New Benghazi Indictment Still Doesn’t Mention Al-Qaeda

20140916__benghazi_caskets_murdered_lby ANDREW C. MCCARTHY:

On September 10, 2012, al-Qaeda’s emir, Ayman al-Zawahiri, issued a lengthy statement to his fellow jihadists in Libya. He called on them to avenge the American military’s killing of Abu Yahya al-Libi, the highest ranking al-Qaeda operative in that country. His “blood is calling, urging and inciting you to fight and kill the Crusaders,” Zawahiri cried.

The diatribe was no surprise, the following day being the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities committed against the United States by the terror network with which we were – and are – still at war. Plus, jihadists in Benghazi, the terror network’s hub in eastern Libya, had repeatedly attacked American and other Western targets during the preceding five months.

The following night, September 11, 2012, jihadists from al-Qaeda’s main Libyan franchise, Ansar al-Sharia, laid siege to a U.S. State Department mission in Benghazi, the very target jihadists had detonated an IED against only three months earlier, on June 6. They torched the facility, murdered the American ambassador to Libya, killed three additional American officials, and wounded several others in an attack that lasted several hours – a terrorist attack by our wartime enemies during which President Obama and the U.S. armed forces took no meaningful action to respond or rescue our personnel.

Now, do you suppose what happened before the Benghazi massacre – the continuing war with al-Qaeda, the serial jihadist attacks, the call by the terror network’s leader right before the 9/11 anniversary to avenge a “martyr” by striking against the United States – just might shed some light on the terrorist attack involving al-Qaeda’s Libyan franchise against the State Department compound that night?

If you do, you clearly do not work for the Obama administration and its brazenly politicized Justice Department.

For them, as a superseding indictment filed on Monday reaffirms, “al-Qaeda” is a term not to be uttered – except at fundraisers, and only for the purpose of absurdly claiming victory over the terrorist group. And Benghazi is just a spontaneous protest that, somehow, came to involve terrorists – impossible to have foreseen and over in the blink of an eye, before any commander-in-chief could have done much about it.

Yes, Attorney General Eric Holder’s minions have finally filed their long-awaited superseding indictment against Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a ringleader in the Benghazi attack. It is a gussied up replay of the original indictment returned last summer, the one that was roundly mocked by critics, not least by your humble correspondent. That indictment was more a political than a legal document, hewing to the administration’s fictional account of Benghazi as a sudden uprising, not a coordinated attack within the framework of an ongoing terrorist conspiracy.

The Justice Department hopes you’ll miss the chicanery this time because, ostensibly, they’ve beefed up the charges. Instead of the original indictment’s bare-bones brevity – it was just two pages long (actually, just 15 lines) and alleged just one count against the single defendant – the superseding indictment comes in at about 21 pages and now levels 18 charges against Khatallah. But the additional heft merely comes from a mining of new statutory offenses out of the same version of events. The story has not changed.

That is, the new indictment does not allege an al-Qaeda terrorist conspiracy against the United States. It instead posits a scheme lasting just one day – indeed, perhaps just a few hours – in which Khatallah is accused of agreeing to lend material support, namely, himself, to unidentified terrorists who spontaneously attacked the State Department compound without much planning or warning. It is indictment as agitprop: a charging instrument designed to sit comfortably with the Obama administration’s political claims.

The superseding indictment makes no mention of al-Qaeda, much less of Zawahiri’s baying for American blood. After all, the president had said some three-dozen times during the 2012 campaign that he had already defeated al-Qaeda. In fact, Obama had the temerity to repeat that risible claim at his Vegas fundraiser the day after the massacre (“A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead”).

Read more: Family Security Matters

Why Won’t Republicans Get to the Bottom of Benghazi?

pic_giant_101114_SM_Trey-GowdyBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

Something bothers me about the first and only hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Something I haven’t been able to shake.

It was a desultory hearing. That’s not the main thing that bothers me, but it grates. Many Americans still seek real accountability for the jihadist-empowering policies and recklessly irresponsible security arrangements that preceded the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack — to say nothing of the fraud and stonewalling that followed it. We were thus cheered when the GOP-controlled House finally appointed a select investigative committee . . . although we were equally puzzled why it took so much prodding, why Republican leadership seemed so reluctant. Five months have elapsed since then, and the committee has not exactly been a bundle of energy.

The panel is chaired by Representative Trey Gowdy. We were buoyed by that, too: He is an impressive former prosecutor from South Carolina. To date, though, he has convened just the one, remarkably brief public hearing. It was on September 17, a few days after the second anniversary of the Benghazi massacre, during which terrorists killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans: Sean Smith, Ty Woods, and Glen Doherty.

The hearing seemed to be a futile quest for buy-in from committee Democrats, whose mission is to undermine the legitimacy of an investigation their party opposed — one that, if thorough and competent, cannot but damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions. Representative Gowdy agreed to the minority’s request for a session that would explore the recommendations of the Obama State Department’s Accountability Review Board (ARB) and the administration’s diligent implementation thereof.

The ARB probe, conducted by Washington fixtures handpicked by then–Secretary of State Clinton for damage-control purposes, was hopelessly conflicted. It failed to interview key witnesses — including, natch, Mrs. Clinton herself. Its recommendations are thus of dubious value. More to the point, they are far afield from the salient matter: accountability for the disastrous decisions, actions, and omissions before, during, and after the attack.

It was obvious why Democrats wanted a hearing focused on the ARB recommendations. It could nicely frame their contention that Benghazi has already been thoroughly investigated by bipartisan Beltway eminences who found fault (though not much, and not by anyone of significance) and proposed fixes, which fixes the Obama administration anxiously and responsibly adopted. End of story, which after all, dude, was like two years ago.

In spinning this yarn, Democrats could not have chosen a more perfect witness: Gregory Starr, assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security. Mr. Starr is a highly experienced diplomat, articulate with just the right edge of condescension, and, best of all, out of the loop on anything of consequence. He wasn’t at State when Benghazi happened. He was brought back to the Department by Mrs. Clinton’s successor, John Kerry, after a stint at the UN. He was therefore perfectly positioned to give forceful soliloquies about how crucial personnel security is to the State Department and the Obama administration, yet able to dodge any questions about the unconscionable security lapses in Benghazi under Secretary Clinton.

To their credit, committee Republicans did a fine job debunking the Democrats’ narrative. Chairman Gowdy in particular was characteristically effective in showing that the ARB recommendations were essentially the same ones proposed, and quickly forgotten, after every terrorist attack on a government facility over the past three decades. He also pointed out that security for high-threat facilities was supposed to be personally approved by the secretary of state, not a subordinate — a problem given that, under Secretary Clinton, security in Benghazi was decreased despite attacks, threats, and expert assessments that clearly signaled an intensifying threat.

