed terrorists into a locale that otherwise is always open to commercial carriers,” he said.
Michael Rubin, a counterterrorism specialist with the American Enterprise Institute, said commercial jetliners in the hands of terrorists could be formidable weapons.
“Who needs ballistic missiles when you have passenger planes? Even empty, but loaded up with fuel they can be as devastating,” Rubin said.
“Each plane could, if deployed by terrorists to maximum devastating effect, represent 1,000 civilian casualties.”
Among the potential targets are urban areas and economic targets, like Saudi Arabia’s oil fields.
“Anyone who has ever flown over Saudi Arabia at night can see refineries like Yanbu lit up like Christmas trees against the blackness of the desert,” Rubin said. “One Saudi security officer once told me that they would only have about 90 seconds to shoot down a hijacked plane from the time it left international airspace to impact in one of the region’s most important refineries.”
Rubin said in 2003 a Boeing 727 went missing in Africa fueling concerns about a terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Karachi.
“What is striking is that more than a decade later, the United States hasn’t taken the need to safeguard what are effectively giant guided missiles seriously,” he said.
A former Libyan general, Khalifa Haftar, has been leading anti-Islamist forces. His group has access to Libyan air force MiG jets that have conducted strikes on Libyan Dawn positions in recent days. Haftar also has conducted military raids in Benghazi.
The United Nations Security Council on Aug. 27 announced plans for new sanctions on Libyan militias and terrorists. In a resolution the U.N. warned of the “growing presence of al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups and individuals operating in Libya.”
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.
A little under two years ago, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, urged British businessmen to begin “packing their suitcases” and to fly to Libya to share in the reconstruction of the country and exploit an anticipated boom in natural resources.
Yet now Libya has almost entirely stopped producing oil as the government loses control of much of the country to militia fighters.
Mutinying security men have taken over oil ports on the Mediterranean and are seeking to sell crude oil on the black market. Ali Zeidan, Libya’s Prime Minister, has threatened to “bomb from the air and the sea” any oil tanker trying to pick up the illicit oil from the oil terminal guards, who are mostly former rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi and have been on strike over low pay and alleged government corruption since July.
As world attention focused on the coup in Egypt and the poison gas attack in Syria over the past two months, Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Gaddafi two years ago. Government authority is disintegrating in all parts of the country putting in doubt claims by American, British and French politicians that Nato’s military action in Libya in 2011 was an outstanding example of a successful foreign military intervention which should be repeated in Syria.
In an escalating crisis little regarded hitherto outside the oil markets, output of Libya’s prized high-quality crude oil has plunged from 1.4 million barrels a day earlier this year to just 160,000 barrels a day now. Despite threats to use military force to retake the oil ports, the government in Tripoli has been unable to move effectively against striking guards and mutinous military units that are linked to secessionist forces in the east of the country.
Libyans are increasingly at the mercy of militias which act outside the law. Popular protests against militiamen have been met with gunfire; 31 demonstrators were shot dead and many others wounded as they protested outside the barracks of “the Libyan Shield Brigade” in the eastern capital Benghazi in June.
Though the Nato intervention against Gaddafi was justified as a humanitarian response to the threat that Gaddafi’s tanks would slaughter dissidents in Benghazi, the international community has ignored the escalating violence. The foreign media, which once filled the hotels of Benghazi and Tripoli, have likewise paid little attention to the near collapse of the central government.
The strikers in the eastern region Cyrenaica, which contains most of Libya’s oil, are part of a broader movement seeking more autonomy and blaming the government for spending oil revenues in the west of the country. Foreigners have mostly fled Benghazi since the American ambassador, Chris Stevens, was murdered in the US consulate by jihadi militiamen last September. Violence has worsened since then with Libya’s military prosecutor Colonel Yussef Ali al-Asseifar, in charge of investigating assassinations of politicians, soldiers and journalists, himself assassinated by a bomb in his car on 29 August.
