CSP, By Fred Fleitz:
PJ Media; by Andrew C. McCarthy:
Anybody can make a mistake, and that certainly appears to be what led to the Obama White House’s exposure of the top CIA official in Afghanistan this weekend. Unfortunately, as Roger Kimball details, this is not an isolated incident. In year six of the Obama administration, it speaks volumes about not just incompetence but immaturity and the skewed priorities that come with it.
Exactly because anyone can make a mistake, large organizations — presidential administrations included — build layers of vetting into the disclosure of information to the public. In this instance, because the commander-in-chief made a surprise visit to Afghanistan over Memorial Day weekend, the White House put out a list of government officials the president met with. Somehow, that list included the intelligence official’s name with the designation “chief of station.”
This error is so basic that it grabbed the attention of Scott Wilson of the Washington Post, the “pool reporter” who received the list. Regrettably, he’d already sent out the pool report by the time he noticed the station chief designation and thought to ask whether the White House press office had really intended to put out that information.
That’s how the administration learned about what it had done — from a reporter. Think about that. In the composition and disclosure of this list, many people on both the military end and White House end have to have known that such information should never be circulated. That’s not only true as a matter of principle and common sense; it’s empirically true: Fox News reports that this administration has already had to remove a CIA station chief in Pakistan (in 2010) because of an exposure incident. It is astonishing that such an obvious error was not caught.
It is, moreover, tough to be sympathetic because Democrats never are when the shoe is on the other foot. When Valerie Plame was outed as a CIA operative — apparently inadvertently, by senior State Department official Richard Armitage — Democrats turned the error into a major controversy that damaged the Bush administration. Ms. Plame had a desk job at Langley and there are no indications that her exposure caused much harm. (There were reports at the time suggesting that she had been exposed long before through a bureaucratic screw-up.) By contrast, the official just exposed by the White House is the current top CIA official in a war zone that presents tremendous challenges to the United States, one where intelligence gathering is at a premium. The gravity of this error thus appears far more serious than the one over which Democrats spent years demanding a Bush administration scalp.
Finally, to take a longer view, consider (a) the way the Obama administration elevated politics over national security in leaking classified information after the bin Laden raid; (b) the administration’s failure to provide adequate security for American personnel in Benghazi, four of whom were eventually killed; and (c) the irresponsible rules of engagement imposed on our troops in Afghanistan — hampering their ability to conduct operations and defend themselves while under attack. A pattern emerges. This administration is cavalier when it comes to the security of people who put their lives on the line in order to serve our country. It is also cavalier when it comes to intelligence, which is exposed when politically expedient — whether to depict the president as a brilliant commander-in-chief, to satisfy the demands of Obama’s base, or to address other transient needs. Indeed, while I would not criticize a commander-in-chief for spending time with American troops overseas, it is impossible not to notice that this trip to Afghanistan was undertaken while the president is dogged by the VA scandal.
The administration did not mean to expose the CIA station chief in Afghanistan, potentially endangering the officer, his colleagues, and others who cooperated with them. But these errors happen for a reason. Some administrations make it a major priority to protect American personnel and intelligence assets. In this administration, these matters are less of a priority, and we cannot be surprised when errors caused by inattention to detail happen.
- 5 TIMES THE OBAMA ADMIN LEAKED CRUCIAL NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION (breitbart.com)
The 5 Stages Of An Obama Scandal (centerforsecuritypolicy.org)
Hume: Obama CIA Bungle ‘Much More Serious’ Than Valerie Plame (truthrevolt.org)
Front Page, by
Hoping to distract Americans from his death panels for veterans, Obama made a Bush style visit to Afghanistan and managed to cause even more harm to national security by outing the CIA Station Chief there.
The Democrats did their best to turn Valerie Plame into a martyr even though the only danger that the leftist faced was fewer invitations to cocktail parties. That didn’t stop Hollywood liberals from churning out a movie about her complete with action scenes.
Will the same standard hold for whoever outdated the CIA Station Chief in Afghanistan? Unlikely. The official narrative is that it was an accident. But if you believe that it’s an accident, then you also have to believe in the complete and total incompetence of Obama Inc. when it comes to security issues.
There’s a case to be made for that, but considering the deep-seated resentment of the country in the upper echelons of this administration, it was more likely deliberate.