Still, there was no reason for committee Republicans to put themselves in a defensive posture. Chairman Gowdy decides what the hearing topics will be. In the days before the hearing, three security contractors assigned to protect the CIA annex in Benghazi went public with allegations that they’d been obstructed by superiors when they tried to come to the aid of the Americans under attack. The delay may have cost lives. Was that not more to the point of the select committee’s mission — more appropriate fodder for its much-anticipated first hearing — than the ARB recommendations?

Of course, we conservatives are used to GOP accommodations designed to both entice Democrats into good-faith cooperation and impress the media with how bipartisan or, in Gowdy’s framing of it, how non-partisan Republicans can be. The civility and sobriety are always unrequited, yet they keep trying.

But that is not my main problem. What really bothers me is what happened toward the end of the hearing.

It was the day’s most dramatic exchange: Representative Gowdy was questioning Secretary Starr. The chairman had expertly set the stage by adducing Starr’s agreement that diplomatic security in dangerous places is a cost-benefit analysis. That is, the degree of risk tolerated depends on the government’s calculation of the benefit derived from whatever mission requires an American presence. With his witness thus cornered, Gowdy pounced: There being no more perilous place on the planet for Americans than the jihadist hornet’s nest of Benghazi, he asked Starr,

We know the risk of being in Benghazi. Can you tell us what our policy was in Libya that overcame those risks? In other words, why were we there?

Starr tried to dance away, going into a speech about how such questions “have been fundamental to the Department for over thirty years,” and that there have thus been evacuations, removal of family members, reductions of personnel, etc. Gowdy, however, would have none of it — after all, none of the measures Starr listed was taken in Benghazi. So again, the chairman demanded,

We know the risk in Benghazi. My colleagues and you and others have done a wonderful job of highlighting some of the “trip wires” — I think [that] is the diplomatic term. What policy were we pursuing in Libya that was so great that it overcame all of the trip wires?

After some hesitation, Secretary Starr meekly replied: “Not being here at the time, sir, I cannot answer that question for you.”

Really?

Read more at National Review

Also see:

Video: Timmerman’s Benghazi speech at Horowitz’s Wednesday Morning Club

Kenneth R. Timmerman – “Dark Forces” from DHFC on Vimeo.

Also see:

Benghazi Bombshell: Clinton State Department Official Reveals Details of Alleged Document Review

cnpphotos042907By Sharyl Attkisson:

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

UPDATE: Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff allegedly present at after-hours document review.

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.

At the time, Maxwell was a leader in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which was charged with collecting emails and documents relevant to the Benghazi probe.

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

New Benghazi allegation puts spotlight on Hillary Clinton confidants, alleged after-hours document review.

UPDATE: Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff allegedly present at after-hours document review.

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.

At the time, Maxwell was a leader in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which was charged with collecting emails and documents relevant to the Benghazi probe.

Ray Maxwell (Photo: Sharyl Attkisson)

“I was not invited to that after-hours endeavor, but I heard about it and decided to check it out on a Sunday afternoon,” Maxwell says.

He didn’t know it then, but Maxwell would ultimately become one of four State Department officials singled out for discipline—he says scapegoated—then later cleared for devastating security lapses leading up to the attacks. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were murdered during the Benghazi attacks.

‘Basement Operation’

Maxwell says the weekend document session was held in the basement of the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in a room underneath the “jogger’s entrance.” He describes it as a large space, outfitted with computers and big screen monitors, intended for emergency planning, and with small offices on the periphery.

When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.

“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisers.

“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ”

A few minutes after he arrived, Maxwell says, in walked two high-ranking State Department officials.

In an interview Monday morning on Fox News, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, named the two Hillary Clinton confidants who allegedly were  present: One was Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff and a former White House counsel who defended President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial. The other, Chaffetz said, was Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, who previously worked on Hillary Clinton’s and then Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

 

 

Read more at The Daily Signal

Benghazi: When America Switched Sides In The War On Terror And Armed Al-Qaida

Clare Lopez2

Click here to go to the new 19 min. video

Daily Caller, by Ginni Thomas:

The Center for Security Policy’s Vice President for Research and Analysis, Clare Lopez, says in this exclusive video interview with The Daily Caller that very few have seemed to care that America switched sides in the global war on terror when President Obama deposed an erstwhile ally in the Middle East and provided weapons to al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Focusing on this under-reported, critical shift in American foreign policy, Clare Lopez discusses how an American ambassador and others were killed in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11 because the Obama administration decided to promote and defend their narrative that “al-Qaida was on the run,” even as we were outright arming militants affiliated with the terrorist group.

Lopez spent 20 years as an undercover operations officer for the CIA. Believing she can now best serve her country in the policy arena, she has found a natural fit at a non-partisan non-profit that promotes American national security and foreign policy based on the principle of “peace through strength.”

This week, we feature part 1 of 2 of our video interview with Lopez on the topic of the Benghazi attacks. Lopez, who’s also a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi, says, “Benghazi is symbolic of more than just a disastrous foreign policy or a disastrous attack on our mission that took the lives of four Americans serving there and injured many more. Benghazi is not just what happened on September 11, 2012 either. Americans really need to care about Benghazi and what happened there because that is the place, and 2011 and 2012 was the time, when America switched sides in the war on terrorism.”

To her, the American decision to overthrow the head of a sovereign government, Muammar al-Gaddafi, and to instead support al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood laid the important framework for a resurgence of global jihad.

Lopez says when we supported the local Islamic forces, America flipped in the global war on terror and we, the U.S. government, turned on our erstwhile ally and provided funding, backing, intelligence, our participation in a NATO effort and weapons for rebel forces.

“We facilitated the flow of weapons to the Gaddafi opposition, and we knew the opposition was dominated by al-Qaida. It was led by the Muslim Brotherhood and the fighting militia was dominated by al-Qaida. That’s who we helped,” she explained.

Later in the interview, Lopez discusses the important, unanswered questions on Benghazi before, during and after the 2012 attack. She discusses the weapons transfers happening in Benghazi that were at the heart of the controversial change in American policy, and the significance of the capture and prosecution of Ahmed Abu Khattala.

In addition, Lopez discusses the significance of the Muslim Brotherhood giving a “kill order” to al-Qaida, showing significant “command and control” as the global jihadist forces began a resurgence.