Rule by local militias is also spreading anarchy around the capital. Ethnic Berbers, whose militia led the assault on Tripoli in 2011, temporarily took over the parliament building in Tripoli. The New York-based Human Rights Watch has called for an independent investigation into the violent crushing of a prison mutiny in Tripoli on 26 August in which 500 prisoners had been on hunger strike. The hunger strikers were demanding that they be taken before a prosecutor or formally charged since many had been held without charge for two years.
The government called on the Supreme Security Committee, made up of former anti-Gaddafi militiamen nominally under the control of the interior ministry, to restore order. At least 19 prisoners received gunshot shrapnel wounds, with one inmate saying “they were shooting directly at us through the metal bars”. There have been several mass prison escapes this year in Libya including 1,200 escaping from a prison after a riot in Benghazi in July.
The Interior Minister, Mohammed al-Sheikh, resigned last month in frustration at being unable to do his job, saying in a memo sent to Mr Zeidan that he blamed him for failing to build up the army and the police. He accused the government, which is largely dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, of being weak and dependent on tribal support. Other critics point out that a war between two Libyan tribes, the Zawiya and the Wirrshifana, is going on just 15 miles from the Prime Minister’s office.
Diplomats have come under attack in Tripoli with the EU ambassador’s convoy ambushed outside the Corinthia hotel on the waterfront. A bomb also wrecked the French embassy.
One of the many failings of the post-Gaddafi government is its inability to revive the moribund economy. Libya is wholly dependent on its oil and gas revenues and without these may not be able to pay its civil servants. Sliman Qajam, a member of the parliamentary energy committee, told Bloomberg that “the government is running on its reserves. If the situation doesn’t improve, it won’t be able to pay salaries by the end of the year”.
Via Washington Secrets:
Just minutes after 35 jihadists crashed through the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, nearly one year ago, the facility got word to the State Department, FBI and Pentagon that terrorists were attacking, according to a forthcoming book that provides the fullest review of the assault to date.
In “Under Fire, the Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi,” it is revealed that an unidentified security official in the Benghazi compound protecting Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens messaged the U.S. embassy in Tripoli: “Benghazi under fire, terrorist attack.” Stevens and three others died that night.
Twenty-five minutes after it began, the operation center at State received an electronic cable announcing the attack, according to authors Fred Burton, a former State Diplomatic Security agent and Samuel Katz, an author and expert on international special operations and counterterrorism.
They lied, and did nothing while Americans died
U.S. officials gave instructions for Benghazi Medical Center to use a “John Doe” pseudonym on the death certificate of Ambassador Christopher Stevens after he died of asphyxiation in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. That’s according to a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity because the official isn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The reason for the pseudonym, says the official, was to avoid drawing undue attention to the importance of the victim as Americans rushed to figure out how to recover Stevens’ body and return it to the U.S.
The official provided the most complete accounting yet of Stevens’ whereabouts and passing in the eight and a half months since his death.
According to the official, U.S. officials aren’t certain to this day whether Stevens was still alive when local Libyans made cell phone video recordings of his body being carried or dragged from the U.S. mission, possibly by looters. And they still don’t know exactly who transported him to the Benghazi Medical Center where they say medical personnel attempted resuscitation, unsuccessfully, for about 40 minutes (90 minutes, according to published accounts from a Libyan doctor). When pieced together with previously provided information, this is how the search for Stevens is said to have unfolded, according to the official:
A Library of Congress report that received almost no media attention detailed – one month before the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi – how al-Qaida established a major base of operations in Libya in the aftermath of the U.S.-NATO campaign that deposed Muammar Gadhafi and his secular regime.
The report documented al-Qaida and affiliated organizations were establishing terrorist training camps and pushing Taliban-style Islamic law in Libya while the new, Western-backed Libyan government incorporated jihadists into its militias
The document named Benghazi as a new central headquarters for al-Qaida activities.
“Al-Qaeda adherents in Libya used the 2011 Revolution to establish well-armed, well-trained, and combat-experienced militias,” stated the report.