Unlike Valerie Plame making her cocktail party tour, the CIA Station Chief in Afghanistan is at actual risk.
The newspaper said the official, identified as “Chief of Station” in Kabul, was named as being among those at a briefing with Obama during the president’s trip to Bagram Air Base near the Afghan capital.
The list of names was sent by email to reporters traveling with Obama on his surprise Afghanistan visit and included in a “pool report” shared with correspondents and others not on the trip.
The Post said the White House issued a revised list deleting the CIA official’s name after it recognized the mistake.
The newspaper said its White House bureau chief, Scott Wilson, who was on the trip, copied the original list from the email provided by White House press officials and included it in a report sent to a distribution list with over 6,000 recipients.
Is anyone going to be fired for it? Forget about it. There’s no accountability built into the system. They’ll just blame the military and hand over a scapegoat if the heat gets too hot.
A year prior, Obama was also part of a call for congressional investigations into the Bush administration’s biggest leak — the revealing of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity.
Obama joined a 2005 letter with 24 Democrats led by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who had just been defeated in the 2004 presidential election, urging the Republican-led Congress to undertake its own investigation into the Plame scandal.
President Bush had appointed a special counsel in the Plame case in 2003, which ultimately resulted in the conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff Scooter Libby.
Obama obviously doesn’t do independent investigations. Too many of his people would end up in jail beginning with his own Atty General.
In the letter signed by Obama, it asked for, “The public revelation of Ms. Plame’s identity, whether it amounts to a crime or an irresponsible breach of security protocol that doesn’t meet the standard of criminal conduct, almost certainly compromised her intelligence networks and may have compromised the safety and welfare of anyone who had worked with her overseas. As a group of respected former intelligence officials wrote in 2004: “Any breach of the code of confidentiality and cover weakens the overall fabric of intelligence, and, directly or indirectly, jeopardizes the work and safety of intelligence workers and their sources.”
Valerie Plame, more of a socialite than an agent, was never in danger, despite Obama’s posturing. But his visit, itself a pathetic attempt at distracting the country from his administration’s death panels for veterans, did out a major CIA figure who is in danger.
Is Obama going to accept an investigation? He never does.
Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte put it best yesterday in a joint statement they issued in response to former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell’s testimony yesterday to the House Intelligence Committee:
“This looks an awful lot like misleading the Congress.”
It’s hard to come to any other conclusion after watching Morell squirm for three hours as he explained CIA’s drafting of talking points a week after the attacks on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi. The final version of these talking points were used by Ambassador Susan Rice on September 16, 2012 to deny that the attacks were related to terrorism and to instead claim they were the result of a spontaneous demonstration in response to an anti-Muslim video.
This explanation was politically convenient six weeks ahead of the 2012 presidential election and helped President Obama defend his dubious campaign theme that because of his leadership, Osama bin Laden was dead and al Qaeda was on the run.
During the hearing, Morell denied altering the talking points for political reasons. He said he sided with CIA analysts who believed the attacks were in response to a demonstration and the anti-Muslim video even though the CIA Libya station chief told him there was no demonstration and that he believed the attacks were an act of terrorism.
Morell tried to convey that relying on career CIA analysts – even though they were thousands of miles away from the Benghazi attack – was a responsible decision that had nothing to do with politics.
This is nonsense. Having worked as a CIA analyst for 19 years, I can attest that the lower levels of the CIA analysis bureaucracy know exactly what their managers want. They know the line they need to take to get promoted and to earn bonuses. Moreover, the analysis side of the house is well known for its liberal political bias and for being gun-shy in drawing politically controversial conclusions since the 9/11 and Iraq WMD intelligence failures.
Maybe Morell didn’t alter the talking points for the White House because he didn’t have to – his analysts and managers knew what he and the White House expected. Regardless of who was responsible for drafting and altering the talking points, we now know Morell approved them even though he knew the senior CIA officer in Libya had a very different view. He also knew the memo he approved said exactly what the White House wanted to hear.
Morell made many other head-spinning statements, such as his claim that we can’t know the motivations of the attackers since we haven’t caught them yet. He said the events on September 11, 2012 were both a terrorist attack and a protest.
