The Red Line and the Rat Line

Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels:

In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons. Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous.

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The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.’)

In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The report’s criticism of the State Department for not providing adequate security at the consulate, and of the intelligence community for not alerting the US military to the presence of a CIA outpost in the area, received front-page coverage and revived animosities in Washington, with Republicans accusing Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up. A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)

The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.

The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’

Washington abruptly ended the CIA’s role in the transfer of arms from Libya after the attack on the consulate, but the rat line kept going. ‘The United States was no longer in control of what the Turks were relaying to the jihadists,’ the former intelligence official said. Within weeks, as many as forty portable surface-to-air missile launchers, commonly known as manpads, were in the hands of Syrian rebels. On 28 November 2012, Joby Warrick of the Washington Post reported that the previous day rebels near Aleppo had used what was almost certainly a manpad to shoot down a Syrian transport helicopter. ‘The Obama administration,’ Warrick wrote, ‘has steadfastly opposed arming Syrian opposition forces with such missiles, warning that the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists and be used to shoot down commercial aircraft.’ Two Middle Eastern intelligence officials fingered Qatar as the source, and a former US intelligence analyst speculated that the manpads could have been obtained from Syrian military outposts overrun by the rebels. There was no indication that the rebels’ possession of manpads was likely the unintended consequence of a covert US programme that was no longer under US control.

By the end of 2012, it was believed throughout the American intelligence community that the rebels were losing the war. ‘Erdoğan was pissed,’ the former intelligence official said, ‘and felt he was left hanging on the vine. It was his money and the cut-off was seen as a betrayal.’ In spring 2013 US intelligence learned that the Turkish government – through elements of the MIT, its national intelligence agency, and the Gendarmerie, a militarised law-enforcement organisation – was working directly with al-Nusra and its allies to develop a chemical warfare capability. ‘The MIT was running the political liaison with the rebels, and the Gendarmerie handled military logistics, on-the-scene advice and training – including training in chemical warfare,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Stepping up Turkey’s role in spring 2013 was seen as the key to its problems there. Erdoğan knew that if he stopped his support of the jihadists it would be all over. The Saudis could not support the war because of logistics – the distances involved and the difficulty of moving weapons and supplies. Erdoğan’s hope was to instigate an event that would force the US to cross the red line. But Obama didn’t respond in March and April.’

There was no public sign of discord when Erdoğan and Obama met on 16 May 2013 at the White House. At a later press conference Obama said that they had agreed that Assad ‘needs to go’. Asked whether he thought Syria had crossed the red line, Obama acknowledged that there was evidence such weapons had been used, but added, ‘it is important for us to make sure that we’re able to get more specific information about what exactly is happening there.’ The red line was still intact.

An American foreign policy expert who speaks regularly with officials in Washington and Ankara told me about a working dinner Obama held for Erdoğan during his May visit. The meal was dominated by the Turks’ insistence that Syria had crossed the red line and their complaints that Obama was reluctant to do anything about it. Obama was accompanied by John Kerry and Tom Donilon, the national security adviser who would soon leave the job. Erdoğan was joined by Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkey’s foreign minister, and Hakan Fidan, the head of the MIT. Fidan is known to be fiercely loyal to Erdoğan, and has been seen as a consistent backer of the radical rebel opposition in Syria.

 Sitting around the table (left to right): Ahmet Davutoglu (Turkish FM)–back of head–,Tayyip Erdogan, Hakan Fidan, John Kerry, Barack Obama, (possibly Hilary Clinton), Tom Donilon.

Sitting around the table (left to right): Ahmet Davutoglu (Turkish FM)–back of head–,Tayyip Erdogan, Hakan Fidan, John Kerry, Barack Obama, (possibly Hilary Clinton), Tom Donilon.