The report also said a terrorist released from the U.S. Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba became the leader of the al-Qaida-affiliate Ansar Al-Sharia in Libya, which espoused anti-Western ideology.
The Martyrs of 17 February Brigade, which was hired by the State Department to protect the U.S. facility in Benghazi, operates under the Ansar-Al-Sharia banner.
The document said scores of Islamic extremists were freed from Libyan prison after the U.S.-supported revolution in Libya.
The August 2012 document was prepared by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under an inter-agency agreement with the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office’s Irregular Warfare Support Program. It may shed new light on the terrorism threat in Libya leading up to the assaults on the U.S. facility and CIA annex in Benghazi.
Despite the growing al-Qaida activity, the U.S. facilities in Benghazi remained poorly protected.
While al-Qaida and other extremist groups were establishing their new headquarters in Libya, the Obama administration reportedly was eager to declare the U.S.-NATO campaign there a victory.
According to testimony by the No. 2 U.S. official in Tripoli, who served under murdered Ambassador Christopher Stevens, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wanted the Benghazi facility turned into a permanent post ahead of her scheduled December 2012 visit to the country. A looming funding deadline may have been the reason that Stevens went to the compound the day of the attacks, the whistleblower charged.
Terrorist training camps
The report shows how various al-Qaida groups, including Al-Qaida Senior Leadership (AQSL) and Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), have sought to take advantage of the downfall of Gadhafi to “create a safe haven and possibly to extend their area of operations to Libya.”
AQSL in Pakistan issued strategic guidance to followers in Libya and elsewhere to take advantage of the Libyan rebellion. Specifically, instructions were given to gather weapons, establish training camps, establish an Islamic state, and institute Shariah, the document relates.
At the time of the report’s release, al-Qaida’s clandestine network in Libya was “in an expansion phase, running training camps and media campaigns on social-media platforms.”
The Libyan revolution “may have created an environment conducive to jihad and empowered the large and active community of Libyan jihadists, which is known to be well connected to international jihad,” the document stated.
The Library of Congress report said Ansar al-Sharia, led by Sufian Ben Qhumu, a former Guantanamo detainee, has increasingly embodied al-Qaida’s presence in Libya.
Qhumu, formerly a driver for Osama bin Laden, was released by the U.S. in 2007 and was transferred to a Libyan prison where he remained until being freed in a 2010 amnesty deal.
The report noted AQSL’s strategic goals remain “restoration of the caliphate, instituting sharia, and ending the Western presence in Muslim lands.”
“Al-Qaeda’s primary goal in Libya is to establish an Islamic emirate as part of its overall objective to reestablish the caliphate,” the report said.
“The al-Qaeda clandestine network in Libya is most likely espousing a Taliban-like religious orientation that calls for strict adherence to the practice and principles of Islam as interpreted by radical clerics.”
From June 7 to 8, 2012, there was a gathering of groups supporting Shariah openly held at Liberation Square in Benghazi. The event was hosted by Ansar al-Sharia and reportedly attended by at least 15 militias, including al-Qaida-affiliated organizations.
Libyan government and al-Qaida
The report noted the July 2012 elections in Libya “failed to generate a strong and unified national leadership that could address the chronic insecurity posed by the multiplicity of local militias, which al-Qaeda’s clandestine network has probably infiltrated.”
Further, the Western-backed National Transitional Council in Libya “never fully controlled the rebel movement.”
Following the 2012 elections, the Libyan army and police have reconstituted their ranks “by incorporating whole militias regardless of the militants’ background.”
Hillary eager to declare victory
While al-Qaida and other Islamic groups gained major ground in Libya following U.S. intervention there, Clinton worked plans for a symbolic victory in Benghazi, according to congressional testimony by Gregory Hicks, the former State Department deputy chief of mission and charge’ d’affairs who was in Libya at the time of the attack.