Morell also said he took out the word “Islamic” in a sentence that described the attackers as “Islamic extremists” because he did not want to fuel anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world. This was a policy call and was politically convenient for the White House which has been extremely reluctant to use the terms “Islamic” or Islamist” in describing terrorists or terrorist attacks.
This was a bad day for the CIA since Morell’s testimony will further undermine the Agency’s reputation as a non-political and objective source of information on national security matters. Morell was right when he said the CIA probably should not have been involved in drafting unclassified talking points. If there was a compelling reason for the CIA to engage in such a task, CIA managers had a responsibility to be politically neutral and not ignore inconvenient facts like reports by the Libya Chief of Station.
- Cherry picking analytical theories: not standard practice at CIA (Secure Freedom Radio)
The CIA’s chief of Iran operations, Jonathan Bank, 46 a veteran of the service, was sent home on paid leave over disarray in his department, US, Russian and Iranian media reported Tuesday, March 18. The department was notified of this step last week at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. after its members rose up in “open rebellion” against Banks, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Given the high importance and sensitivity of this department, it was most likely Intelligence Director John Brennan in person who delivered the notice.
DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that internal crises in US clandestine agencies are normally kept under tight wraps and rarely see the light of day. But with major crises hitting the roof for Washington with the threatened meltdown of relations with Moscow over Ukraine and Crimea, unresolved Mid East issues and the missing Malaysian airliner, John Brennan would have been obliged to step in expeditiously to contain the breakdown of a complete CIA division in “open revolt” against its chief.
Three former officials said the Iran operations division was in “open rebellion” to Bank’s management style and several key employees demanded transfers. Their ultimatum was clear: It’s him or us.
An internal investigation ordered by Brennan found that Jonathan Bank “had created an abusive and hostile work environment that put a crucial division in disarray.”
Therefore, in mid-course of high-powered US-led international nuclear negotiations with Iran, the very department supposed to be feeding President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry with daily briefings, updated to the last minute, on Iran’s nuclear program and its political and military leaderships, was in no state to perform its duties.
“Iran is one of most important targets, and the place was not functioning,” one of the former officials said.
This disclosure hangs a big question mark over the assurances Obama and Kerry gave Israel and the Arabian Gulf leaders. They said repeatedly that there was nothing to fear from the US-Iranian rapprochement, because Washington was fully abreast with every move in Iran’s nuclear program and would know in good time if supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the final step for building a nuclear weapon.
In recent months, Israeli and other Middle East intelligence sources have warned that Iran already possesses all the components, materials and technology for manufacturing a nuclear bomb – and stands ready to go on the order from the ayatollah..
The dysfunctional condition of the CIA Iran division, now disclosed, reduces President Obama’s chances of success in his forthcoming fence-mending visit to Saudi Arabia later this month and hopes of fruitful cooperation between US and Saudi intelligence on Iran and Syria.
Jonathan Bank’s cover was first broken in 2010 when, as CIA station chief in Islamabad, his name was published and he was pulled out after receiving death threats. US officials suspected Pakistan’s intelligence service of leaking his name in protest over CIA drone attacks on Islamist terrorist targets in the country’s lawless tribal region.
Front Page, February 18, 2013, by Daniel Greenfield:
In 1853, the British explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton visited Mecca. Since Mecca was and is off limits to non-Muslims on pain of death, Burton passed himself off as a Muslim by undergoing circumcision and disguising himself as a Pashtun. “Nothing could save a European detected by the populace, or one who after pilgrimage declared himself an unbeliever,” Burton wrote.
Three hundred and fifty years earlier, the Italian adventurer Ludovico di Varthema became the first non-Muslim to enter Mecca since the Muslim conquest. Ludovico had enlisted as a mercenary and succeeded in passing as a Mamluk, one of the white slave soldiers of the Sultanate, who had been converted to Islam. Ludovico was eventually caught out as a Christian, but escaped after a love affair with one of the Sultan’s wives.
Other Christians had visited Mecca, but always disguised as Muslims. The British cabin boy Joseph Pitts, captured by Muslim slavers and forcibly converted to Islam, visited Mecca, before managing to return home and return to his religion. Similar accounts were told by other European Christian slaves.
