Obama’s ‘Blame It on The Video’ Was a Fraud for Cairo as Well as Benghazi — More Proof

liarsNRO, By Andrew C. McCarthy:

The “blame it on the video” fraud so carefully orchestrated by the Obama administration in connection with the Benghazi massacre on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has always rested on a premise that remains unquestioned by the mainstream media – and that is itself a fraud. To wit: the Libyan violence, in which a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were murdered, was triggered by rioting at the U.S. embassy in neighboring Egypt which was unquestionably provoked by an anti-Islamic video (an obscure trailer for the more obscure film, Innocence of Muslims).

As I’ve previously recounted, “blame it on the video” was a fraud as to Egypt as well – a calculated fraud set in motion by State Department officials in Cairo who began tweeting about their outrage over the video before the rioting started. At the time they did so, our government well knew both that there would be demonstrations at the embassy and that those demonstrations were being spearheaded by al Qaeda. In addition to the general animus against the United States that is its raison d’etre, the terror network and its Egyptian confederates were animated by their long-running campaign demanding that the U.S. release the Blind Sheikh (Omar Abdel Rahman, the master jihadist I prosecuted in the nineties and who Osama bin Laden later credited with issuing the fatwa that approved the 9/11 suicide hijackings).

There is now more evidence corroborating the fact that al Qaeda-linked jihadists, not the video, propelled the Cairo rioting — just as al-Qaeda-linked jihadists, not the video, propelled the Benghazi attack. Tom Joscelyn of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who is the nation’s best informed analyst of the global jihad and its tentacles, recently testified before the House homeland security committee (specifically, the subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence). The testimony, on the topic of al Qaeda’s expansion into Egypt, has been posted at the invaluable Long War Journal site. While it is all worth reading, Tom offers the following observations on the Cairo rioting:

In addition, a contingent of EIJ [Egyptian Islamic Jihad] leaders loyal to al Qaeda’s leader [Ayman al-Zawahiri -- the EIJ leader who merged EIJ into al Qaeda] became especially active inside Egypt after their release from prison [following the fall of Mubarak]. They were led by Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of Ayman al Zawahiri. Until he was re-arrested in 2013, Mohammed al Zawahiri used the permissive environment following the fall of Mubarak to proselytize, often under the banner of “Ansar al Sharia Egypt.” This group was established by one of his former EIJ comrades, Ahmed Ashush. In interviews, Ashush proclaimed his allegiance to al Qaeda, saying that he was “honored to be an extension of al Qaeda.” Although Mohammed al Zawahiri spent much of his trying to win new converts for al Qaeda’s ideology, he likely returned to terrorist operations and was in contact with his brother as well.

Mohammed al Zawahiri was one of the chief instigators of the September 11, 2012, protest in front of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. The protest turned into an all-out assault on the compound, with the stars and stripes being ripped down and replaced by al Qaeda’a black banner. The protest-turned-assault was a pro-al Qaeda event from the first, with protesters openly praising Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. I have identified at least three other senior al Qaeda-linked jihadists who helped spark the protest: Tawfiq Al ‘Afani, ‘Adel Shehato, and Rifai Ahmed Taha Musa. Al ‘Afani and Shehato are longtime EIJ ideologues and leaders. Shehato has since been re-arrested and charged with leading the so-called Nasr City Cell, which had multiple ties to al Qaeda.

Rifai Ahmed Taha Musa once led the IG and was a close confidante of the Blind Sheikh. He was very close to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri. He even signed al Qaeda’s 1998 fatwa declaring the formation of a “World Islamic Front for Confronting the Jews and Crusaders.” [ACM: That fatwa is considered al Qaeda’s clearest declaration of war against the United States and presaged the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, and the 9/11 attacks.] The CIA considered Taha Musa to be such an important terrorist that he was tracked down in Syria, where he was detained and deported to Egypt in late 2001.

President Obama’s policy of supporting Islamic supremacists throughout the Middle East led, directly and inexorably, to the empowerment of anti-American jihadists in Egypt and Libya. That is why the administration, in the run-up to what promised to be a close presidential election, worked so hard to deceive Americans into believing the story (absurd on its face) that the murderous violence was caused by a virtually unseen video. I stand by what I concluded last year in arguing that “blame it on the video” was just as fraudulent in the case of the Cairo rioting as in that of the Benghazi slaughter:

Obama’s re-election campaign was premised on the claims that he had decimated al Qaeda, that the war on terror was thus nearing an end, and that his Middle East policy of aiding Islamic supremacists in places like Egypt and Libya was stabilizing the region and fostering the birth of real democracy. The campaign could not afford powerful demonstrations that al Qaeda was anything but in its death throes; that terrorists were still targeting American facilities and killing American officials; and that, under Obama’s policies, Egypt and much of Libya were now controlled by rabidly anti-American Islamic supremacists.