Under questioning from Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., Hicks explained: “According to [Ambassador] Chris [Stevens], Secretary Clinton wanted Benghazi converted into a permanent constituent post. Timing for this decision was important. Chris needed to report before Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, on the physical and the political and security environment in Benghazi to support an action memo to convert Benghazi from a temporary facility to a permanent facility.”
Hicks revealed the directive came from the State Department Office of Near Eastern Affairs, headed by Acting Assistant Secretary Beth Jones. Money was available to be transferred to Benghazi from a State Department fund set aside for Iraq available, provided the funds transfer had been done by Sept. 30.
He further testified that in May 2012, during a meeting Clinton, Stevens promised he would give priority to making sure the U.S. facility at Benghazi was transformed into a permanent constituent post.
Hicks also explained Stevens wanted to make a symbolic gesture to the people of Benghazi that the United States “stood behind their dream of establishing a new democracy.”
Additionally, he wanted to have the Benghazi complex upgraded to a permanent constituent post, so Clinton could make the announcement in her planned visit to Libya before the end of 2012.
Toward the end of the hearing, the chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., asked Hicks to summarize his testimony on why Stevens went to Benghazi.
“At least one of the reasons Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi was to further the secretary’s wish that that post become a permanent constituent post and that he was also there because we understood the secretary intended to visit Tripoli later in the year,” Hicks reiterated. “We hoped that she would be able to announce to the Libyan people the establishment of a permanent constituent post in Benghazi at that time.”
Clinton and the U.S. diplomatic staff in Libya reportedly were aware of the terrorist camps in Benghazi. Fox News reported last year the U.S. mission in Benghazi convened an “emergency meeting” in August 2012 to discuss the training camps.
The news network obtained a government cable addressed to Clinton’s office stating the U.S. diplomats in Libya were briefed “on the location of approximately ten Islamist militias and AQ training camps within Benghazi… these groups ran the spectrum from Islamist militias, such as the QRF Brigade and Ansar al-Sharia, to ‘Takfirist thugs.'”
Why were so many stand down orders given? Why was an effort, made to save those Americans? Was there something there to hide? We keep hearing about weapons being traded. But it all comes down to one question for me. Why? Bob Owens looks at why some of the military options were not taken
Writing in The American Thinker, Jonathan Moseley exposes both former Defense Secretary Gates and current Defense Secretary Panetta as liars attempting to protect a feckless administration:
Elite U.S. troops were completely capable of saving Ambassador Chris Stevens during the Benghazi Consulate attacks on September 11, 2012. Elements of the highly specialized Combatant Commanders In-Extremis (CIF) units are always on alert, on forward deployment, ready to respond. Their job description is to hit the ground in 3 to 5 hours. CIF elements are ready to engage in active combat anywhere in their region, 3 to 5 hours after the call.
Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense at the time, either misled the U.S. Congress or was incompetent. Panetta testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 7, 2013 that the U.S. military could not have responded in less than 9 to 12 hours.
Obama’s first secretary of defense, Robert Gates, told CBS’sFace the Nation on May 12, 2013 that “[w]e don’t have a ready force standing by” in that region.
But we absolutely do “have a ready force standing by” to reach any trouble spot in a few hours. Insider reports previously revealed that CIF elements were training in Croatia and could have been in Benghazi in three and a half hours.
Although rotating out of the United States, some CIF elements are always forward-deployed within each military command region, always on stand-by. Their training includes expertise within each local region. Some of each region’s unit is always ready. They don’t need to pack. Being ready to go — immediately — is their job description. It’s the reason they exist.
Note that Moseley doesn’t even touch on the 100-strong Recon Marine force spinning up at Naval Air Station Sigonella roughly two hours away, nor the Special Forces team already in Libya at Tripoli that was ordered to stand down when they were attempting to board a flight to Benghazi after the initial attack.
There were at least three special operations or special operation capable units within four hours of Benghazi numbering more than 120 men, along with ground attack aircraft, allegedly including an AC-130 gunship that CIA Operator Ty Woods was attempting to lase targets for, believing it was an on-call asset… just another one that never showed up.