The foreign policy expert told me that the account he heard originated with Donilon. (It was later corroborated by a former US official, who learned of it from a senior Turkish diplomat.) According to the expert, Erdoğan had sought the meeting to demonstrate to Obama that the red line had been crossed, and had brought Fidan along to state the case. When Erdoğan tried to draw Fidan into the conversation, and Fidan began speaking, Obama cut him off and said: ‘We know.’ Erdoğan tried to bring Fidan in a second time, and Obama again cut him off and said: ‘We know.’ At that point, an exasperated Erdoğan said, ‘But your red line has been crossed!’ and, the expert told me, ‘Donilon said Erdoğan “fucking waved his finger at the president inside the White House”.’ Obama then pointed at Fidan and said: ‘We know what you’re doing with the radicals in Syria.’ (Donilon, who joined the Council on Foreign Relations last July, didn’t respond to questions about this story. The Turkish Foreign Ministry didn’t respond to questions about the dinner. A spokesperson for the National Security Council confirmed that the dinner took place and provided a photograph showing Obama, Kerry, Donilon, Erdoğan, Fidan and Davutoğlu sitting at a table. ‘Beyond that,’ she said, ‘I’m not going to read out the details of their discussions.’)

Read more at London Review of Books

Walid Shoebat has some interesting observations on this here: CIA Was Involved In Benghazi Attack

Holder confirms Petraeus probe still open, amid questions over whether case used as leverage

petrausBy :

Two years after the FBI first began investigating former CIA director David Petraeus, Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed to lawmakers that the case remains open — amid allegations it is being used as leverage to keep the former general quiet.

“All I can say is that this is an ongoing investigation,” Holder testified Tuesday, in response to a series of questions from Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who wrote to the Justice Department last month about the matter. “I’m really not in a position to say much more about it than that.”

Fox News was told there may be friction between the FBI — whose investigators are on the Petraeus case – and the Justice Department over how to proceed, though Holder dismissed that claim.

“I’ve been briefed on this matter, and I did not detect any friction in what is an ongoing investigation,” he said.

In March, Chaffetz wrote to Holder, asking why the probe remained open 16 months after Petraeus resigned as CIA director following an affair with his biographer. At the time, Chaffetz suggested it was kept open to keep Petraeus quiet on controversies like the Benghazi terror attack, telling Fox News: “If there is something serious and sinister, then let Congress know. If not, give this man’s reputation back. But I worry that the White House is just holding this over his head to keep him quiet.”

In a series of questions before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Holder could not remember when he first learned about the FBI investigation or when the president was notified. He also could not recall when then-White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan (who is now the CIA director) learned, or when former CIA deputy director Mike Morell, who offered conflicting testimony on the question to the House Intelligence Committee last week, learned.

Read more at Fox News

More Obfuscation on Benghazi

Michael Morell, former acting director of the CIA, examines an enlargement of the Obama administration's Benghazi 'talking points' during congressional testimony, April 2. Associated Press

Michael Morell, former acting director of the CIA, examines an enlargement of the Obama administration’s Benghazi ‘talking points’ during congressional testimony, April 2. Associated Press

By MICHAEL B. MUKASEY:

Last week’s encounter between former acting CIA Director Michael Morell and the House Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence may have brought us a bit closer to the truth of how four Americans came to be killed at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, and how their countrymen came to be lied to about it. But the progress toward truth was probably not made in a way that Mr. Morell intended. The encounter on Capitol Hill also made clear that the forum that will take us all the way to the truth must be something other than a congressional hearing.

Mr. Morell announced at the start of the hearing that he was there to refute claims that he had “inappropriately altered CIA’s classified analysis and its unclassified talking points . . . for the political benefit of President Obama and then-Secretary of State Clinton.” Critics of the government’s performance on Benghazi have charged that Mr. Morell’s revisions principally although not exclusively involved changing the description of the violence and its perpetrators, and removing the suggestion that they might have had ties to a terrorist organization. These changes, it is argued, enabled Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the time, to promote the discredited and since abandoned narrative that the violence was a reaction to an anti-Muslim YouTube video produced by a probationer in Los Angeles.

The acting CIA director’s changes to the talking points did indeed enable the blame-it-on-the-video fiction, which served the interest of a president seeking re-election based in part on having put al Qaeda on the run, although in fairness it is not clear that was Mr. Morell’s motive. Thus he edited out a description of the warnings that the CIA had provided to the State Department of earlier terrorist attacks on the British embassy and on the Red Cross that caused them to withdraw their personnel, and a description of an attack that blew a hole in the U.S.’s own installation—events that might have suggested that Sept. 11, 2012, was not an isolated event.