Lopez ends by bringing viewers back to the fall of 2012. When the reality of the Benghazi attack came to light due to Judicial Watch’s “smoking gun email,” we now know the Obama administration scurried to promote a narrative that did not challenge the President’s reelection mantra “Osama bin Laden is dead and al-Qaida is on the run.” Lopez says, “It would not have suited, at all, to be defending against a nonexistent al-Qaida!”

 

General Ham: Forgetful or Just Oblivious of Explicit Attack Warnings in Libya?

timthumb (8)Accuracy In Media, By Clare Lopez,  August 12, 2014:

General Carter Ham, AFRICOM commander in September 2012 when al-Qa’eda jihadis attacked the U.S. mission in Benghazi, spoke with Martha Raddatz [1] on the ABC News’ “This Week” program Sunday morning 10 August 2014. The topic was what to do about the Islamic State and its blitzkrieg advance across the Middle East, but there was a question at the end about Benghazi, too. And General Ham blew it. Badly.

Raddatz asked him about the U.S. preparation in Iraq and how different it was than in Benghazi nearly two years ago. Ham characterized the U.S. preparation in Iraq as “much more significant [2]” than was possible in Benghazi at the time. He went on to add, “Of course there was, at least as far as I am aware, no indications of imminent attack against the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi,” he said. “Current circumstance is very different in Iraq where there is an imminent threat.  It’s very present, and it’s known.”

Except that’s not exactly accurate, because the reporting out of Libya and specifically out of Benghazi was not only voluminous—it was quite explicit about the deteriorating security situation there in the months, weeks and days leading up to 11 September 2012.

Let’s recall that Gen. Ham was the commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) at the time. That means he received all the intelligence reporting from the State Department Embassy in Tripoli, the CIA Station in Tripoli, and the CIA Base of Operations in Benghazi (the “Annex”)—on top of all the Defense Department reporting from across the North Africa region. There was so much threat reporting out of Libya after the 2011 U.S.-NATO-engineered overthrow of Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi that maybe Gen. Ham just got confused. Or overwhelmed…although preventing that is supposedly one of the reasons why combatant commanders like Gen. Ham have such large staffs.

In any case, as we now know, Libya descended into chaos pretty much immediately after Qaddafi was killed in October 2011. The al-Qa’eda- and Muslim Brotherhood-linked militias that the CIA, Special Forces and State Department had armed during the uprising fell to squabbling among themselves, but also began launching attack after attack against Western interests in Benghazi. The British Ambassador’s convoy was hit with an RPG attack in June 2012 and the International Red Cross decided to pull out that same month. The U.S. Special Mission Compound (SMC) in Benghazi was attacked twice, in April and June, with an IED. Even the Tunisian consulate in Benghazi was stormed by Ansar al-Sharia gunmen on 18 June 2012. On 16 August 2012, according to a cable Ambassador Christopher Stevens sent back to the State Department, a CIA officer had briefed him just the day before on the known presence and locations of some ten al-Qa’eda terror training camps [3] in the immediate vicinity of Benghazi. As we now know, too, thanks to FOX News’ Adam Housley, Ansar al-Sharia [4] had actually moved in next door to the SMC within weeks of that villa compound being rented by the Americans. Gen. Ham either knew or should have known about all of this—it was his job to know.

Over and over again, Ambassador Stevens, his Regional Security Officer (RSO) Eric Nordstrom, and others warned that they were increasingly at risk and pleaded for additional security resources.  Instead, security methodically was stripped away from Benghazi [5]. The Blue Mountain security outfit (with links to both MI 6 and the CIA) hired to guard the SMC wasunarmed [5], according to Nordstrom—on State Department orders. RSO Nordstrom warned on 21 July that the risk to U.S. officials in Libya was “High.” Gen. Ham either knew or should have known all of this, too.

If none of this was “imminent” or “specific” enough, it got worse. Cairo Embassy next door in Egypt had been monitoring Gama’at al-Islamiyya and Muslim Brotherhood plans to stage a big protest on September 11 to demand the release from U.S. federal prison of the Blind Sheikh (who’s serving a life sentence for directing the 1993 World Trade Center attack). By 10 September, however, the State Department knew that the focus in Cairo had switched over to an amateur YouTube video about the life of Muhammad. The warning went out to the White House, Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, AFRICOM, and diplomatic posts across the Muslim world that anger was building over that video and that the 9/11 anniversary would be an explosive one. Everyone went to an elevated alert status no later than the morning of 11 September 2012. Gen. Ham, along with all the other combatant commanders (who, inexplicably, had been called to the Pentagon for a meeting that 9/11, instead of being at their posts), undoubtedly knew this, too. In fact, he was the one who had to give the elevated alert order to AFRICOM.

The final—and extremely specific—warning came from al-Qa’eda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who issued an explicit attack order [6] in a videotaped message posted to jihadi websites on 10 September 2012. That message called on Libyans to attack Americans in revenge for the CIA drone killing of his deputy, Abu Yahya al-Libi, some months before. There could hardly have been a more explicit warning that American interests in Libya were being targeted for attack by al-Qa’eda in conjunction with the 9/11 anniversary date. This, too, Gen. Ham either knew or should have known. It was his professional responsibility to know.

All of which leaves us with the unwelcome realization that Gen. Carter Ham has been either exceptionally forgetful, exceptionally oblivious, or less than fully truthful in his Congressional testimony and public statements about what he knew about Benghazi and when he knew it.

It falls to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and his Select Committee on Benghazi to subpoena the General and ask him under oath a number of very specific questions. Americans will be watching.

Clare Lopez
Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy and a Senior Fellow at The Clarion Project, the London Center for Policy Research, and the Canadian Meighen Institute. She is also a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi.

HOW OBAMA ARMED THE ISLAMIC CALIPHATE

Gadhafi_rebelsBy GREG COROMBOS:

Jihadists in Benghazi are declaring themselves part of an Islamic caliphate just days after tribal warfare forced American diplomatic personnel out of Libya over fears for their safety.

As WND reported Monday, in a repudiation of the premise advanced by President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the “Arab Spring” was a democracy movement, Libya has descended into lawless chaos in which various terrorist militia, including al-Qaida, vie for power.

With most of the world focused on foreign crises like the Israel-Hamas conflict and the Russian influence in Ukraine, the State Department quietly announced the withdrawal of U.S. Embassy staff on July 26.

Barely a week later, the fate of the war-torn country appears even more bleak.