So, again, why? Why did we leave Americans to die? Incompetence? Fear of bringing on a bigger conflict? Fear of having weapons trading exposed? Whatever the reason, it is not good enough, because we, as a nation should NEVER abandon our own. And to those who would say no rescue mission would have done any good, consider what kind of hell two former SEALs brought on the terrorist attackers. Two SEALs that I would remind everyone were ordered to stand down. Men who were too patriotic to let fellow Americans die. If not for those men, more Americans would have died.
PJ MEDIA – The former diplomats inform PJM the new revelations concentrate in two areas — what Ambassador Chris Stevens was actually doing in Benghazi and the pressure put on General Carter Ham, then in command of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and therefore responsible for Libya, not to act to protect jeopardized U.S. personnel.
Stevens’ mission in Benghazi, they will say, was to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups issued to them by the State Department, not by the CIA. Such a mission would usually be a CIA effort, but the intelligence agency had opposed the idea because of the high risk involved in arming “insurgents” with powerful weapons that endanger civilian aircraft.
Hillary Clinton still wanted to proceed because, in part, as one of the diplomats said, she wanted “to overthrow Gaddafi on the cheap.”
This left Stevens in the position of having to clean up the scandalous enterprise when it became clear that the “insurgents” actually were al-Qaeda – indeed, in the view of one of the diplomats, the same group that attacked the consulate and ended up killing Stevens.
He added that he and his colleagues think the leaking of General David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell was timed to silence the former CIA chief on these matters.
Regarding General Ham, military contacts of the diplomats tell them that AFRICOM had Special Ops “assets in place that could have come to the aid of the Benghazi consulate immediately (not in six hours).”
Ham was told by the White House not to send the aid to the trapped men, but Ham decided to disobey and did so anyway, whereupon the White House “called his deputy and had the deputy threaten to relieve Ham of his command.”
The White House motivation in all this is as yet unclear, but it is known the Ham retired quietly in April 2013 as head of AFRICOM.
Stay tuned America, let us hope the truth comes out
Jay Carney: Romney at fault for Benghazi story
It takes a special kind of ass hat to lie like that. Carney is a shoe in for an MSNBS gig after his days as Obama ‘s Chief of Propaganda
A strongly worded letter? No Instead, they are just going to close their eyes tighter and chant “How dare you”
Associated Press: Let’s Quote Democrats Dismissing the Testimony Before We Quote the Witness http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2013/05/08/house-republicans-seek-answers-benghazi-hearing/8CCL4XE24tnHJNqBXCa4YJ/story.html … | @vjmfilms
“This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing do to with. It’s hard for the American people to make sense of that, because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.”
– Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sept. 14, 2012, while standing over the caskets of the four Americans killed at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya
Jeff Goldstein cites the important testimony that “a State Department official emailed the Libyan government on September 12 that the consulate attack was in fact a terrorist operation — specifically identifying Ansar al-Sharia in the email.” But why bother with facts? What difference, at this point, does it make?
Quite obviously, it makes a very important difference to Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) in their tireless efforts to convince Americans that Obama’s foreign policy is working, and especially to persuade us that the fine public servants at the top levels of the State Department did nothing wrong in the Benghazi affair.
When you point out the obvious facts — that the “Arab Spring” was a bad idea, that everybody in the administration lied through their teeth about Benghazi, and that the major media are enthusiastic volunteers in a partisan P.R. effort to assist in the cover-up — liberals go into fake indignation mode: How dare you?
The pathetic nature of the Democratic Party is astounding, but, they are what they are. Morality? Patriotism? Justice? Putting country first and finding out the truth? How dare we expect such upright principles from the Democrats!
As the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya raged on for more than seven hours, a team of U.S. special forces in Tripoli was blocked from flying in to attempt a rescue, according to a top American diplomat who was in the region.