Mr. Morell said he did the revising because it would have looked unseemly for the CIA to appear to be pounding its chest and blaming the State Department.

He substituted “demonstration” for “attack” despite the direct statement by the CIA’s Libya station chief in Tripoli that there was no demonstration; Mr. Morell changed “terrorist” to “extremist.” His explanation is that he relied on the CIA’s analysts, who he said had comprehensive information available to them, rather than on the CIA’s station chief, who relied on the testimony of eyewitnesses who arrived soon after the attack started. He used the term “extremist” because that’s what CIA analysts call terrorists.

Here it is actually possible that Mr. Morell fell victim to a bifurcated culture within the CIA. On one side is the directorate of operations, made up of those who do things, from gathering information to carrying out covert activities. On the other is a directorate of intelligence staffed by analysts who evaluate the information gathered by the directorate of operations and others. Mr. Morell spent his career in the directorate of intelligence. By his own account, when faced with a contradiction between what people on the ground were saying and what analysts were saying, his view was that unless the analysts—whom he called “my analysts”—changed their view, he would go with their version, even though they relied in large measure on local press reports.

The directorate of intelligence functions according to a protocol whose rigidity we more often associate with the military. So analysts whose deductions put them at odds with those on the scene wouldn’t have considered, and apparently didn’t consider, simply ringing up those on the scene and getting their input. To the contrary, analysts deal only with information that comes in the prescribed way. The CIA station chief’s communication to headquarters came in an email and did not get circulated within the intelligence community as it would have if it had been contained in a cable.

Read more at WSJ

Morell Hurt CIA’s Reputation in Benghazi Hearing

John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Kelly AyotteBy Fred Fleitz:

Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte put it best yesterday in a joint statement they issued in response to former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell’s testimony yesterday to the House Intelligence Committee:

“This looks an awful lot like misleading the Congress.”

It’s hard to come to any other conclusion after watching Morell squirm for three hours as he explained CIA’s drafting of talking points a week after the attacks on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi.  The final version of these talking points were used by Ambassador Susan Rice on September 16, 2012 to deny that the attacks were related to terrorism and to instead claim they were the result of a spontaneous demonstration in response to an anti-Muslim video.

This explanation was politically convenient six weeks ahead of the 2012 presidential election and helped President Obama defend his dubious campaign theme that because of his leadership, Osama bin Laden was dead and al Qaeda was on the run.

During the hearing, Morell denied altering the talking points for political reasons.  He said he sided with CIA analysts who believed the attacks were in response to a demonstration and the anti-Muslim video even though the CIA Libya station chief told him there was no demonstration and that he believed the attacks were an act of terrorism.

Morell tried to convey that relying on career CIA analysts – even though they were thousands of miles away from the Benghazi attack – was a responsible decision that had nothing to do with politics.

This is nonsense.  Having worked as a CIA analyst for 19 years, I can attest that the lower levels of the CIA analysis bureaucracy know exactly what their managers want.  They know the line they need to take to get promoted and to earn bonuses.  Moreover, the analysis side of the house is well known for its liberal political bias and for being gun-shy in drawing politically controversial conclusions since the 9/11 and Iraq WMD intelligence failures.

Maybe Morell didn’t alter the talking points for the White House because he didn’t have to – his analysts and managers knew what he and the White House expected.  Regardless of who was responsible for drafting and altering the talking points, we now know Morell approved them even though he knew the senior CIA officer in Libya had a very different view.  He also knew the memo he approved said exactly what the White House wanted to hear.

Morell made many other head-spinning statements, such as his claim that we can’t know the motivations of the attackers since we haven’t caught them yet.  He said the events on September 11, 2012 were both a terrorist attack and a protest.

Morell also said he took out the word “Islamic” in a sentence that described the attackers as “Islamic extremists” because he did not want to fuel anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world.  This was a policy call and was politically convenient for the White House which has been extremely reluctant to use the terms “Islamic” or Islamist” in describing terrorists or terrorist attacks.