“There has been a rapid deterioration over the past couple of weeks. (Friday) in Benghazi, the Ansar al-Sharia group, which of course was involved in the attacks on our special mission compound in Benghazi, has announced an Islamic Shariah state, a portion of a caliphate. They have taken over Benghazi and declared Islamic law,” said reporter Ken Timmerman, author of “Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi.”

Timmerman said the fighting between radical Islamic groups is steadily intensifying, and the conditions on the ground simply became untenable.

“The country is descending into chaos. I think this was a foreseeable thing. I’ve been talking to people who have been at the U.S. Embassy recently, who have been engaged in the security procedures. They told me this was a disaster waiting to happen,” said Timmerman, who did have a bit of praise for Secretary of State John Kerry while jabbing his predecessor.

“Secretary Kerry at least had the foresight to evacuate the embassy, unlike Hillary Clinton, who left our people out to dry on Sept. 11, 2012,” he said.

According to Timmerman, the rapid unraveling of stability in recent weeks is particularly noticeable and alarming.

“In Tripoli, you still have ongoing fighting. The international airport has been bombed and shelled repeatedly. Aircraft have been destroyed on the ground. Libyans are basically isolated from the rest of the world. The country is going to hell in a hand basket,” he said, noting that all of this was avoidable because there was no need to force Col. Muammar Gadhafi from power in 2011.

“The Obama administration engaged in the sabotage, an undermining of a regime in Libya that was no threat to the United States whatsoever. Gadhafi had given up his weapons of mass destruction. He had destroyed his ties to terrorist groups. He was helping the United States in the war on terror. Was he a nice guy? No, he wasn’t. Were people in political prisons? Yes, they were. Were thousands jailed? No. He was a thug. He was a dictator, but he was not a threat to the United States and, frankly, he wasn’t even a threat to the Libyan people,” Timmerman said.

“We overthrew him, and the result of that was predictable,” he said. “It was getting these Islamist groups, these jihadi groups, who we helped to arm by the way. We helped to arm them, in Benghazi and elsewhere. They took over the country, and since then they’ve been fighting for control.”

Much of “Dark Forces” details how the toppling of Gadhafi led to a massive number of American-made weapons winding up in the hands of the world’s worst actors. Timmerman said the risks posed to the U.S. and its allies may well end up being the most troubling legacy of U.S. involvement in Libya.

Read more at WND

Also see:

Don’t Put Terrorists on Trial

by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
July 14, 2014

The Obama administration has brought an accused Libyan terrorist named Ahmed Abu Khattala to Washington for trial. His saga reveals how the government views the Islamist threat, and it’s discouraging. Fortunately, a much better alternative exists.

 

Ahmed Abu Khattala.

Abu Khattala stands accused of taking part in the murder of an ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi in September 2012. After an achingly slow investigation, during which time the suspect lived in the open and defiantly gave media interviews, the American military seized him on June 15. After being transported by sea and air to Washington, D.C., Abu Khattala was jailed, provided with a defense attorney, Michelle Peterson, indicted, arraigned, and, after listening to an Arabic translation of the proceedings, pleaded not guilty to a single charge of conspiracy and requested a halal diet. He potentially faces life in prison.

 

An artist’s rendering of Abu Khattala, wearing a headphone, next to his attorney Michelle Peterson, being sworn in by Judge John Facciola at his hearing on June 28, 2014 in the federal U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

This scenario presents two problems. First, Abu Khattala enjoys the full panoply of protections offered by the U.S. legal system (he actually was read his Miranda rights, meaning his right to stay silent and to consult with a lawyer), making conviction uncertain. As the New York Times explains, proving the charges against him will be “particularly challenging” because of the circumstances of the attacks, which took place in the midst of a civil war and in a country brimming with hostility to the United States, where concerns about security meant that U.S. law investigators had to wait for weeks to go to the crime scenes to collect evidence, and the prosecution depends on testimony from Libyan witnesses brought over to the United States who may well falter under cross-examination.

Secondly, what good does a conviction bring? If all goes well, a minor operative will be taken out of commission, leaving the ideological sources, the funding apparatus, the command and control structure, and the terrorist network untouched. A years-long, cumbersome, expensive, and draining effort will prove a point, not damage the enemy. If Abu Khattala is convicted, administration officials can crow but Americans will be only marginally safer.

This futility recalls the 1990s, when terrorist attacks were routinely treated as criminal incidents and handled in courts of law, rather than as warfare to be dealt with using military force. In response, I complained in 1998 that the U.S. government saw terrorist violence “not as the ideological war it is, but as a sequence of discrete criminal incidents,” a mistaken approach that turns the U.S. military “into a sort of global police force and requires it to have an unrealistically high level of certainty before it can go into action,” requiring it to collect evidence of the sort that can stand up in a U.S. court of justice.

George W. Bush discarded the criminal paradigm when he dramatically declared a “war against terrorism” in the evening of 9/11. While that is a clumsy phrase (how can one make war on a tactic?), what became known as the Bush Doctrine had the great benefit of declaring war – as opposed to a police action – on those attacking Americans. But now, 13 years later and in part because of the success of this war, the Obama administration has reverted to the pre-9/11 approach of apprehending criminals.

 

George W. Bush addressing the nation and declaring a “war against terrorism” on 9/11.

Instead of this, the U.S. response to terrorist attacks on Americans citizens should be immediate and lethal. As I wrote 16 years ago, “anyone who harms Americans should know that retribution will be certain and nasty. … When reasonable evidence points to Middle Eastern terrorists having harmed Americans, U.S. military force should be deployed. If the perpetrator is not precisely known, then punish those who are known to harbor terrorists. Go after governments and organizations that support terrorism, not just individuals.”

Skip the fine-grain analysis of who carried out the attack. Security depends not on complex court procedures, but on a record of U.S. deterrence established by “years of terrible retribution against anyone who so much as harms a single American citizen.” Enemies must expect to face the full fury of the United States when they harm its citizens, thereby dissuading them from committing such attacks in future.

American taxpayers turn over $3 trillion a year to the federal government and in return expect to be protected from foreign threats. This holds doubly for citizens who venture abroad on behalf of their country, such as the four embassy personnel killed in Benghazi.

Crimes require rules of evidence, Miranda rights, lawyers, judges and juries. Warfare requires full-throated retaliation by the American military.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2014 by Daniel Pipes. 