In previously secret testimony given by Gregory Hicks — the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya — to congressional investigators last month, Hicks revealed two possible courses of action that could have saved American lives that night: allowing U.S. special forces to enter Benghazi and flying a fast-moving U.S. military aircraft over the scene of the attacks.
“So Lieutenant Colonel Gibson, who is the [Special Operations Command South Africa] commander, his team, you know, they were on their way to the vehicles to go to the airport to get on the C-130 when he got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, you can’t go now, you don’t have authority to go now,” Hicks told congressional investigators, “and so they missed the flight,” which would have gotten the team inserted prior to the second attack on the CIA annex.
If this is true, then I do not recognize my country anymore
As intelligence officials pieced together the puzzle of events unfolding in Libya, they concluded even before the assaults had ended that al Qaeda-linked terrorists were involved. Senior administration officials, however, sought to obscure the emerging picture and downplay the significance of attacks that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. The frantic process that produced the changes to the talking points took place over a 24-hour period just one day before Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, made her now-famous appearances on the Sunday television talk shows. The discussions involved senior officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the White House.
The White House provided the emails to members of the House and Senate intelligence committees for a limited time and with the stipulation that the documents were available for review only and would not be turned over to the committees. The White House and committee leadership agreed to that arrangement as part of a deal that would keep Republican senators from blocking the confirmation of John Brennan, the president’s choice to run the CIA. If the House report provides an accurate and complete depiction of the emails, it is clear that senior administration officials engaged in a wholesale rewriting of intelligence assessments about Benghazi in order to mislead the public. The Weekly Standard sought comment from officials at the White House, the State Department, and the CIA, but received none by press time. Within hours of the initial attack on the U.S. facility, the State Department Operations Center sent out two alerts. The first, at 4:05 p.m. (all times are Eastern Daylight Time), indicated that the compound was under attack; the second, at 6:08 p.m., indicated that Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group operating in Libya, had claimed credit for the attack. According to the House report, these alerts were circulated widely inside the government, including at the highest levels. The fighting in Benghazi continued for another several hours, so top Obama administration officials were told even as the fighting was taking place that U.S. diplomats and intelligence operatives were likely being attacked by al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists. A cable sent the following day, September 12, by the CIA station chief in Libya, reported that eyewitnesses confirmed the participation of Islamic militants and made clear that U.S. facilities in Benghazi had come under terrorist attack. It was this fact, along with several others, that top Obama officials would work so hard to obscure.
So, it was CIA vs. C.Y.A. at the State Department which, quite frankly, has been infiltrated by Edward Said-influenced Arab specialists to such an extent that it was practically a Muslim Brotherhood outpost even before the Obama administration took over.
Seriously, you can ask Bush administration people about this: Middle Eastern scholarship within academia is so dominated by anti-Western views that, insofar as anyone has the credentials to qualify as a specialist in the field — i.e., to get hired into and promoted within the bureaucracy — they’re certain to have been saturated in ideas about “Western imperialism” and the legitimacy of Arab/Islamic grievances. And while this has also been a problem at the CIA and the Pentagon, the State Department is absolutely chock-full of such people in staff positions, so that even with hawkish neocons in the political appointee roles during the Bush years, the pro-Arab/pro-Muslim culture at Foggy Bottom never really changed.
I feel the need to point this out now because some of my well-meaning conservative friends, who (quite correctly) complain about the dubious influences within the Obama administration, often neglect to discuss the larger problem, which pre-dates Obama. However, there is good reason to think it is more of a problem now:
In 1998 Obama attended a speech by [Edward] Said, in which the scholar called for a nonviolent campaign “against settlements, against Israeli apartheid.” In a well-publicized photo, Obama and Said can be seen talking over dinner at this pro-Arab event.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in the early 1980s Obama had been one of Said’s students in an undergraduate English class at Columbia University.
None of this is necessarily related to the Benghazi cover-up — I don’t mean to feed anyone’s conspiratorial paranoia — but it does highlight the nature of the larger problem, what Jeanne Kirkpatrick rightly called the “Blame America First” mentality.