In 1979, hundreds of Islamists using weapons smuggled in a coffin seized the Grand Mosque of Mecca. The Saudi military, commanded by the sons of important men, rather than by competent men, proved absolutely hopeless in fighting them. So instead they turned to the French.
The French commandos of GIGN were expert at dealing with terrorist crises, but they were not Muslim and so could not be allowed into Mecca. The solution was simple. The Frenchmen underwent a rapid conversion to Islam and the siege of the Great Mosque commenced. The conversion did not take hold, but the principle remained. An infidel could not enter Mecca, even to save the House of Saud.
During his time as the CIA Station Chief in Saudi Arabia, John Brennan spoke of marveling “at the majesty of the Hajj and the devotion of those who fulfilled their duty as Muslims by making that pilgrimage.” If Brennan did indeed visit Mecca during the Hajj, then he could have only done it by converting to Islam, like John Pitts, or pretending to have done so, like the GIGN commandos.
John Guandolo, a former FBI agent and Islam expert, has alleged that the conversion took place during Brennan’s time in Saudi Arabia. And he also alleges that this conversion has been confirmed by other American officials who were in Saudi Arabia at the time. These allegations are especially explosive as Brennan has moved up through the ranks to become Obama’s nominee to head the CIA.
Guandolo’s allegation goes beyond the question of religion. Rather he alleges that the conversion was part of an espionage recruitment process. In an interview with Tom Trento of The United West, he said, “Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in a senior official capacity in Saudi Arabia. His conversion to Islam was the culmination of a counter-intelligence operation against him to recruit him.”
The Soviet Union recruited spies by convincing them of the virtues of Communism. Saudi Arabia might well recruit its infidel agents by convincing them of the worth of Islam. There is of course no way to know what is in Brennan’s heart. But while we may not know what Brennan believes, as John Guandolo has pointed out, we do know what he has done.
Brennan’s supposed conversion to Islam was only the third of two other points that the former FBI agent argued make him unfit for duty. The first is that Brennan has developed links with the Muslim Brotherhood and that he has brought “known leaders of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood into the government in positions to advise the US Government on counterterrorism strategy as well as the overall quote unquote War on Terror.” And the second is that Brennan reduces the War on Terror to Al Qaeda.
While Brennan did not innovate either of these two approaches, if he was indeed recruited by the Saudis, then they may be more than mere cluelessness. It’s not unusual for military and intelligence officials to visit Saudi Arabia and then leave it repeating the classic Saudi talking points about Islam as a stabilizing influence on the region and Israel as a destabilizing influence.
There are countless generals and diplomats who robotically insist that Bin Laden must not be referred to as a Muslim to diminish his influence and that the Muslim Brotherhood and other political Islamists are the only hope for countering the violent Islamism of Al Qaeda. The fundamental question is whether such disinformation is spread out of ignorance, or out of knowledge.
That is the final question that Guandolo raises about John Brennan. “The fact that foreign intelligence service operatives recruited Mr. Brennan when he was in a very sensitive and senior US Government position in a foreign country means that he is either a traitor, which I’m not saying, but that’s one of the options, and he did this all unwillingly and unknowingly ,or he did this unwittingly, which means that he is naive and does not have the ability to discern, to understand how to walk in those environments, which makes him completely unfit to be the Director of Central Intelligence.”
What is problematic in a general or a senator is even more troubling in the Director of the CIA. Military men are expected to be somewhat direct and take things as they are. But the director of an intelligence agency is expected to see threats where no one else does, to test the waters and look past the obvious. And if he cannot do that, then he is simply not qualified. And that is the larger point that John Guandolo makes.
Whether or not Brennan had a moment of submission on the road to Mecca or whether he is simply acting as a useful idiot for the people who perpetrated the attacks of September 11, he is not qualified to be the point man in the War on Terror. As the military side of the war draws to a close with a defeat in Afghanistan, the Central Intelligence Agency will take on a greater degree of importance in the fight against Islamic terrorism.
During the Cold War, the CIA was often infiltrated by the KGB, nullifying America’s intelligence capabilities in the Cold War. It would be a terrible shame if history repeated itself with Islam in the War on Terror.