Released House Testimony confirms author Ken Timmerman’s Dark Forces allegations about the Benghazi Attack

Gen. Carter F. Ham, former head of the U.S. Africa Command, shown here in June 2014, testified about the Benghazi attacks in a closed-door meeting with lawmakers. (Thibault Camus / Associated Press)

Gen. Carter F. Ham, former head of the U.S. Africa Command, shown here in June 2014, testified about the Benghazi attacks in a closed-door meeting with lawmakers. (Thibault Camus / Associated Press)

NER, by Jerry Gordon, July 10 2014:

Testimony of senior military released yesterday by  House Armed Services and Government Oversight Committees confirms author Ken Timmerman’s allegations in his expose, Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi .  That the mortar attack on the CIA annex that killed ex-Navy Seals and CIA contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Guthrie was professionally planned and executed.  However, the closed door testimony by retired US Army General Carter F. Ham, Former AFRICOM commander and the Tripoli embassy defense attaché, did not connect the dots with evidence presented in Timmerman’s book.That the Benghazi attacks were coordinated and planned by Iran’s Quds Force with the Ansar al-Shariah Al Qaeda militia as a cover pick up team.

In our interview with Timmerman published in the July NER he noted:

Gordon:  Ken, what happened at the Annex? We know that unfortunately two ex-Navy Seals and CIA Contractors were killed with mortar fire. Could the Ansar al-Sharia pick up team do that?

Timmerman:  That is one of the specific things that I discovered in writing this book. The Libyans had no experienced mortar men, not in the Libyan Army and not amongst the guerilla fighters. The mortar men were Iranians. I believe they were Iranian nationals who came as part of a special unit that arrived in Benghazi on July 31st with a specific intent and orders to carry out this terrorist attack.

AP reported the release of closed door testimony earlier this year from nine senior military, including former AFRICOM commander retired Gen. Ham.   The House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations conducted interviews with these military officers on separate days over the period from January to April, 2014.   Their testimony suggested that there may have been two separate groups of terrorists, with the one attacking the CIA Annex professionally capable of a complex mortar attack,“New testimony suggests separate Benghazi attacks”.   As Timmerman has argued in Dark Forces, the Benghazi attack was planned and executed by senior Iranian Quds Force and Hezbollah operatives under the direct control of Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, chief of the covert force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. The AP cited the following in support of Timmerman’s revelations in Dark Forces:

The second attack in the eastern Libyan city, which killed two American security contractors, showed clear military training, retired U.S. Gen. Carter Ham told Congress in closed-door testimony released late Wednesday. The assault probably was the work of a new team of militants, seizing on reports of violence at the diplomatic mission the night before and hitting the Americans while they were most vulnerable, Ham said.

[…]

The military attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, told Congress the first attack showed some advance planning. The Libyan police officer guarding the diplomatic compound fled as it began.

The defense attaché, whose name wasn’t released, suggested the attackers “had something on the shelf” — an outline of a plan based on previously obtained information about the compound and its security measures, so they were ready to strike when the opportunity arose.

“They came in, and they had a sense of purpose, and I think it sometimes gets confused because you had looters and everyone else coming in,” he said. “It was less than kind of full, thought-out, methodical.”

Gen. Ham noted this about the CIA Annex mortar attack:

Given the precision of the attack, it was a well-trained mortar crew, and in my estimation they probably had a well-trained observer,” …. The attack showed “a degree of sophistication and military training that is relatively unusual and certainly, I think, indicates that this was not a pickup team. This was not a couple of guys who just found a mortar someplace.”

Ham said the nearly eight-hour lapse between the two attacks also seemed significant. “If the team [that launched the second attack] was already there, then why didn’t they shoot sooner?” he asked.

“I think it’s reasonable that a team came from outside of Benghazi,” he said of the second attack in testimony on April 9. Violent extremists saw an opportunity “and said, “Let’s get somebody there.”  He also acknowledged that the absence of American security personnel soon enough after the first attack “allowed sufficient time for the second attack to be organized and conducted”.

At the State Department Press Briefing today, spokesperson Ms. Jen Psaki doubled down on the fiction that Benghazi was a spontaneous attack by local al Qaeda militia groups provoked by the cheaply made US internet anti-Muslim video.  Note this exchange with a Questioner at today’s press briefing:

QUESTION: But how come a year and a half after the attacks, we’re still hearing about reports? And this wasn’t testimony to Congress; this wasn’t General Ham being interviewed by members of the State Department or members of the Administration.

MS. PSAKI: Well, these were interviews that were released that were closed-door interviews. But just like any different reports or different individual accounts, you have to take those as one of many. And obviously, assessments are made about – through investigations and through an overall review about what actually happened, but it’s ongoing.

QUESTION: Are you ready to finally acknowledge that the attacks were not spontaneous?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Lucas, I think we’ve been pretty clear or we’ve stated many times and very consistently that we believe it was an opportunistic attack on our mission that did not involve significant preplanning. It still doesn’t change the fact that at the time, there were known protests all around the region dominating the news at the time. There were a range of reports on those that probably every outlet in this room reported on. So we’re not in a position to make any conclusive confirmation today of anything. We’ll let the investigation conclude.

QUESTION: And I noticed you didn’t mention the video this time. Have you guys dropped that one?

MS. PSAKI: I think we’ve referred to the video before. Nothing has changed on that particular point.

A few days before its publication, Timmerman had personally presented a copy of Dark Forces to Rep. Trey Gowdy who will lead the House Select Committee on Benghazi investigations and hearings that might begin later this year following the mid-term elections.  In the interim both the House Armed Services and Government Oversight Committees might hold public hearings on yesterday’s revealed testimony with independent experts including Timmerman. For starters, news media like FoxNews might invite Timmerman for interviews to connect the dots in what is quickly emerging as a possible act of state terrorism by Iran.

Also see:

Herridge: Court Filings Reveal Benghazi Attack Had Nothing to Do with Anti-Islam Video

BY: :

Catherine Herridge, Chief intelligence correspondent for Fox News, revealed documents filed by the U.S. Justice Department against Libyan militant Ahmed Abu Khatallah hurt the claim made by the Obama administration that the Benghazi attack developed from from an anti-islam video.

Speaking to host Bill Hemmer, Herridge said “Based on the documents, what the government is saying is that there was a conspiracy, it began in the days leading up to the 9/11 attack and that it was coordinated and premeditated.”

Herridge also reported “There is no reference in these documents to spontaneity, or the video being a catalyst, and that is significant given that on her recent book tour, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said that it was entirely possible that some in the crowd may have been motivated by the video. But the people who are filing this against Khatallah say at least at this point was not part of the equation.”

Benghazi panel ramps up

Trey Gowdy, John KoskinenBy LAUREN FRENCH:

There are no Benghazi hearings on the House calendar, but the silence doesn’t mean the investigation is fading away.