This was a bad day for the CIA since Morell’s testimony will further undermine the Agency’s reputation as a non-political and objective source of information on national security matters.  Morell was right when he said the CIA probably should not have been involved in drafting unclassified talking points.  If there was a compelling reason for the CIA to engage in such a task, CIA managers had a responsibility to be politically neutral and not ignore inconvenient facts like reports by the Libya Chief of Station.

Also see:

Ex-CIA boss Morell gives unorthodox reasons for omitting key Benghazi details

morell3By :

In his opening statement during highly anticipated testimony Wednesday on Benghazi, former CIA deputy director Michael Morell claimed to be an intelligence professional who was willing to lay out the facts — no matter how damaging.

“I take very seriously the allegations about how the CIA in general and about how I in particular handled the analysis and the talking points,” Morell told the House Intelligence Committee, in his first public testimony on the Benghazi attacks. “The ethical code under which intelligence officers carry out their responsibilities calls for total objectivity.”

But Morell’s own testimony would appear to undercut that statement.

Early on, Morell made a startling claim about the so-called “talking points,” the faulty narrative that initially blamed a protest for the attack.

On the talking points, Morell said he dropped information about CIA security warnings — which were factual and accurate — because he thought it would be unprofessional to embarrass then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

This raised eyebrows, considering those warnings had alerted others that security conditions were rapidly deteriorating in eastern Libya. The warnings were not acted on, and four Americans, including ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in the 2012 attack.

“You take out everything that is even related to warnings and a bunch of other stuff too,” Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said. “To me it seems like you are more interested in protecting the State Department than the State Department is, and more interested in protecting the FBI than the FBI.”

In his defense, Morell responded: “I simply saw this as a way for CIA to pound its chest and say, ‘look, we warned’; therefore laying all the blame on the State Department. I did not think that appropriate.”

In an email, one day before the talking points were used by then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on national television, where she wrongly blamed a protest, then-CIA Director David Petraeus told Morell the talking points were so devoid of fact that they were useless.

But despite his boss’ reservations, Morell went ahead with the text which limited damage to the State Department.

Read more at Fox News

Here’s What Ex-CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkison Noticed During Wednesday’s Benghazi Hearing

Screen-Shot-2014-04-03-at-11.22.46-AM-300x151The Blaze, By :

Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, who recently resigned from CBS News, dissected former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell’s Wednesday testimony on the infamous Benghazi talking points. She not only outlined his claims in detail on Twitter, but she also produced a new article on her website,SharylAttkisson.com.

She noted that it’s still unclear “why federal officials seemed so confused and provided so much contradictory info about how the talking points evolved.”

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Ex-CIA leader Morell denies role in Benghazi ‘cover-up’ during heated Hill hearing

morell2By Guy Taylor:

A high-level former CIA leader flatly denied allegations on Wednesday that he had “inappropriately altered and influenced” the the now infamous Benghazi talking points to downplay the role of terrorism in the incident by inaccurately playing up the idea that the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks had been born out of a spontaneous protest — and then later “covered up” his actions.

“These allegations accuse me of taking these actions for the political benefit of President Obama and then [former] Secretary of State [Hillary RodhamClinton,” former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell told lawmakers on the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

“These allegations are false,” he said in prepared remarks given to committee members and the press as the highly-anticipated hearing on the Benghazi talking points got underway — disputes over which have long sat at the center of political fireworks hanging over an exhaustive series of congressional investigations into the attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans more than 18 months ago.

Mr. Morell moved quickly in his testimony to address the heart of the matter: Why did senior CIA and White House officials in Washington ignore pointed assertions by the CIA’s chief of station in Libya that there had been no protest prior to the attacks and why were those assertions not included in talking points that former U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice used on Sept. 16 when she appeared — five days after the attacks — on several news talks shows to claim that there had been a protest.

Mr. Morell said the CIA station chief’s assertions were not used in the talking points because they were outmatched by other streams of information being weighed at the same time by CIA analysts crafting the points.

Read more at Washington Times

 

 

Also see:

 

House Intel Committee to determine if Ex-CIA Director Chose to Lie about Benghazi or was told to

Ex-CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell.

Ex-CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell.