Much more on John Brennan in CJR archives
In February 2013, Hizbullah deputy secretary-general Sheikh Na’im Qassem said that the Americans had “contacted us in various ways and via mediators and asked to sit down with us. We answered via the mediators that the images [of such a meeting] would do no good, and that the only thing that would help is a change in your [i.e. the Americans'] mentality and your recognition of the legitimate rights of peoples.”
This statement, if authentic, could attest to a change of strategy vis-à-vis Hizbullah on the part of the U.S., which declared Hizbullah a terrorist organization in 1990. According to Lebanese media reports, the U.S. administration has been conducting contacts with it since April-May 2012; these contacts, mostly indirect and through intermediaries, have more recently become direct as well. The reports state that at first, the U.S. administration and Hizbullah exchanged intelligence information, but later expanded the contacts into a diplomatic and political relationship, and even into dealings concerning domestic Lebanese politics.
The media reports focus on the relationship between the U.S. and the director of Lebanon’s General Security Directorate, ‘Abbas Ibrahim; although it is an official Lebanese body, this directorate, and Ibrahim himself, are close to Hizbullah. Before heading General Security, from 2005 to 2008, Ibrahim headed military intelligence in South Lebanon – and, according to many Lebanese Sunnis, this apparatus and those in charge of it in South Lebanon are pro-Hizbullah. At Qatar’s request, Ibrahim also mediated between this country and Hizbullah in November 2013.
This paper will review the reports on the contacts and the relationship between the U.S. and Hizbullah, on the development of these contacts and this relationship, on their possible reasons and purposes, and on their possible connection with the shift in U.S. foreign policy towards Iran and towards the entire region.
Direct And Indirect CIA-Hizbullah Security Cooperation
According to Lebanese media reports, indirect CIA-Hizbullah contacts were apparently initiated by the U.S., and have been underway since at least April 2012, conducted by the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and Hizbullah through Ibrahim. These contacts culminated in cooperation fighting Al-Qaeda and its offshoots and other extremist Sunni organizations. It should be noted that since Hizbullah’s announcement of its military involvement in Syria, it has been targeted by Sunni terrorist organizations operating in Syria and Lebanon, which have attacked Hizbullah itself as well as Shi’ite population centers in Lebanon considered to be Hizbullah strongholds.
Read more at MEMRI
BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
February 3, 2014
Former CIA Director Mike Morell may have altered the Benghazi talking points to benefit the Obama administration during the 2012 election, Catherine Herridge of Fox News reports.
On September 15 one day before Susan Rice made her infamous appearances on various Sunday shows, according to the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report Morell received an email from the CIA station chief in Libya indicating the Benghazi attacks were “not/not an escalation of protests.” The report does not indicate when Morell read the email, but that same day Morell cut the word “Islamic” from the talking points and left the word “demonstration.”
On September 16, Morell emailed embassy staff in Tripoli asking for more information. The FBI and CIA reviewed the closed circuit footage on September 18 showing there were no protests. Yet, President Obama still employed the “demonstration” verbiage just days later.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said Morell accompanied Susan Rice in a closed November meeting to discuss the attack. According to Graham, Morell defended Rice and tried to emphasize there was confusion about what happened in Benghazi. Moreover, Graham alleged Morell did not accept responsibility for altering the talking points, instead blaming the FBI. ”I called the FBI. They went ballistic. Within 24 hours, his statement was changed where he admitted the CIA had done it,” Graham said.
Adding another layer of complexity to the Morell’s backstory, Sen. Richard Burr (R., N.C.) told Fox News many of Morell’s recent statements on the war on terror run contrary to what he told Senate committees over the previous decade as a CIA employee.
Herridge goes on to report some speculate Morell may have higher political ambitions considering his employment at Beacon Global Strategies, a government relations firm founded by close Hillary Clinton confidante Philippe I. Reines.
Morell declined to comment on the story but said the Senate Intelligence Committee report supports the contention that the Benghazi talking points were not politically altered in a written statement.
By Jason Howerton:
Rebel forces in Syria are now officially receiving CIA-delivered weapons from the United States government, the Washington Post reports, citing U.S. officials and Syrian figures.
Following months of delay, the lethal aid promised to the Syrian rebels by President Barack Obama began trickling into the war-torn country over the past two weeks. The opposition forces have also reportedly received vehicles and other gear from the State Department, marking a “major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war,” the Washington Post observes.