Rep. Trey Gowdy is launching a special committee to wrangle a probe that’s sprawled across the jurisdictions of multiple headline-hungry committee chairmen.

And while the South Carolina Republican isn’t committing to specifics, such as whether there will be public hearings with high-profile witnesses like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, his methodical approach could help the GOP savor a scandal that has at times looked more like a political sideshow.

“No one [has] defended the five-minute questioning [process] as the most calculated way of eliciting the most amount of information,” Gowdy said in an interview. “There is most assuredly a place for hearings but not if your primary focus is to gather facts.”

While there isn’t much happening publicly, the House select committee investigating the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, is busy behind the scenes.

The panel is examining subpoenas from committees that previously investigated the Benghazi attacks to develop a list of unanswered questions from the Obama administration. There is also outreach to agencies that received requests for information.

Meanwhile, Gowdy is planning a series of closed-door meetings this month that could include a screening of a classified video from the Benghazi compound. He’s also checking with the 11 other lawmakers on the panel about working through the August recess.

Read more at Politico

 

How Not To Indict a Terrorist

pic_giant_070514_SM_How-Not-to-Indict-a-TerroristBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

What happens when the president who has politicized law-enforcement to a degree unprecedented in American history meets a terrorist responsible for killing Americans he has recklessly failed to protect, decimating his pretensions about “decimating” al-Qaeda?

What happens is: You get the most politicized terrorism indictment ever produced by the Justice Department. Behold United States v. Khatallah, Case No. 14 Crim. 141, quietly unsealed in a Washington courtroom last Saturday while the country dozed off into summer-vacation mode.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah, of course, is the only suspect apprehended in connection with the Benghazi massacre, a terrorist attack on a still-mysterious U.S. diplomatic installation. J. Christopher Stevens, the United States ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans — State Department official Sean Smith and two former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty — were killed. Until recently, such attacks have been known as acts of war carried out by the enemy. In the age of Obama, they are now known as “crimes” for which “defendants” like Khatallah are “brought to justice” — rather than brought to Gitmo. Meaning: They are whisked into our country when no one’s paying much attention. The red carpet is rolled out at a federal courthouse, where the “defendant” is given Miranda warnings, taxpayer-funded counsel, and all the rights of the American citizens they plot to kill, including lavish discovery-of-intelligence files relevant to their civilian trial.

Gold-plated due process for our enemies begins with the constitutional right to an indictment returned by a grand jury, providing the “defendant” with notice of the charges against him. In Khatallah’s case, the first thing you’ll notice is that the indictment is tiny: less than two pages long — 15 measly lines of text once you discount the caption, citations, and signature lines. This is a startling departure from Justice Department indictments in jihadist terror cases, a turn to brevity that cannot be explained solely by Obama’s banning of words like “jihadist” from the government lexicon.

Read more at National Review

Death in Benghazi, Part II: Will the House Select Committee Find the Truth?

New English Review, by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates (July 2014)

Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi National Press Club, Washington, DC, April 22, 2014

Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi
National Press Club, Washington, DC, April 22, 2014

Death in Benghazi, Part I: The Attack featured an interview with Kenneth R. Timmerman, author of Dark Forces: The Truth About Happened in Benghazi which presented a thesis that the attack on 9/11/2012 at the Benghazi diplomatic compound that killed four Americans; Ambassador Chris Stevens, communications aide Sean Smith, ex-Navy Seals CIA-contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty on 9/11/2012 was a state sponsored act of terrorism by Iran’s al Quds Force with the paid assistance of Al Qaeda militia, Ansar al-Sharia. Timmerman argues based on his investigations that the attack in Benghazi were preventable. He believes that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bears responsibility for ignoring those warnings, and preventing a military response. Ambassador Stevens and his security team had repeatedly warned Clinton of the precarious security situation in Tripoli and Benghazi and had requested additional resources. Clinton, for reasons of her own, opposed any military response to the attacks. U.S. Special Forces operators on the ground 9/11/2012 could have saved the Americans who perished. 

Death in Benghazi, Part II: Will the House Select Committee Find the Truth? presents the views of  Roger Aronoff, Chairmen of Accuracy in Media’s Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi reflected in its April 22, 2014 interim report. The report supports Timmerman’s central arguments. Larry Ward of Special Operations Speaks discusses his organization’s campaign to have a House Select Committee on Benghazi created with Rep. Trey Gowdy as chair. He assesses the prospects for truth to emerge from the Committee’s investigations and hearings that might occur following the 2014 mid-term elections in November 2014.

Mike Bates:  Good afternoon. Welcome back to Your Turn. The first half hour we spoke with Kenneth Timmerman, author of the book, Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi. We want to continue talking about Benghazi because it is such an important issue so we have joining us for this half hour, Jerry Gordon in the studio with us here in Pensacola and we have joining us by telephone Roger Aronoff who is the Chairman of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. Welcome Roger.

Roger Aronoff:  Thank you Mike. Great to be with you today. 

 

Bates:  What can you tell us about the Citizens Commission on Benghazi? What is it?

Aronoff:  Accuracy In Media about a year ago decided that we were no longer going to just sit by while Congress held these series of hearings and the media was continuing to treat this as if it was a phony scandal. Just as the Obama Administration called it. So we decided to see if we could put together a group of former top military and intelligence officials to conduct our own investigation whether Congress continued or not. We were going to try to hold peoples’ feet to the fire to push this thing. We reached out originally to a few people. Retired Admiral James Lyons, Retired General Tom McInerny, Retired General Paul Vallely and a number of other people joined us, including Former Representative Allen West and Pete Hoekstra, Former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Bates:  We also have joining us on the telephone Larry Ward who is with Special Operations Speaks (SOS). Larry, welcome to Your Turn.

Larry Ward:  Hi, thank you for having me.

 

Bates:  What can you tell us about SOS?