By Walid Shoebat:

According to a September 15, 2012 email addressed to Mike Morell, who at the time was the Deputy Director of the CIA, the Benghazi attack was “not an escalation of protests”. This is significant because one day later, then U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice told the audiences of five national Sunday talk shows that it was.

On April 2nd, the House Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hear testimony from Morell and that discrepancy is expected to be a central theme. Last year, Shoebat.com reported on the findings that Morell and a man named Jake Sullivan were intimately involved in drafting Rice’s talking points. Today, Sullivan is serving as the top national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.

Earlier this year, Shoebat.com brought you the explosive claims made by Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (Ret.), who asserted that Morell could be a considered a ‘co-conspirator with al-Qaeda’ if he withheld the contents of the email he received from his station chief.

However, if Morell was told by anyone higher up within the administration to dismiss the contents of the email and work toward drafting the talking points ultimately parroted by Rice one day later, the charge levied by Shaffer would almost necessarily apply to someone higher up the food chain. According to one report, a former intelligence official said that’s exactly what happened.

Another claim that is bound to get attention is the ‘fog of war’ defense and that multiple pieces of conflicting information caused the watering down of the talking points.

Read more at Shoebat.com

The hearing is scheduled to start tomorrow at 10 AM EST.

Also see:

#EyeOnCongress: Chairman Mike Rogers Retires Abruptly. Why?

10007031_10152089466682991_1108324987_aTHE LISA BENSON REPORT:

A Benghazi Reveal?

Possibly.

Late Thursday, news surfaced regarding the retirement of Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers, R-MI (8) of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  While his 2014 re-election committee was in full swing, he decided to call it quits beginning next January, 2015.

With a campaign war chest of $1.8 million — healthy assets for a 14-year congressional member — the blockbuster news story with the trappings of an espionage novel, got cursory attention and then the nation was back to the missing Malaysian airliner.

The nation, the press and the State of Michigan were satisfied to learn that Rep. Rogers was going to pursue a radio broadcasting career beginning in January.

Rep. Rogers is a well liked member of Congress; a good pal to Rep. Boehner — he plays by the rules and was awarded a coveted chairmanship in Congress for his loyalty.  He is also liked my his constituents who feel a bit betrayed by his recent decision.

It is odd to say the least, and very suspicious to most who are thinking deeply about this decision.

Here is why:

Kristi Clemens Rogers, wife of the Congressman, is the CEO of the American corporate arm of AEGIS DEFENSE SYSTEMS — a security contracting firm with divisions and contracts all over the globe.  Clemens married the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, but not before landing a 5-year, $10 billion contract under the Department of State’s Worldwide Protective Services program for Aegis.  By the way, according to an article entitled, “Family Connections Pay Off Big in Washington, D.C., by M. Caulfield, February 24, 2014, Mike Rogers happened to be part of the committee that had congressional oversight of the contract.

FAST FORWARD TO BENGHAZI

A source close to the Benghazi investigation believes that the London arm of Aegis, LLC was likely instructed by Kristi Clemens Rogers ( not verifiable publicly) to hire the BLUE MOUNTAIN GROUP to guard the ill-fated U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

FOLLOWING SO FAR?

It is believed that Blue Mountain, the guard service, was hired by Aegis, LLC London and was working with their local partner in Libya, Eclipse where they went ahead and hired local agents — as we have learned, al Qaeda MILITIA – to guard the Benghazi compound and the Tripoli consulate.

Under their noses, the CIA and MI 6 — the British Secret Service — were running guns via Libya al Qaeda operatives to Syria.

FOREIGN POLICY GONE WILD IN BENGHAZI:

Security practices at the Benghazi compound, where Blue Mountain guards patrolled with flashlights and batons, instead of guns, have come under US government scrutiny in the wake of the September 11, 2012 attack.

As reported by “Reuters,” Blue Mountain hired about 20 Libyan men – including some who say they had minimal training — to screen visitors and help patrol the mission in Benghazi.

The State Department has declined to comment on the company other than confirming it was the contractor in Benghazi.

The BBC reported that on the advice of a US diplomatic regional security officer, the mission in Benghazi was not given the full contract despite lobbying by the private security contractors.