Last week’s news of four Christian missionaries in Libya placed under arrest, possibly facing the death penalty for “proselytizing,” is apparently the tip of the iceberg. Yesterday, Arabic media reported that over 100 Christian Copts from Egypt, who have been living and working in Libya, were recently arrested in Ben Ghazi – also on the accusation, or pretext, of being “Christian missionaries.”
One video, apparently made by the Libyan militia interrogators – most of whom look like Islamic Salafis, with long beards and clipped mustaches – appeared on the Internet yesterday. It shows a room full of detained Copts. They sit hunched over on the floor – with all their hair shaven off, looking like dejected, or doomed, concentration camp prisoners. According to one source, many of these Copts have been tortured. Some have had the famous Coptic cross often tattooed on the wrists of Copts burned off with acid.
Next, the camera-man zooms in on the material which got them in this predicament: atop a table, several Bibles, prayer books, and pictures of Jesus, Mary and other saints appear spread out. The Libyan interrogators being video-taped complain about how these Christians could dare bring such material into Libya, and that they, their abductors, are sure that the Copts were going to such Christian materials to proselytize Libya, to sporadic ejaculations of “Allah Akbar!” from across the room.
What is going on in Libya? Do these reports – first of four foreign missionaries, including one American, now of more than 100 Christians from neighboring Egypt – indicate that Christian missionaries recently decided to flood Libya in droves? Or are these ongoing reports an indication that post-Gaddafi Libya is simply intolerant of any Christian presence?
Concerning the four foreign missionaries whom the Western media picked up on earlier, it is difficult to say who they are and what they were doing, since they basically have been swallowed up by the Ben Ghazi prisons; their names and identities have not even been revealed. As for the 100 Egyptian Copts, it is hard to believe they were proselytizing. Christians in Egypt do not dare proselytize to their fellow Muslim citizens, who speak the same dialect and share the same Egyptian culture. It is a dangerous thing to do. Is it reasonable, then, to believe that some 100 dispossessed Copts decided to proselytize to Muslims in Libya – where it is common knowledge that the Obama-supported jihadis reign?
Even the Coptic Church in Egypt made statements to this effect. According to Coptic Bishop Pachomios, “This is a very serious incident, in which Egyptian citizens were arrested on the mere suspicion [of proselytizing] and tortured while in detention.” The bishop confirmed that these imprisoned Egyptian Christians were working in Libya, adding that “it doesn’t make sense that as many as 100 Egyptian Copts had decided to engage in proselytizing activities in another country.” Other Coptic activists in Egypt also cast doubt on the proselytism charge. Naguib Gabriel, head of the Cairo-based Egyptian Union for Human Rights, “expressed his dismay over the reports. He, too, voiced doubt that the Egyptians in question had been proselytizing in Libya,” while correctly pointing out that, “Even if this were proven to be the case, they should not have been detained because of it.”
Moreover, a recent Christian Post article points out the inconsistencies in official statements from Libya, including how the number of Christian material being found on these alleged missionaries keeps inflating. For instance, one Christian arrested under the accusation of having 30,000 Bibles in his possession, was later described by police as having 45,000 Bibles.
It is becoming clear that these arrests are increasingly less about actual Christian evangelism to Muslims, and more about Muslim hostility to Christians. The Western media, when it reported about the four foreign missionaries, pointed out that the anti-proselytism law comes from the Gaddafi era. Yet, under Gaddafi, one did not hear of such back-to-back arrests of alleged missionaries – just as one did not hear of attacks on Christian churches in Libya, such as the one that took place only two months ago, leaving two Christians dead.
Here, then, is yet another indicator of the true significance of the “Arab Spring” and the Obama administration’s wholesale support of it -hate and hostility for Christians.
By Doug Powers, who clues us in on the origin of those talking points that matter more to Susan Rice than four dead Americans.
For months the White House has been pinning the “it was the video” talking points on regarding the Benghazi attack on Susan Rice and/or the intelligence community, but not surprisingly the trail is leading to the top.
