The Benghazi Cover-Up Continues

Benghazi-Gate-450x337Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, November 24, 2014:

A diplomatic mission was slapped down in the middle of a city controlled by terrorists. The diplomatic mission was left mostly undefended, despite multiple requests by everyone in Libya right up to the deceased ambassador, except by a militia gang linked to Al Qaeda which wasn’t getting paid.

At a time when the State Department was spending fortunes on bad art, on Kindles at the bargain price of $6,000 a reader, not to mention renovating the mansion residence of a political donor/ambassador in Europe who would be the subject of yet another cover-up after being accused of pedophilia (but not before causing a public scandal by blaming anti-Semitism on the Jews) there was no money for securing a diplomatic mission that was so far behind enemy lines it might as well have been in the middle of Iran.

And again it was no one’s fault. Despite multiple whistleblowers from the State Department coming forward, most of them left of center types who wouldn’t spit on a Koch Brother, the panels and committees wrote the establishment a blank check.

It was no one’s fault. Anyone who disagreed with the assertion that the murder of four Americans might be someone’s fault was a right-wing conspiracy theorist. Anyone who thought that we should listen to the testimony of Gregory Hicks, the highest ranking diplomat in Libya after Ambassador Stevens was killed, or to Ambassador Stevens’ own messages asking for more security, was a crazed nutjob.

Only a lunatic would think this might be someone’s fault.

“When I arrived in Tripoli on July 31, we had over 30 security personnel, from the State Department and the U.S. military, assigned to protect the diplomatic mission to Libya. All were under the ambassador’s authority,” Hicks wrote. “On Sept. 11, we had only nine diplomatic security agents under Chris’s authority to protect our diplomatic personnel in Tripoli and Benghazi.”

“For some reason, my explanation did not make it into the Senate report,” he added.

Now “for some reason” the testimony and statements of the CIA annex security team, the men on the ground like Mark Geist and Kris Paronto, did not make their way into the House Intel Committee report which once again exonerates everyone under its purview in true Washington fashion.

Was aid denied? Nope. Was there a lack of security? Maybe, but that’s a job for the State Department and State already concluded that it was the fault of three people whom it pretended to fire. The Senate committee concluded it was Ambassador Stevens’ fault despite his multiple requests for security because dead men don’t appear at committee hearings.

Was there a “stand down order”? Geist and Paronto say there was. The Housel Intel Committee however says that there was no stand down order; there were only “mere tactical disagreements about the speed with which the team should depart.”

Those “mere tactical disagreements” according to Paronto merely resulted in the death of Ambassador Stevens.

But the report insists there was no stand down order whatsoever, just “some Annex members wanted to urgently depart the Annex for the TMF to save their State Department colleagues.”

Gregory Hicks had stated that a team was prevented from heading to Benghazi. General Dempsey explained in his testimony that it was not told to “stand down”. It was told that it had a new mission of not going to Benghazi.

“They weren’t told to stand down. A `stand down’ means don’t do anything,” the General explained. “They were told that the mission they were asked to perform was not in Benghazi, but was at Tripoli airport.”

Orwell wept.

And so the idea that there was a “stand down order” has been conclusively and thoroughly disproven. Media Matters has splashed the news all over its front page. American lives might have been saved, but weren’t, because of “mere tactical disagreements” between doing something and doing nothing.

But don’t call it a “stand down order”. That might imply that a decision was made and that the giver of the order is responsible. And that someone above him might be responsible for setting a policy.

The House Intel Committee report, like all the reports before it, are full of such brilliant lawyerese, of technical explanations for why black is white, white is black and why none of it is anyone’s fault. The latest report insists that the administration was always aware that Benghazi was a terrorist attack and that Susan Rice was telling the truth when she claimed it wasn’t because she was misled by the CIA.

The administration was always telling the truth even when it wasn’t. Ambassador Stevens was responsible for the lack of security that killed him even while he kept pleading for more security. No personnel were told to stand down. They were just told not to go.

It’s all perfectly airtight by the standards of a political establishment in which one hand covers up for another, in which holding people in government responsible is a bad precedent. If blame has to be distributed, it can be dumped on the vague infrastructure of the CIA, on expendable diplomatic personnel and on a dead guy. And none of them will be held responsible either.

That’s just the magic of government.