Instead, the US consulate in Libya, and outpost in Benghazi, were guarded externally by a force of local militia, many of whom reportedly put down their weapons and fled once the mission came under concerted attack.

The blame falls squarely on the State Department and Hillary Clinton, but the role that was played by Kristi Clemens Rogers is this for sure:

    • Kristi Clemens Rogers provided on June 21, 2010, The Commission on Wartime Contracting, a statement on Aegis private security overview.  The web of holding company and sub holding companies doing business with the US Government as “security detail” spans the map of the most treacherous and hostile places on the planet. These efforts are left to the private companies being  paid per assignment — millions are being made by private companies of security detail.
    • Millions of dollars are made by the private companies to protect US interests overseas.  It’s a private-public partnership with the United States Government that was clearly under-managed by the US State Department.
    • Kristi Rogers played an important role in the acquisition of the Aegis, LLC security firm, may have had knowledge of what was happening on the ground in Benghazi, and testified to Congress on the overall aspects of the company to an oversight committee.  She knew more than the average CEO regarding intelligence issues in Benghazi.

As sources close to the uncovering of the Benghazi attack tell me, “so many people had knowledge of the CIA operations in Benghazi including the White House, The State Department, Congressional Members, John Boehner, Republican leadership, Democratic leadership, Senators and security firms, that if we handed out official indictments, the entire United Government would be at risk of crumbling.”

….therefore, getting a special prosecutor and to have an internal audit of the processes have gone awry.  Don’t depend on your elected officials to dig deep into these issues as they too may have known and implications of who, what, when and why are widespread.

WHAT ROLE DID KRISTI ROGERS PLAY EXACTLY?

Simply put:  In Washington, D.C., family connections pay off big time and in this case the American people have yet to understand how much was paid to the Rogers’ and how and who Kristi had influence over with regard to the lack of security in Benghazi.

In the words of Patricia Smith, the mother of slain Sean Smith, Benghazi victim:

“I cry every night.  I don’t sleep; I need answers.”
 

To Patricia Smith, I say, “The concerned citizens of this nation won’t rest until justice is served with regard to Benghazi; we want answers as well.”

So long Mike Rogers.  You can be sure we will be calling into your radio show asking you the hard questions regarding Benghazi and you too will feel the heat of needing to give answers.

In Liberty,

Lisa E. Benson

Founder, Lisa Benson Radio Show For National Security Matters

Founder, National Security Strike Team of America

President, Lisa Benson Consulting, LLC

602-790-6418

www.lisabensonradioshow.com

Group readies Benghazi report based on witness accounts

Mideast Libya Turmoil CentralBreitbart, by :

A private group of national security officials is preparing to release its own report on the Benghazi scandal, with a top official behind the report saying they have interviewed numerous eyewitnesses from before, during and after the Sept. 11, 2012 attack.

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, an organization composed of American retired military officers, intelligence officers, and national security experts is poised to release the product of one year of its own investigation into the scandal.

The report will include new details from witness and whistleblower interviews relating to the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi and CIA Annex. This attack left four Americans dead–including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Additionally, the Commission has issued a total of 55 FOIA requests to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department and Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Department as well as conducted interviews and meetings with sources and confidential informants with direct knowledge about what happened on September 11, 2012.

“The people have come to us in different ways have direct knowledge of what went on in Libya both before and during and to some extent after the attacks of September 11, 2012. And so those are actually the three periods of time, conceptually, that we focused on,” Commission member and former CIA officer Clare Lopez told Breitbart News.

Lopez explained, “The before, was the 2011 revolt against Gaddafi, when the U.S. in our judgment threw in with Al Qaeda and basically empowered known Al Qaeda militias to overthrow a sitting sovereign government that was our ally, really, in the war against AQIM in particular.”

“The second period of time is ‘the during.’ We specifically focused on why no military response was forthcoming. There was no decision. We can’t say there was a ‘stand down’ but there was no stand up either,” she said.

Finally, Lopez remarked the third part of the is the ‘after’ and “the cover up and why talking points were altered and why that video innocence of Muslims was used as an excuse and what purpose that served for the administration.”