 

Ward:  Many of our SOS members are part of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi and so we really appreciate everything that Roger and his group have done to put that together. SOS is an organization primarily of veterans that have served in the Special Operations. Whether it is Special Forces or Navy Seals or Commandos. They are high ranking officials who as veterans have a history of not only serving the country but being bonafide heroes. This group of veterans got together in mid 2012 after the Bin Laden raid; following the Obama Administration leak of secrets about Navy Seals and their role in that raid. SOS stood up and said enough is enough. This community is relatively quiet politically. It took a lot for them to come together. However, once they did they have become a force. The organization has lit the fire. Kept the fire roaring even after Obama won reelection. Every pundit, every reporter, every member on the Hill kept telling us Benghazi is dead. We said no, we are going to go and demand a special prosecutor or select committee. We kept pushing it until we made strong headway in April when the oversight hearings occurred. Then the funniest thing happened. Lois Lerner told on herself as we were getting close to Benghazi. That took Benghazi off the front pages for awhile. However, we fought and brought it back. We held a press conference on Capitol Hill and got a thousand Special Operations Veterans to sign a petition to demand a select committee. We unrolled a sixty foot by four foot scroll on the Capitol lawn, the longest petition ever delivered to the Congress with a thousand signatures with name and rank on it. We also delivered close to a million citizens’ petitions to Members of Congress demanding a select committee. We didn’t stop there. When the government closed down with the Sequester, they put barricades in front of the war memorials. We were the organization that held the Million Veteran March at the World War II Memorial and returned those barricades to the Presidential residence at the White House.

Gordon:  Larry, the SOS was cited in Ken’s’ book Dark Forces as providing some valued assistance. I wonder if you could tell us about that.

 

Ward:  It was Colonel Dick Brauer who is one of the founders of SOS and he was cited as was Captain Larry Bailey and Ken Benway.

Gordon:  Roger, the Citizens’ Commission put out an interim report in April, is that correct?

Aronoff:  Yes, that’s correct.

Gordon:  What were the conclusions of the interim report?

Aronoff:  Let me just mention that the three members of SOS that Larry just spoke of are all part of the Citizens Commission. Another person, Admiral Chuck Kubic, contacted us after we held our original conference last September and he came to us with the story on the Libyan civil war. When we held the April 22nd press conference he said that the whole war in Libya could have been averted. By way of background he was an Admiral during the Iraq and the Afghanistan wars and he stayed over in North Africa. He was working in Libya doing engineering projects. Qaddafi‘s government approached Kubic who then went over to AFRICOM just in the days when NATO was about to start its bombing campaign. The reports were that a humanitarian crisis was about to happen because Qaddafi was poised to invade Benghazi and Misrata. Kubic came to them and said Qaddafi was prepared under certain circumstances to abdicate under a white flag of truce. Kubic went to AFRICOM, and they went to Washington with this request; let’s negotiate. Give peace a chance. The Nobel Peace Prize winning President said no and the bombing continued. Thousands of people died as a result what happened. Qaddafi knew that we knowingly facilitated the delivery of arms to Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda related groups in Libya and this became the title of our interim report: “How America switched sides on the war on terror.” The arms went generally from East Europe into Qatar, financed by the UAE and shipped into Libya. This was at a time when NATO controlled the airspace, the ports and the entries into Libya. Chris Stevens, the Ambassador, was even there at the docks as these arms came in and the groups were not even attempting to hide it. They were under the black flags of Al Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia and the weapons went to them. This led to the overthrow of Qadaffi and eventually the same people were involved in the attack on the Special Mission Compound in Benghazi.

Bates:  You just said something which, if I understood you correctly, is shocking. Did you in fact say the United States has switched sides in the war on terror?

Aronoff:  That’ is what I said. One of the people in our commission is Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. We have several retired CIA officers and she is one of them. Lopez is very knowledgeable on the history of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and Hezbollah. With her assistance we have documented this. We have a confidential informant who came to us and provided much evidence that we have in emails and other records to show how these arms flowed and the exact route through Qatar back into Libya. It is equivalent to the situation we are faced with today in Iraq. Are we actually going to go in when we know the Quds Forces are already in Iraq trying to prop up the Maliki government and start bombing on their behalf when they are aligned with the Iranians? We saw this happening from the very beginning of the Administration when Obama went to Cairo, made his speech and invited the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to come and attend there while not allowing Mubarak to come. I agree it is a shocking charge. However, we lay it out and defend it. I encourage people to go to aim.org/benghazi and you can see the entire report and the documentation. You can watch our conferences and see Clare Lopez, Admiral Lyons and Admiral Kubic tell their stories. All of this is there on the record and available on-line. Another one of our key findings that aroused  these retired military people to get involved, that Ken Timmerman referred to in Dark Forces, was we did not use our military assets to attempt to rescue these people. As Admiral Lyons has pointed out we had a hundred thirty man Marine forces at Signorelli on Sicily an hour and a half to two hours away at the most. Obama claimed that we did everything we could to rescue those people, however his orders were either ignored or he never gave them.

Bates:  I side with the, he never gave them part. I concur that the United States under Barack Obama has switched sides on the war of terror. I was just shocked to hear other people say it because most people won’t. Larry Ward, I’ve got a question for you representing SOS. Barack Obama asked permission to go into Libya from the Arab League, the United Nations and NATO. He never asked Congress. Do you have a problem with that?

Ward:  Well of course! There is something called the Constitution which the President believes is just an obstacle for him to either ignore or shred on a daily basis. Quite frankly his foreign policy has been haphazard at best. 

Bates:  Jerry, It is my understanding that MANPADS man portable air defense systems is what the acronym stands are basically shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles. My understanding is that a significant number of them went missing from Libya. What do we know about that?

Gordon:  You heard Roger and Ken refer to Qatar. During the rebellion Qatar flew in a number of weapons of that type to locations outside of Libya, either Chad or in Niger and they were filtered into Libya. You also had MANPADS in Qadaffi’s arsenal, a combination of Russian and others. They were filtered out of Libya into Niger by the former head of the Libyan military command, Abdulhakim Belhadj who is basically Al Qaeda. In Niger they were fitted with CIA–improved battery packs and according to Ken’s discussion these weapons traveled across the desert in something he called the “ant trade.” Some of them were intercepted at the Egyptian border. However, a number of them also found their way into the Sinai where the Salafist and Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists are using them. 

Bates:  Is there any reason to believe that they are going to end up on U.S. soil?

Gordon:  Not that we know of. According to Ken’s account, some of the MANPADS found their way to the Taliban in Afghanistan courtesy of the Qataris in 2012 when a U.S. Army CH47 helicopter was apparently hit. They found forensic evidence that some of this material was related to the MANPADS with the CIA battery packs. Some former CIA officers who knew about this were alarmed. One of them that Ken cites in his book is John Maguire. He was former Deputy Chief of Station in Baghdad. He had been involved with monitoring Al Quds activities in Iraq, especially the deadly IED campaign. He went to then CIA Director, General Petreaus, and told him, there are MANPADS going into places we don’t particularly like. Can I come and sit down with you and talk about this? Before Maguire could even do that John Brennan, who was White House counterterrorism czar called Petreaus and said you will not discuss this, period. The discussion between former CIA officer Maguire who discovered this MANPAD trade and Petreaus never occurred. The question arises what was going on inside the White House?