The video fraud enabled the administration and Obama’s reelection campaign to stay on offense – aggressively pummeling the strawman of “Islamophobia” – rather than in the defensive crouch required to explain, or try to explain, the Obama administration’s performance in Egypt, Libya, and the broader Middle East. It worked: The Romney campaign was cowed and accountability for the Benghazi massacre would have to wait many months.

OPSEC to Publish New Report on Hillary Clinton, Benghazi

Inside of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi after the attack on Sept. 11, 2012 / AP

Inside of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi after the attack on Sept. 11, 2012 / AP

BY: 
February 13, 2014 4:43 pm

OPSEC will release a new report this week that is critical of Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi, Reuters reports.

The OPSEC (military slang for “operational security”) report says Clinton made crucial choices during the attack on Benghazi, which enabled the attack.

“The attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012, actually consisted of three distinct but interconnected phases: an unsupported diplomatic expansion into the city that enabled the attack; an uncoordinated and unresponsive reaction to the attack itself; and a concerted effort after the attack to remain unaccountable,” the report says. “Although a wide range of decisions contributed to each of these individual phases, only one person was responsible for the most critical choices during all three: Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

The report also says the attack was not caused by inadequate information but by inadequate leadership.

According to Reuters:

The group charges Clinton with failing to ask the Pentagon and spy agencies to help U.S. personnel besieged in Benghazi and with not discussing the attack with President Barack Obama until more than six hours after it started. They also say she was not candid in her own accounts of what happened.

The report, entitled “Breach of Duty: Hillary Clinton and Catastrophic Failure in Benghazi,” says that due to a lack of due diligence by Congress, the “full story about Hillary Clinton’s deadly failure of leadership may never be completely told.” It calls for a special congressional investigation of the affair.

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ACT! for America:

** IMPORTANT BENGHAZI UPDATE & ACTION ALERT **

TURNING UP THE HEAT:
FOUR NEW MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
CO-SPONSOR BENGHAZI LEGISLATION

Today, we have some very good news to report about H. Res. 36, legislation introduced by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) which would create a special congressional committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack.

As Ronald Reagan famously said, “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.” Well, we can tell you that your combined voices on the Benghazi issue are really heating up Capitol Hill!

More and more federal legislators understand that when you say you want a special committee convened to get to the bottom of the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador – you mean business.

THANK YOU.

Over the last few days alone, FOUR Members of Congress have decided to cosponsor Rep. Wolf’s Benghazi bill, bringing the total number of cosponsors to 184. That’s over 80 percent of Republicans in the House of Representatives! Though this is wonderful progress, we must now redouble our efforts so that Speaker Boehner brings H. Res. 36 to the House floor for a vote.

In addition, former Representative Pete Hoekstra (Chair of the House Intelligence Committee) recently commented to Fox news about the ineffectiveness of having five separate congressional committees investigate Benghazi – as opposed to one, focused, committee. The article, “Rep: GOP Disunity Hurts Benghazi Investigation” is well worth a read.

The four newest cosponsors of H. Res. 36 are:

       •  Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX/12)
•  Rep. George Holding (R-NC/13)
•  Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL/1)
 Note: Replaced Rep. Jo Bonner
       •  Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA/3)

(If one of these legislators represents you, please take a moment to say “thank you!” It goes a long way.)

Does your House legislator place a Benghazi investigation at a high priority? Click HERE for a list of Members of Congress who are NOT cosponsors of H. Res. 36. If you see your legislator’s name on that list he/she needs to hear from you.

Will you help out by taking the easy and quick action noted below?

** Important Benghazi Action Item **

If your House legislator has still not cosponsored H. Res. 36, please contact him/her to ask why, and to express your support for legislation creating a special congressional committee to investigate the Benghazi attack. As always, please be respectful at all times.

(NOTE: H. Res. 36 is NOT the same as H. R. 36. Please be sure to accurately identify the legislation we are supporting, to avoid confusion.)