Yesterday, Jay Carney said that on the night of the attack, President Obama spoke with Hillary Clinton at about 10 p.m.
At approximately 10:30 p.m. the Hillary Clinton/the State Department releasedthis statement:
I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today. As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who have suffered in this attack.
This evening, I called Libyan President Magariaf to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya. President Magariaf expressed his condemnation and condolences and pledged his government’s full cooperation.
Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.
In light of the events of today, the United States government is working with partner countries around the world to protect our personnel, our missions, and American citizens worldwide.
And by “some” Hillary’s probably referring first and foremost to Obama.
By the way, Susan Rice recently said that focusing on who originally suggested the “blame the video” talking points is a bigger tragedy than the attack that killed four Americans.
Powers sums up Team Obama perfectly
These people aren’t qualified to be in charge of a convenience store and yet they’re running the country.
Zip of Weasel Zippers fame assumes, correctly I would think, that she does not want the issue hanging over the soon coming Hillary 2016 campaign. So, she will get the lying and denying over with now
Via Daily Mail:
Hillary Clinton will testify in front of Congress about the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya – despite receiving a concussion and being hospitalized for a blood clot, it was revealed on Thursday.
The Secretary of State cancelled appearances before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee after she fainted and hit her head on December 9.
She sent two aides to testify in her place.
Some conservatives initially claimed she was using the health issue to dodge testifying on the contentious issue.
The Washington Post reports that Clinton ‘remains committed’ to appearing in front of the Congressional committees, though no date has been set.
Of course, perhaps this is just a tactic to stall, hoping the issue goes away.
America chose, or at least enough Americans chose to reward President Obama with four more years last month. Many people, including me, were stunned considering the awful job on the economy the president had done. Fewer of us really pounded the foreign policy blunders and missteps of this president. I tried to do as much as I could on the foreign policy side. After the first debate when Romney pounded the president, I was sure, just sure he would feast on the president’s handling of Benghazi in the next debate, he did not, nor did he in the third debate. In fact, the geniuses at Team Romney let Benghazi slide off the national stage rather than focusing on it even though every time some new information about Benghazi came out, Obama looked more dishonest and inept.
Well, whether that hurt Romney we may never really know, but, I do recall thinking to myself that the GOP had erred by not talking more. Now, it is too late to unseat Obama, and the media has tried to bury the story, as they were doing before the election. But, the news out of Libya just stinks more and more. And now, this morning, we get a glimpse of how Obama may have unwittingly armed the very terrorists that attacked in Benghazi. Stacy McCain notes that Obama has consequences, and not all of those consequences are economic.
Yes, and I’m sure it must have seemed like a great idea during the “Arab Spring” to arm Islamic extremists in Libya:
In spite of the threat of American weapons ending up in the hands of terrorist groups, President Barack Obama secretly approved an arms transfer to Libyan rebels through Qatar at the height of the rebellion against Moamar Khadhafi, a knowledgeable source noted on Friday.
However, American counterterrorists are discovering that some of those U.S. weapons ended up in the hands of radical Islamists including associates of al-Qaeda, according to a law enforcement source who trained police in the Middle East.
Some Americans who are retired from the military, as well as intelligence and law enforcement agencies, believe there should be an investigation into possible connections between the weapons provided by the Qataris back then and the attack that killed an American ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
Leaders of nations can, and do make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can lead to unforeseen consequences. But arming radicals is especially dangerous and ill advised. I suppose what really stands out here is that during the “Arab Spring” the president has chosen to take the sides of the WRONG people, and not taken sides with the right people. Iranians rose up, and Obama was silent. In Egypt, Obama took sides with the Muslim Brotherhood. How is that working out for democracy? In Libya, Obama chose to get involved, and to arm extremists without weighing the consequences of who he was arming. We know how that worked out.
Yep, consequences do arise when we reward incompetence, if you do not believe me just look at Egypt, or Libya, or Iran, or the entire Middle East.