The Associated Press adds that delivery of bigger weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades has also been arranged through a third party country.
According to the Post’s sources, arms shipments of light weapons and other munitions are being delivered to the rebels as well as nonlethal gear like sophisticated communications equipment, advanced combat medical kits and vehicles — all funded by the U.S. taxpayer.
“U.S. officials hope that, taken together, the weapons and gear will boost the profile and prowess of rebel fighters in a conflict that started about 2 1/2 years ago,” the report adds.
The revelation comes as some in the United States have wondered if the 9/11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year was tied to possible weapons running to Syria. It also comes on the heels of one Benghazi whistleblower’s attorney saying 400 surface-to-air-missiles were stolen from the country and “it is clear that the [CIA] annex [also attacked] was somehow involved in the process of the distribution of those missiles.”
Read more at The Blaze
- One Year Later: Why We Were in Benghazi (counterjihadreport.com)
- #BenghaziWatch Frank Wolf Asks if Benghazi Site Was Stockpiling Syrian Weapons (counterjihadreport.com)
- CIA Begins Shipping Weapons to Syria’s Rebels (pjmedia.com)
- Expert who traveled with Syrian rebels: So-called ‘moderates’ are Muslim Brotherhood-style Islamists (dailycaller.com)
by JOHN SEXTON:
It has been nearly a year since the attack which killed four Americans in Benghazi. During that time various minute-by-minute accounts of the attack have been published. In addition, the administration’s decisions to refuse additional security requests and to revise its talking points after the attack have been examined in detail.
But Benghazi may be a case where most observers have missed the forest for the trees. This is not an attempt to add new information so much as it is to collate the information that already exists from the most reputable journalistic sources.
To begin with, Benghazi was a CIA operation involving weapons, one which had no cover beyond a small mission that provided a diplomatic fig leaf for the effort. Officially the CIA was there to track and collect dangerous weapons left over from the war that ousted Qaddafi. But the evidence suggests the CIA was also either tacitly or actively involved in a multi-national effort to ship those weapons to Syrian rebels. Our covert effort in Benghazi, Libya was connected to our escalating involvement in Syria.
The general outlines of this CIA effort have been reported. One fact which has not been highlighted is that the UN arms embargo of Libya, which the United States helped pass in 2011, makes shipping weapons in or out of the country a violation of international law. Indeed, the way the UN resolution is written even knowingly allowing such shipments to take place may be a violation of the agreement.
Arming Syrian Rebels
In 2012 the Obama administration publicly claimed it was working on diplomatic and humanitarian responses to the situation in Syria. But behind the scenes the United States was aware that a network of arms shipments was being created to support the rebels. This network involved shipping weapons from Qatar and later Libya to Turkey where they could be taken across the border and distributed to militias in Syria.
In June of 2012 the NY Times reported that a contingent of CIA agents were “operating secretly” in Turkey to help vet which groups would receive these weapons. But later reporting by the Times would indicate the CIA was doing more than vetting.
From offices at secret locations, American intelligence officers have helped the Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large procurement from Croatia, and have vetted rebel commanders and groups to determine who should receive the weapons as they arrive, according to American officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.
So the CIA was acting as a kind of personal shopping assistant. But according to an unnamed former official the network itself was the result of prodding by CIA director David Petraeus who encouraged various nations to work together toward the goal of arming the Syrian rebels. The flow of arms increased substantially throughout 2012 and really took off in the fall. But all of the shipments were still being transported and paid for by other nations.
That changed in June of this year the Obama administration convinced members of the intelligence committee to allow the CIA to begin contributing weapons directly to the existing arms pipeline. The decision was reported in the Guardian with Rep. Mike Rogers expressing doubt whether Obama’s policy would work. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff was also concerned saying “It’s too late to affect the outcome with a small amount of arms.”
The WSJ reported at the time “The Central Intelligence Agency has begun moving weapons to Jordan from a network of secret warehouses and plans to start arming small groups of vetted Syrian rebels within a month, expanding U.S. support of moderate forces battling President Bashar al-Assad, according to diplomats and U.S. officials briefed on the plans.”