Click HERE for a list of House Members, by state, who still have NOT cosponsored Rep. Wolf’s bill.

Is your legislator on that list? If so, please contact him/her via phone call or e-mail and request that he/she sign on to H.Res.36 as a cosponsorLet your legislator know that this is a very important issue to you, and one that you will have in mind when you cast your vote this November.

Click HERE to obtain contact information for your House legislator.

After all this time, there is no excuse for a Member of Congress not to support a special Benghazi committee. We’ve had months and months of hearings and political theatre on this issue and the important questions remain unanswered.

Let’s keep the heat on high in the U.S. Congress when it comes to Benghazi.

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Sign the petition to End the Benghazigate Cover-up and appoint a select committee to investigate!

 

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Catherine Herridge: Was early Benghazi intelligence politicized?

House Foreign Affairs Benghazi Report Short On New Information

benghazi_cloud_white_house_10-28-12-2Breitbart, by KERRY PICKET:

GOP members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee released on Friday a report showing the State Department’s lack of accountability following the deadly terrorist attacks at the compound and the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

The report itself did not present anything new other than elements of the most recently released Senate Select Intelligence Committee report related to the Benghazi investigation, which did present new information. Additionally, the House Foreign Affairs report makes repeated references to an Accountability Reform bill, authored by Chairman Ed Royce (R – CA), that is not related to theBenghazi investigation. However, Royce’s own bill has not moved beyond his own committee for nearly a year.

Among other points, the report admonishes then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as present Secretary of State John Kerry for not holding accountable any State Department personnel  “for the flawed decisions about security in Benghazi.” The committee also goes after the those who put together the ARB report for not interviewing top State Department officials during their investigation.

Although, the committee makes a reference to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee Benghazi report regarding the lack of accountability State Department official Patrick F. Kennedy has received since the attack, the House Foreign Affairs Committee does not appear to make an effort to hold Kennedy accountable or announce that they’re hauling him back up to reconcile his conflicting testimony.

Royce’s press Committee office would not respond as to why the latest report appeared to only be rehashing established issues regarding the attack in Benghazi and if he believed it was time to investigate the matters through a House Select Committee. A number of members on Royce’s committee are supporters of Rep. Frank Wolf’s effort to form a select committee to look into the the terrorist attack and the investigation after the attack. However, Royce has not signed on as a co-sponsor and House Speaker John Boehner (R – OH) refuses to appoint a committee. The resolution currently has 182 co-sponsors.

In a statement to Breitbart News, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R – FL) said:

“Many Congressional reports have been useful in helping to collect information about the truth behind the Benghazi terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. However, I have cosponsored legislation to establish a select committee whose sole purpose is to investigate what happened before, during, and after the attack at Benghazi in order to prevent a similar attack in the future at our diplomatic posts. We must continue to ask the Obama administration officials more questions about what they knew and when did they know in order to get to the bottom of this because the American people deserve answers regarding this horrific terrorist attack.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (R – AZ) , who chairs the subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere,  is also a co-sponsor of legislation (H.Res.36) to create a select committee to investigate the attack in Benghazi. “I continue to believe the most appropriate and thorough way to investigate the Benghazi tragedy is to establish an investigative select committee that will cut across jurisdictional barriers and provide a comprehensive picture of what went wrong and ensure it does not happen again,” Salmon said in a statement to Breitbart News.

Rep. Wolf has long said that a select committee would give subpoena power to members to compel witnesses to testify under oath, while streamlining the investigative process of all the committees. Although, the House Oversight Committee can issue subpoenas, such a move would happen very rarely.

“The two subpoenas issued by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee today for two of the State Department survivors from the Benghazi attacks to testify before Congress is a welcome and, frankly, long overdue step – but it’s not nearly enough,” Wolf asked in a statement in September of 2013,  “Why has it taken more than a year for these first subpoenas to be issued?  “Will another year go by before the next subpoenas are issued?

A spokesman of Rep. Jeff Duncan (R – SC) told Breitbart News that “Congressman Duncan has been saying from the very beginning that he only believes the select committee process is able to effective in uncovering the truth.”

Rep. Tom Marino (R – PA) told Breitbart News, “Absolutely.  And that’s why I support Congressman Wolf’s legislation.  Our consulate was attacked, our ambassador was murdered and no one at State has been held accountable.  If the Administration isn’t willing to take action, Congress should.”