The Commission is dedicated to pressing the House of Representatives to form a Select Committee to investigate the attack in Benghazi and learn answers to several questions including: why Washington officials ignored repeated concerns about security threats in Benghazi; who signed off on weapons exchanges to al-Qaida-linked rebel groups?; Were U.S. officials aware they were providing aid and material to terrorists groups in contravention of U.S. law?; Why weren’t U.S. Marine FAST teams and rapid response forces stationed within hours of Benghazi sent to aid Americans under assault in Benghazi? [emphasis added]

REPORT: TOP GOP AIDE IN CHARGE OF BENGHAZI INVESTIGATION FORMS BUSINESS WITH CLINTONISTAS

rogers-with-allen-in-bg-apBreitbart, by :

One of the top Republican congressional staffers on the Benghazi investigation founded a consulting firm comprised of numerous former Clinton aides and a former CIA director accused of lying to Congress about the attack, Fox News reported Monday.

J. Michael Allen is the founder and managing director of Beacon Global Strategies. He previously served as the staff director for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by GOP Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan and perhaps the most important panel investigating Benghazi.

Allen’s new business partners at Beacon include:

  • Philippe Reines, a dyed-in-the-wool Clinton hatchet man who worked for Clinton from 2002 until founding Beacon
  • Andrew Shapiro, a former top State Department official (under Clinton) and senior policy adviser to Clinton
  • Josh Kirshner, a former top State Department official under Clinton who also worked for her as a Senate aide in 2006
  • Ashley Woolheater, who previously led a team “responsible for crafting and executing the strategic media goals of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton” at the State Department
  • Jeremy Bash, a former chief of staff to Leon Panetta at the Defense Department and CIA under President Obama
  • Julianne Smith, a former top aide to Vice President Joe Biden
  • Sarah Davey, a former aide to Michelle Obama who helped craft the “Let’s Move!” initiative
  • Meredith Steen, a low-level Democratic aide who interned for Democrat James Moran

Eight colleagues. All Democrats. Four worked in senior positions under Clinton, the other three at the Obama White House.

The Fox News report by Catherine Herridge notes that one month after Allen interviewed Morell about the Benghazi attack in May 2013, Beacon approached him to hire him. Allen was then one of the most senior GOP officials on the issue and Morell the deputy director at the CIA.

A representative at Beacon told Fox that no conflict of interest existed because Morell was approached to be hired after he had already conducted the interview.

Benghazi Investigation – Potential Conflict Of Interest – Special Report 3/24/14

ON BENGHAZI, HILLARY CLINTON LIED AND FOUR AMERICANS DIED

hillary_testimony_shrug_APby :

The September 11, 2012 attack on the Benghazi mission is an indictment of Hillary Clinton’s capacity to serve as Commander in Chief.

The Senate Select Committee’s Benghazi Report (The Report) makes clear that the deaths of Amb. Christopher Stevens, State Information Officer Sean Smith, and Navy Seals Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods could have been prevented on the day of the attack. Above all, their deaths would not have occurred but for Obama and Clinton’s dangerous, Islamist-friendly, and unconstitutional military action against Qadhafi. Even worse, it is clear that Hillary put political “optics” above the security of American lives on the eve of a Presidential election. In that sense it’s a bigger cover-up than Watergate.

Yet former conservative and now infamous Clinton sycophant David Brock, founder of the George Soros-funded front group Media Matters, would have the public believe that Hillary’s deadly failures in Benghazi are non-existent and any criticisms of her, even taken directly out of the bi-partisan, year-long investigation Senate Report, are simply smears. Along with David Kirkpatrick’s shameful New York Times story, which was thoroughly debunked a day later by Fox News from witnesses “who were on the ground” the night of the Islamist attack, it is clear that the Clintonistas are in cahoots to protect Clinton from facing any scrutiny during her 2016 White House bid.

The Report is prima facie evidence that Hillary failed to answer the 3:00 PM call she faced on September 11, 2012 once the attack started on the Mission. Finding #1 of The Report makes clear that Clinton ignored the “ample strategic warning that [the] security situation in eastern Libya was deteriorating and that U.S. facilities and personnel were at risk in Benghazi.” On September 5th, six days before the attack, AFRICOM produced a report stating, on page 11, “disarray in Libya and a likely focus by authorities on pursuit of Qadhafi loyalists is likely allowing jihadists in Libya freedom to recruit, train, and facilitate the movement of fighters and weapons. The threat to Western and U.S. interests and individuals remains high, particularly in northeast-Libya.” Benghazi is the largest city in northeast Libya.