We have an $18 trillion national debt which no one is responsible for. We have a fake unemployment rate of 6 percent and a real unemployment rate somewhere between 12 and 18 percent. And no one is responsible for that either. We have a terrorist group in Iraq that morphed into its own country and is executing Americans who could have been saved and no one is responsible for that.

Not anyone in our government.

We can go through numerous panels and committees that will humor us by pretending to care about the latest government scandal we’re outraged by and after going through the motions, they will announce that it’s no one’s fault.

It never is.

The Saudi visa express program that helped cause 9/11 was revived last year by Obama. The consular officer who issued visas to 11 of the hijackers despite numerous problems with their applications was not fired or demoted. Instead she still works for the State Department where she claims that “shopping” is her “great love” because it lets her snap up unique Middle Eastern items at “local prices.”

And the Senate continued to reconfirm her nomination because nothing is anyone’s fault.

There is simply no such thing as accountability in government. The incestuously corrupt culture of government insiders and the smug political reporters who eat out of their hands make that impossible. No matter how many whistleblowers come forward, how many of the men and women on the front lines tell their story, a group of lawyers with red pens will huddle over a report and use technicalities and word games to ignore the whistleblowers and exempt their government superiors from blame.

Washington can never allow any accountability for Benghazi because once we look closely at the murder of four Americans we might just have to start looking at the thousands of soldiers who died or were wounded in Afghanistan for many of the same reasons; including being denied support to avoid offending Muslims.

The media can never allow any accountability for Benghazi because the buck stops with their chosen presidential candidate for 2016.

Benghazi is the tip of a very nasty iceberg. The Libyan War was illegally fought and backed by lies that have never been addressed including false claims of genocide by Obama. That war has now resulted in ISIS in control of at least one Libyan city.

Benghazi is a political firewall. If the political establishment and the media can stop blame from being assigned here, they can permanently shut down these bigger questions. And if we can break their firewall, then the establishment will burn.

Also see:

The Motives Behind The November Rogers/Ruppersberger “House Intelligence Panel” Report On Benghazi…

benghazi4-e1351495805540 (1)By Sundance:

Those of you familiar with the Benghazi Brief will note the alignment and expectation of the Rogers/Ruppersberger report.  Their report is exactly as we anticipated it would be.

With a House Select Committee (Trey Gowdy) already in place, you might rightly ask yourself why did Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger even produce a report?  As you read their House Intelligence Panel Report on Benghazi it is important to note a few key aspects:

• Both Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger are members of the Congressional Gang of Eight.  They are the ONLY authors.

This is not a House Intelligence “Committee” report on Benghazi.  This is only two committee members writing a report based on prior information.

• Both Rogers and Ruppersberger would have been briefed on the CIA operations in Benghazi during 2011/2012 as the covert operation began.

• President Obama signed a finding memo in 2011 permitting Operation Zero Footprint to begin. The congressional “gang of eight” held oversight responsibilities.

• Rogers, Ruppersberger along with Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Saxby Chambliss and Diane Feinstein would have been notified of the presidential authorization. In 2011 they were the congressional Gang of Eight.  Their lack of oversight reflected a willful blindness to the operation.

• In addition to the covert Zero Footprint Operation, the Benghazi CIA annex served as a rendition site. [We find this out in 2013 from Paula Broadwell, who was the pillow-talk recipient of information from 2012 CIA Director General David Petraeus. Broadwell and Petraeus had an extramarital affair.]

The Rogers/Ruppersberger Report is specifically designed, by wording, to provide political cover to both parties – Republicans and Democrats within the Gang of Eight particularly  included, and protected.

It is professional obfuscation in structure, content and wording.

Read more at The Last Refuge

HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE RELEASES BENGHAZI FINDINGS, SOME AT ODDS WITH PRIOR NEWS REPORTS

benghazi-radical-reutersBreitbart, By John Sexton, Nov. 21, 2014:

After a two-year investigation, the bipartisan House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on Benghazi. The report contains a total of 17 findings, most of which focus on the behavior of the intelligence community. Some of the report’s findings are at odds with reporting by major news organizations, including Fox, CNN,and the NY Times.

The following list provides excerpts from all 17 findings. Refer to the full report for the complete text.