Other House Foreign Affair Committee members who are co-sponsors for a select committee are: Rep. Mo Brooks (R – AL), Rep. Tom Cotton (R – AR), Rep. Chris Smith (R -NJ), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Steve Chabot (R – OH), Rep. Joe Wilson (R – SC), Rep. Mike McCaul (R – TX), Rep. Ted Poe (R – TX), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R -IL), Rep. Paul Cook (R – CA), Rep. Randy Weber (R – TX), Rep. Scott Perry (R – PA), Rep. Steve Stockman (R – TX), Rep. Mark Meadows (R – NC), Rep. Ted Yoho (R – FL), Rep. Luke Messer (R – IN), Rep. Ron DeSantis (R – FL).

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CJR: The Benghazi cover up goes way beyond protecting Obama’s re-election bid from a mere failed foreign policy of underestimating al Qaeda. The shocking truth is that Obama has joined forces with al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in order to overthrow governments in the Middle East and change the balance of power. Obama is negotiating with Iran, a US designated state sponsor of terror, and allowing them to become a nuclear power. The net result of Obama’s policies has been to weaken the US and its allies while empowering its enemies.

Obama’s actions amount to material support for terror. This is the cover up. This is why we need a select committee to expose the truth.

The following articles spell it out:

Committee Majority Staff Issues Report on Lack of State Department Accountability for Benghazi Attacks

!cid_image006_jpg@01CF23FBWashington, D.C. – Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee majority staff issued a report detailing the lack of accountability within the State Department following the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks at the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya.  The report, entitled, “Benghazi:  Where is the State Department Accountability,” follows the majority investigative staff’s extensive 16-month oversight, during which staff examined the State Department’s conduct before, during, and after the terrorist attacks.

The report is available HERE.

The report contains the following key findings:

  • Before September 11, 2012, U.S. intelligence agencies provided extensive warning of the deteriorating security environment in eastern Libya, including al-Qaeda’s expanding operations and the mounting risk to U.S. personnel and facilities.
  • These threats were well-understood by even the most senior officials in Washington; then-Secretary Clinton “was certainly aware” of this reporting, as well as the fact that extremists claiming to be affiliated with al-Qaeda were active in the area.
  • Despite this increasingly dangerous environment, State Department officials in Washington denied requests for additional security from Department personnel on the ground in Libya, and insisted on an aggressive timeline for drawing down support.  By contrast, the CIA increased security at its facilities in Benghazi.
  • The Accountability Review Board (ARB) convened in response to the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam recommended that the Secretary of State “take a personal and active role in carrying out the responsibility of ensuring the security of U.S. diplomatic personnel abroad.”
  • The ARB convened by Secretary Clinton after the Benghazi attack was seriously deficient in several respects, most notably in its failure to review or comment on the actions of the Department’s most senior officials, including Secretary Clinton herself.
  • Secretary Clinton and Secretary Kerry have failed to hold anyone accountable for the flawed decisions about security in Benghazi.  Instead, the four employees cited by the ARB were temporarily suspended with pay and ultimately reassigned to new positions within the Department.  Two of these officials subsequently retired voluntarily, and not as the result of disciplinary action.
  • The “talking points” controversy further revealed a Department leadership more interested in its reputation than establishing the facts and accountability.
  • Tellingly, during the entirety of Secretary Clinton’s tenure, the State Department went for a historically long period without a permanent Inspector General, a position central to ensuring a culture of accountability within the Department.
  • State Department personnel serve the nation with distinction, operating in the most dangerous areas of the world.  Their security cannot be guaranteed, nor do they expect it to be guaranteed.  What they do expect and deserve is a Department in which everyone is held accountable for his or her performance.
  • While the Committee will continue to press for accountability, it is incumbent upon President Obama and Secretary Kerry to recognize the failures of senior officials and hold them accountable.  Otherwise, another Benghazi scenario, in which U.S. personnel are left vulnerable by irresponsible decision making in Washington, is inevitable.

The report comes two days after the House Republican Leadership published a new website, GOP.gov/Benghazi, devoted to the Benghazi investigations.