To sum up, the CIA encouraged the creation of a multi-national arms pipeline, helped shop for weapons to fill it, vetted the groups who would receive those weapons in Syria and, since June of 2013, contributed U.S. weapons to the mix. With that backdrop in place we can now return our attention to Libya.
There is much more at Breitbart
- #BenghaziWatch Frank Wolf Asks if Benghazi Site Was Stockpiling Syrian Weapons (counterjihadreport.com)
- One Year Later, We Still Haven’t Solved The Mystery At The Heart Of The Benghazi Attack (businessinsider.com)
Benghazi: The Set-Up and the Cover-Up (counterjihadreport.com)
CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack.
Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya.
Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.
CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.
Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings.
The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.
It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.
In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”
Another says, “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”
“Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that,” said former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer.
In other words, the rate of the kind of polygraphs alleged by sources is rare.
“If somebody is being polygraphed every month, or every two months it’s called an issue polygraph, and that means that the polygraph division suspects something, or they’re looking for something, or they’re on a fishing expedition. But it’s absolutely not routine at all to be polygraphed monthly, or bi-monthly,” said Baer.
Read more at CNN with video
by Steven Emerson:
Reviewed by IPT News
March 1, 2013
From The Company of Shadows by author Kevin Shipp offers a fascinating insider’s view of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from the perspective of someone who lived in the agency’s top echelons from the end of the Cold War to the War on Terror.
The book reads like a James Bond novel, only the characters and situations are real. It delves into the CIA’s internal politics and abuses of power that he contends has made America less free and less safe.
Shipp should know, having served in roles ranging from working as a security officer assigned to the protection detail of the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) to being a counter-terrorism instructor for the agency’s Counterterrorism Center. He was a decorated CIA officer whose view of the agency shifted from one of idealism to one of sobriety about its real nature as his career progressed.
Shipp joined the CIA in 1985 and had a front-row seat as the Iran-Contra scandal emerged two years later. The author attributes the momentum behind the scandal to late CIA Director William Casey’s personal devotion to William Buckley, the CIA’s station chief in Beirut, Lebanon who had been kidnapped by the Islamic Jihad terrorist group and was tortured daily before being murdered in 1985.
Casey felt responsible for Buckley’s predicament and wanted to ensure that Buckley and the other hostages being held by terrorists in Lebanon were rescued, but the plan backfired.
Shipp describes the late CIA director as “one of the last real servants of democracy” who was willing to take personal risks. But Casey’s death marked a turning point for the agency, which soon found itself looking for its mission after the Cold War.
The arms-for-hostages episode served as a warning to Shipp that there was no negotiating with religious fundamentalists.
There is no one better than Shipp to bring the agency’s internal secret wars of the past 30 years into public, and the book gives the reader a first-hand view. He provides a glimpse into the cloak-and-dagger life of a CIA operator with an eye on the agency’s internal politics.
His view of the agency started to change after the start of the Clinton administration when the focus shifted from serving national security to serving political correctness. A move in this direction already had begun back in the Carter administration when CIA Director Stansfield Turner slashed the number of spies on the ground in favor of satellite and electronic surveillance.
Turner’s decision to eviscerate the CIA’s human intelligence capabilities touched off series of disastrous decisions that led the agency to heavily rely on unreliable defectors who fed it bad intelligence.
President Bill Clinton gave the agency’s decline an additional push, Shipp writes.
In addition to recruiting substandard new hires, it issued an order prohibiting CIA officers from having contact with foreign nationals engaged in human-rights abuses.
This contributed to intelligence failures leading up to the Iraq war and even the 9/11 attacks, Shipp writes.
By the time the 9/11 attacks took place, the CIA was “deaf, dumb and blind” about Islamist extremist groups and agents scrambled to gather intelligence from open-source materials, Shipp writes. CNN frequently had better sources about what was happening overseas than the CIA.
The same holds true about other Islamist terrorist groups.
Many of these groups such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Muslim Brotherhood have established a strong foothold in the United States working through front groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim American Society (MAS) and Muslim Public Affairs Council, Shipp writes.
These groups have succeeded in getting the Obama administration to declare there is “no War on Terror” and adhere to the view that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism.