  1. There is no evidence of an intelligence failure. Prior to the Benghazi attacks, the CIA provided sufficient strategic warning of the deteriorating threat environment to U.S. decision-makers, including those at the State Department.
  2. CIA provided sufficient security personnel, resources, and equipment to defend against the known terrorist threat and to enable CIA operations in Benghazi.
  3. State Department security personnel, resources, and equipment were unable to counter the terrorist threat that day, and they required CIA assistance.
  4. The CIA was not collecting and shipping arms from Libya to Syria.
  5. A mixed group including members of al-Qa’ida in the lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), the Muhammad Jamal Network (MJN), Ansar Al-Sharia (AAS), and Abu Abaydah Ibn Jarah Battalion (UJB) participated in the attacks, along with Qadafi loyalists.
  6. Appropriate personnel on the ground in Benghazi made the decision to send CIA officers to rescue the State Department officers at the TMF.
  7. Although some security officers voiced a greater urgency to depart for the TMF, no officer at CIA was ever told to stand down.
  8. The decision to send CIA officers from Tripoli to Benghazi to rescue the Ambassador and bolster security of the U.S. personnel in Benghazi was a tactical decision appropriately made by the senior officers on the ground.
  9. The Tripoli team’s decision not to move to the hospital to retrieve Ambassador Stevens was based on the best intelligence at the time.
  10. The CIA received all military support that was available. Neither the CIA nor DOD denied requests for air support. One CIA security officer requested a Spectre gunship that he believed was available, but his commanding officer did not relay the request because he correctly knew the gunship was not available.
  11. Ambassador Rice’s September 16 public statements about the existence of a protest, as well as some of the underlying intelligence reports, turned out to be inaccurate.
  12. Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell made significant changes to the talking points.
  13. CIA’s Office of Public Affairs also made substantive changes to the talking points by removing the reference to “ties to al-Qa’ida” in the second bullet of the original draft.
  14. Overall, the CIA could have placed more weight on eyewitness sources on the ground and should have challenged its initial assessments about the existence of a protest earlier.
  15. CIA did not intimidate or prevent any officer from speaking to Congress or otherwise telling his story.
  16. There is no evidence that the CIA conducted any unusual polygraph exams related to Benghazi.
  17. While at times the agencies were slow to respond, ultimately the CIA, NCTC, FBI and other Executive Branch agencies fully cooperated with the Committee’s investigation.

Like the previous Senate report, the House Intel report does place blame with the State Dept. for not heeding the frequent, albeit non-specific, warnings issued by the CIA about the deteriorating security situation in Libya.

The House report does knock down several claims surrounding the response to the attack, including that the military could have done more to respond (finding #10). But many of the report’s findings are at odds with reports by large, credible news sources, includingFox News, CNN and the NY Times.

The report disputes that there was a delay in responding to the attack beyond what was required for CIA personnel to put on their gear (finding #7). That finding seems to be at odds with the statements of three men directly involved in the response, who told Fox News‘ Bret Baier that they were ready to go in five minutes and were explicitly told, “Stand down, you need to wait” by a supervisor they refer to as “Bob.”

The finding that no undue pressure, polygraphs, or NDA’s were used to silence CIA officers contradicts reporting by CNN. According to a CNN report dated August 1, “Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations.”

With regard to finding #4, multiple reports from the NY Times alleged that the CIA was involved in organizing an arms pipeline to move weapons from Libya to Turkey and Syria. No one claimed the CIA was directly funding this pipeline, only that it was tacitly involved.

As for the talking points, the House report finds they were indeed wrong but faults the CIA for the error, saying they did not place enough value on eyewitness testimony (finding #14) or challenge their early findings soon enough. The report does not mention that a separate set of talking points prepared for Susan Rice by the White House told her to emphasize that the attack was not the result of the President’s foreign policy but of the internet video.

There remains some partisan disagreement confined to the appendices of the report. The majority staff faults the State Department for the security failure and faults the Obama administration for downplaying the apparent al Qaeda connections and emphasizing the spontaneous, video-caused attack to back up their campaign year claim al Qaeda was decimated. The minority disputes these assertions, even once again making the claim that the President called the attack an act of terror the following day.

Leading Republican wants Senate to join House probe of Benghazi attack

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 Catherine Herridge, Pamela Browne:

A leading Republican wants to expand the House investigation into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack by adding a Senate probe, as a new House Intelligence Committee report Friday concluded that the initial CIA assessment found no demonstrations prior to the assault and a primary purpose of the CIA operation in eastern Libya was to track the movement of weapons to Syria.