Bates:  This is why it is so critical that the House of Representatives hold hearings which they are doing.  Larry Ward of SOS where do you see these Congressional hearings going and do you really expect them to uncover the truth?

Ward:  If you have seen the news recently they are not planning on convening the Benghazi Select Committee until the fall. When I last checked no definitive date has been fixed in October or November.  Most likely it would occur after the mid-term elections. I do trust Rep. Trey Gowdy to prosecute very competently and successfully. However, Trey Gowdy will only be allowed to prosecute to the fullest extent any witness that John Boehner allows to testify.

Bates:  Oh gee, that instills a lot of confidence in me that we are actually going to get to the truth.

Ward:  I think we are going to get to the truth of things that don’t circle back to John Boehner and/or Mike Rogers. That is my personal opinion. I think both of those Members of Congress are part of the Super 8, the folks in Congress that have the highest level of clearance and are briefed at the highest level in the House. They likely knew or at the least had a heads up or maybe even gave the thumbs up to whatever covert Black Ops mission was going on in Libya. We suspect that they are going to do whatever they can to conceal that.

Gordon:  Roger, doesn’t this have a ring of familiarity with the secret war that the CIA, the Saudis and the Pakistani ISI were running during the 1980’s in Afghanistan?

Aronoff:  Yes, that’s right. The situation we find ourselves in is there are strict laws against doing anything to arm any Al Qaeda groups and Ansar al-Sharia certainly was one. Yet it happened under a presidential directive signed back in March of 2011 just as we were about to go to war in Libya. Moreover, there was another finding signed in September 2013 by President Obama that allowed arms to be shipped to the so-called moderate rebels in Syria.

Bates:  Robert Aronoff and Larry Ward thank you for giving us an insight into what the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi and Special Operations Speaks is doing to support the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Watch the April 22, 2014 Accuracy in Media Citizens’ Commission National Press Club Briefing on the Interim Report:

Watch the April 22, 2014 Accuracy in Media Citizens’ Commission National Press Club Briefing on the Interim Report, Press Roundtable, Question & Answer:

 

See also:

UPDATE: Listen to 1330amWEBY Middle East Roundtable Discussion on Dark Forces Behind Benghazi

 

Update IV of The Benghazi Brief – “Operation Zero Footprint” – What We Know About The Benghazi Mission, And Subsequent Attack…

benghazi4-e1351495805540By Sundance, June 25, 2014:

UPDATE IV -  In response to the Times of London report, and in a generally dismissed part of her congressional testimony,  Senator Rand Paul asked outgoing Secretary Hillary Clinton a very specific question – (See @2:20 of this video and pay attention to the “duping delight”):

 

Which would bring us to a series of now reconcilable questions surrounding the joint State Dept. and CIA Benghazi Mission.

The entire weapons operation was labeled “Operation Zero Footprint”.  The intent is outlined in the operational title – to leave no visible record of U.S. involvement in arming the Libyan “rebels”.   No visible footprint.

We know from congressional inquiry Ambassador Chris Stevens had asked for more security in the months prior to Sept. 11th 2012.   Requests sent to the State Dept that were denied.

We also know that NO MARINE DETACHMENT was ever put in place to defend the Benghazi Mission.

We also know the Benghazi Mission was initially, and mistakenly by media, called “a consulate”, or a “consulate outpost”.  But there was no State Dept record of any consulate office in Benghazi.

All of these seeming contradictions can be reconciled with the simple understanding that this “Mission” was unofficial.   Remember the goal – No visible footprint.

Why were security requests denied?   Remember the goal – No visible footprint.

We know from General Carter Ham (AFRICOM Commander now retired) the Department of Defense was not even aware the State Dept was operating a mission in Benghazi during 2012.   Remember the goal – No visible footprint.

How could Hillary Clinton, Charlene Lamb, or Patrick Kennedy approve or request a marine security detachment knowing the entire mission around Benghazi was covert?  Such a request would have travelled outside the small group of State/CIA insiders.  The request would have gone to DoD.  Short answer, they couldn’t.

Hence the disconnect between what seemed to be obvious and/or simple questions and the inability to accurately discuss in the public venues of congressional inquiry.

To the public Chris Stevens was a U.S. ambassador, a diplomat.  To the folks inside the State Dept and CIA, Chris Stevens was a U.S. Ambassador, AND a CIA operative coordinating covert arms sales.

Even after death the public face of Chris Stevens, the official role, was able to be discussed.   The covert, or unofficial role, was not.   Again, we see the disconnect between inquiry that could be answered, and inquiry that could not be answered.  Many irreconcilables surface because of this intelligence role – even through today.

The second role of Stevens, the covert and CIA aspect, still causes problems for people trying to understand the “why not” questions.   The broader public asking why have we not seen, or heard from the survivors of the attacks?

The short answer is, we have not – but the intelligence community has.

Twice some of the survivors have given testimony to congress.   The problem for the public is that those hearings are closed door, classified, intelligence hearings – led by Chairman Mike Rogers and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.   Again, go back to the beginning of Operation Zero Footprint and you see the congressional Intelligence Gang of Eight were fully aware of the intents.

Why was Speaker Boehner reluctant to establish a Select Committee on Benghazi ?

Simple, again he is one of the Gang of Eight – and he was briefed of the operation.   How is he going to call for a select committee when he knows the substance of the committee investigation is classified under national security.   Such a committee would not, because it could not, deliver what the public was requesting, sunlight.

The only reason Trey Gowdy was finally assigned the task of a Select Committee, was simply because the public lies of the White House and administration were contradicting themselves.

The White House “talking points”, which is a ridiculous squirrel hunt, were created to reconcile the problem faced when unable to discuss a covert operation.  It is far easier to look at the reality of the problem faced by the White House than any nefarious intention.

Unfortunately for the administration they are not that good.   Team Obama was so committed to keeping the covert operation “Zero Footprint” a secret (because of  the political embarrassment from factually arming al Qaeda) that the cover story they manufactured (on the fly) was fraught with contradictions.

How could President Obama dispatch help to the Benghazi team, when DoD was not even aware of it’s existence?   Sending help would have compromised OpSec, Operational Security.

The dispatch of F.A.S.T. would lead to increased knowledge of a covert operation.

Hopefully you are beginning to see the root of the contradictions.  Once you understand the truth of what was going on within the backstory – there’s almost nothing left which would dangle as an unanswered question.   It all reconciles.

Read more at The Conservative Tree House (scroll down for Update IV)