Read more at IPT
Washington, D.C.: With the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence scheduled to vote tomorrow on John Brennan’s nomination to become the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, it has become clear that Senators simply do not have all the information necessary for an informed decision on so sensitive an appointment. In an effort to illuminate the nominee’s shortcomings that demand – but have yet to receive – close scrutiny, the Center for Security Policy convened avirtual press conference featuring video-taped comments by six of the country’s preeminent experts on, among other things, the threat of Islamism and Brennan’s blindness to it.
The video includes powerful statements by Steve Emerson, Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy;Chris Farrell, Vice President for Investigations and Research for Judicial Watch; Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, USA Ret., former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; Andrew C. McCarthy, former federal prosecutor and author of The Grand Jihad and Spring Fever; andStephen Coughlin, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy and author of the forthcoming book, Catastrophic Failure.
The video, National Security Experts Warn: Reject Brennan, compliments the Center’s other efforts to educate the public, media and policymakers about the dangers of a possible Brennan tenure at the CIA, including a collection of Brennan-related resources and several investigative pieces.
Andrew McCarthy–who successfully prosecuted the Blind Sheikh who, twenty years ago yesterday, conspired to blow up the World Trade Center–said:
Making John Brennan the director of the Central Intelligence Agency is the most monumental mismatch of man and mission that I can imagine. The point of having our intelligence agencies is to make sure that we have a coherent, accurate idea of the threats that confront the United States. Unfortunately, Mr. Brennan’s career, and certainly the signature that he has put on the national security component of the Obama administration has been to blind the United States to the threats against us.
Steve Emerson, one of the country’s preeminent counter-terrorism experts added:
John Brennan, CIA director nominee, is uniquely unqualified to be the CIA director as evidenced by him being the architect of the outreach program to the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States as well as in the Middle East. In the course of the investigation conducted by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, we discovered that there were at least four hundred visits in the three years between 2009 and 2012 to the White House of radical Islamic groups, some of whom were unindicted co-conspirators in terrorism trials, but all of whom had been involved in establishing radical Islamic rhetoric, including support for Hamas, Hezbollah, denigrating the US, calling this a war against Islam by the United States.
Zuhdi Jasser, a leader of anti-Islamist Muslims in America, warned that:
…The reports put out from [John Brennan's] counter-terrorism office at the White House…did not recognize the [Islamist] ideology. They noted a “radical ideology,” but didn’t name what it was — even though the word ‘ideology’ was mentioned twenty times. Our American-Islamic Leadership Coalition, that includes over 20 different reform-based organizations that are anti-Islamist, were not consulted. And, you can see from the report, that it seems to be very similar to things put out by groups like the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Society of North America. Unfortunately, John Brennan has had a very cozy relationship to these groups and has often used their talking points when speaking out about Islam, Islamism, jihad, and the threat…. In every position Brennan has been it, he has been more a facilitator of Islamist groups rather than a counterweight to them, in order to oppose them and confront them.
The Center today also released a letter signed by fifteen conservative leaders – many of whom have extensive experience with national security policymaking and practice – calling on congressional leaders to launch a bicameral select committee to investigate the Benghazigate scandal. John Brennan’s involvement in the run-up to the murderous attack on September 11, 2012, his conduct during that seven-hour engagement and his role in the subsequent cover-up must be addressed before he is allowed, as Rep. Trent Franks recently put it “anywhere near the CIA, let alone running it.”
You can view the transcript at Center For Security Policy
Trentovision.tv set off a firestorm of commentary on its February 8, 2013 show when it broke the story about CIA Director nominee John Brennan having converted to Islam while he was the CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
John Guandolo, a former Marine Corps platoon commander and senior FBI expert on the Muslim Brotherhood who retired in 2008, appeared via Skype with radio show host Tom Trento and reported that Brennan had been converted to Islam in a process observed by more than one U.S. official at the Riyadh Embassy that ought to have raised counterintelligence questions—but apparently didn’t.
The important take away from this startling account is actually less about a conversion/recruitment, though, and more about how Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood conditioning about Islam may have shaped Brennan’s thinking and understanding about Islam in a way that made him the perfect (even if unwitting) agent of influence whose subsequent rise within U.S. national security ranks placed him in key positions from which to direct U.S. policy on Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Much more at Radical Islam
Clare Lopez is a senior fellow at RadicalIslam.org and a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on the Middle East, national defense and counterterrorism. Lopez served for 20 years as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).