The report described the attack as “complex” with the attackers affiliated with Al Qaeda. It also said the initial CIA assessment concluded there were no demonstrations outside the State Department Consulate in Eastern Libya.

Referring to the House Select committee Chairman, and the Democratic ranking member, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, said the current House investigation should be expanded.

“(Republican) Trey Gowdy and (Democrat) Elijah Cummings have done a good job,” he said. “I can’t imagine the U.S. Senate not wanting to be a part of a joint select committee. We’ll bootstrap to what you’ve done, but we want to be part of discussion,” Graham told Fox News. “What I would suggest to (incoming Senate majority leader) Mitch McConnell is to call up Speaker Boehner and say ‘Listen, we want to be part of this’.”

Graham, along with his two Republican colleagues, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, have been outspoken advocates of a special investigation, because they say then-acting director of the CIA Mike Morell misled them about his role in crafting the so-called media talking points that blamed an opportunistic protest gone awry for the assault.

“Number one, Mike Morrell misled three senators,” Graham said of their November 2012 meeting on Capitol Hill, where Morell accompanied then UN Ambassador Susan Rice to explain her flawed explanation on national television five days after the attack.

“I think it’s important that for future CIA personnel to understand, that if you come to Congress and you’re asked a question and you give a deceptive answer, you tell half the story, not the entire story, you play word games, it will follow you and will be unacceptable,” Graham said.

On Friday, with little fanfare, the House Intelligence Committee released the findings of its two year, bi-partisan investigation into the terrorist attack. The 37 page report found that the first, internal CIA assessment was accurate — that no protests were involved — but then-CIA Director David Petraeus, Morell and the administration latched onto information that supported the flawed demonstration scenario.

Fox News was first to report on September 17, 2012, one day after Rice’s controversial Sunday talk show appearances, that there were no protests when the attack unfolded.

“One day after the assault, on 9/12/12, the first CIA assessment about the attacks, a September 12th Executive update, said ‘the presence of armed assailants from the incident’s outset suggests this was an intentional assault and not the escalation of a peaceful protest,” investigators found.  And while intelligence gaps remain, “No witness has reported believing at any point that the attacks were anything but terrorist acts,” the report added.

On Saturday September 14, 2012, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes wrote in an email titled “PREP CALL with Susan,” that one of the goals for the administration’s public statements should be “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”  The House report says these conclusions were “incorrect.”

Judicial Watch, not Congress, obtained the Rhodes email as the result of a federal lawsuit.

The Obama White House did not move away from the protest explanation for the attack that killed four Americans – Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and former Navy Seals and CIA contractors Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty – until September 20, when then White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters ‘It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,” and the State Department did the same much later.

The report found the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs made three “substantive” changes to the talking points that included the removal of references to Al Qaeda and swapping the word “attacks” with “demonstrations.”  It is not clear from the publicly available, and heavily redacted emails exactly who made the changes and who directed them, since the CIA public affairs office would be unlikely to make these changes unilaterally.

When Morell retired from the CIA last year, he told The Wall Street Journal he hoped to advise a presidential campaign, with anonymous sources telling the paper Morell was close to HillaryClinton. Morell now works as a counselor at Beacon Global Strategies, a Washington D.C. firm closely aligned with the former secretary of State. He is also a national security analyst for CBS News. The President of CBS News is David Rhodes, the brother of Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.

An appendix filed by Democrats did not find evidence of “political motivations,” and Morell is praised for testifying “freely and openly” about the process.  Four Republicans, including chairman Mike Rogers, concluded “Mr. Morell operated beyond his role as CIA Deputy Director and inserted himself into a policy making and public affairs role….It is simply unfathomable that the White House’s policy preferences, or the concerns of the State Department senior officials, did not factor into his calculation about what was fair.  For these reasons, we believe that Mr. Morell’s testimony was at time inconsistent and incomplete.”

The House report leaves no doubt that the attack drew heavily on “those affiliated with al-Qai’da,”  including AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb), AAS (Ansar al-sharia), AQAP (Al Qaeda in Yemen), AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq) as well as the Egypt based Jamal Network.  As Fox News was first to report, and the committee investigation affirms, at least two long time Al Qaeda operatives, Faraj al-Chalabi, and former Guantanamo detainee Sufian bin Qumu, were significant players in the assault.

Read more at Fox News

Also see:

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.”