The Report also makes clear that a top Clinton lieutenant denied Amb. Stevens’s requests for greater security at the Benghazi Mission. Finding #2 of The Report states that “(t)he State Department should have increased its security posture more significantly in Benghazi based on the deteriorating security situation… including two incidents at the Temporary Mission Facility on April 6 and June 6, 2012.” [p. 12] Both of these attacks included IEDs being directed by Islamists at the Mission.

The Report explains that Amb. Stevens and other State Department officials outlined “concerns via cables to State Department headquarters about the security of the Mission compound and made several requests for additional resources.” [p. 14] Yet Clinton’s State Department was filled with “confusion over who, ultimately, was responsible and empowered to make decisions on both policy and security concerns.” [p. 16] Simply stated, Clinton was too incompetent to run a proper Department whose bureaucracy could prioritize the safety of her subordinates.

Not only did Hillary’s incompetence bungle the Mission’s security, but direct evidence exists which proves that top State Department officials under Clinton denied the Mission proper safety protocols. Internal State Department memos unearthed by Fox News show that Clinton’s Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy signed off on an action memo “that green-lighted the Benghazi operation” with the caveat that the Mission be “exempted… from mandatory physical security standards” of a Consulate.

It strains credulity to believe that Hillary was not aware of the action memo, especially since Clinton misled the public on a “diplomatic victory” in Libya as early as November 2011 when she “was quick to announce that the U.S. committed $40 million to help Libya secure and recover its weapons stockpiles.” This would be the same month when The Telegraph reported that the Al Qaeda flag was pictured “flying above the Benghazi courthouse building… alongside the Libyan national flag.”

Read more at Breitbart

‘Very upset’: CIA sat on Benghazi investigation, US personnel fuming

Sept. 11, 2012: A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames.REUTERS

Sept. 11, 2012: A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames.REUTERS

By :

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.

Read more at Fox News

 

Benghazi and the Politicization of Intelligence

timthumb (3)By Clare Lopez:

As we now know, within about 15 minutes after the start of the attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound (SMC) in Benghazi on 11 September 2012, top U.S. civilian and uniformed officials were informed that it was a terrorist attack. The information was clear, unambiguous, and remained consistent over the chaotic hours that followed. It did not change. If anything, the exceptionally accurate final mortar strike on the CIA Annex that took the lives of former Navy SEALs Glenn Doherty and Ty Woods, and gravely injured others, provided conclusive evidence of a carefully pre-planned attack. There is simply no room for equivocation on this: it was a well-organized, military-style assault by terrorists armed with assault rifles, RPGs, and eventually a mortar.

Mike Morell, then-head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC), had the task of helping to prepare talking points for then-U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, who was slated to appear on five Sunday morning talk shows a few days later. Morell was personally responsible for “cutting some 50 percent of the text,” including all “references to Al Qaeda” and the many earlier terror attacks against U.S. and other Western targets in Benghazi. When the Senate Intelligence Committee finally succeeded in prying loose the emails that had flowed back and forth to the CIA, State Department and the White House during the talking points editing process, it was clear that Morell not only had misrepresented his own role, but also had been less than forthcoming about the close oversight role played by the White House in ensuring that all references to al-Qa’eda terrorism would be scrubbed. Morell also made sure to scrub from the talking points the honest assessment that “We cannot rule out that individuals had previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.”

With the President in a close re-election race and touting the obviously inaccurate meme that al-Qa’eda was on the run and close to defeat, it wouldn’t have helped to admit that Islamic terrorists, after what was likely weeks of planning and rehearsal, had just overrun a U.S. diplomatic post in North Africa and killed four Americans. Better to obfuscate until the election was safely behind them. Besides, “What difference does it make?” that the most senior officials of the U.S. government deliberately subverted the intelligence process as long as it helped ensure the President’s re-election?

Read more at AIM