 

 

 

Also see:

Obama Administration Withholds Key Benghazi Emails

1606997_10202980423374549_41669270_n (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the Obama administration was seeking to withhold key emails about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, indicating what it terms “a continued cover-up of the deadly scandal.” The documents, released in December, include multiple emails, which are heavily redacted, about the controversial Benghazi talking points that falsely portray the attack as being the result of a spontaneous protest.

On October 18, 2012, JW filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request with the Department of State seeking information about talking points used to discuss the Benghazi attack that were given  then UN Ambassador Rice and others in the Obama administration.  After waiting months for a response, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the State Department on June 21, 2013, captioned (Judicial Watch, Inc., v. U.S. Department of State, (Civil Action No. 13-cv-00951 (EGS)) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and requested that the State Department be compelled to produce all non-exempt responsive documents.

To date, the State Department has produced two sets of documents, each containing little or no information not previously available to the public. The first set of documents consisted of 1192 pages of daily press clips from the United States Mission to the United Nations, dated September 12-28.  The documents contained nothing beyond published news stories.  The second set of documents, provided to Judicial Watch on December 13, 2013 consists of 67 pages of emails.  The majority of the content is redacted, aside from three prepared talking points sent to members of Congress on September 15, 2012, the first containing the administration’s false claim that the attack was “spontaneously inspired:”

  • “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex.  There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
  • “This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.”
  • “The investigation is on-going, and the US Government is working with Libyan authorities to bring justice to those responsible for the deaths of US citizens.”

The Obama administration has withheld the name of the CIA official who distributed these inaccurate talking points, which seemed to have been used to brief Congress.

“Even after a year and a federal lawsuit, the Obama administration is still in full stonewall mode on Benghazi.  Why else would they produce dozens of blanked out emails?” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Our lawyers are considering challenges to latest Obama secrecy gambit.”

In June, 2013, Judicial Watch obtained the first seven photos from the Department of State depicting the aftermath of the September 11 Benghazi attacks, including: a burned and ransacked building, burned vehicles, and Arabic graffiti with militant Islamist slogans. In November, it obtained additional previously withheld photos, depicting: a car on fire; what appears to be the exterior of a burned out building; ransacked rooms within the building with files and office supplies strewn across the floor; and additional militant Islamist slogans.

Judicial Watch currently has four pending FOIA lawsuits against the Obama administration for documents about the attack, 14 FOIA requests and one Mandatory Declassification Review Request. It has published two in-depth special reports on Benghazi, the last one on the first anniversary of the terrorist attack. [The first Special Report can be accessed here , the second here.]

 

Wolf Renews Call For Select Committee On Benghazi

images (100)Washington, D.C. (October 30, 2013) – In a 30-minute speech today on the House floor, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) again called on House leadership to create a Select Committee on Benghazi, saying the threshold for creating the special panel has been reached in terms of the number of cosponsors and endorsements of the measure, as well as several revelations about the attack that have been covered in the press in recent weeks.

Wolf said that in the nearly 11 months since he first introduced the measure, the broad support that has been built “makes it clear we have more than passed the threshold for a Select Committee now … Let’s get to the truth once and for all so we can find out what happened and restore the American people’s confidence in congressional oversight.”

Just last week, a bipartisan national poll revealed that 63 percent of Americans think the Obama Administration is covering up the facts about the Benghazi attack, and just 29 percent of registered voters believe the administration has been honest.  Further, 83 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of Independents support the idea, and notably, nearly half of Democrats said it was important to create a bipartisan committee to learn the truth.

“Bottom line: Americans from across the political spectrum recognize that not only are they not being told the truth [about Benghazi], but they feel Congress needs to change its approach to the investigation by creating a special committee,” Wolf said.

Wolf also pointed to several recent developments that confirm the individuals involved in the Benghazi attack were senior al Qaeda associates with ties to the group going back decades, and that the plot appears to have been weeks, if not months, in the making.

Wolf said that according to Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, “sources said one of the suspects was believed to be a courier for the Al Qaeda network, and the other a bodyguard in Afghanistan prior to the 2001 terror attacks,” noting that “the direct ties to the Al Qaeda senior leadership undercut early characterizations by the Obama administration that the attackers in Benghazi were isolated “extremists” – not Al Qaeda terrorists – with no organizational structure or affiliation.”

Further, Wolf described a 60 Minutes piece that aired this past Sunday in which CBS’ sources confirmed what Wolf had detailed on the House floor this past July: “a quick reaction force from the CIA Annex ignored orders to wait and raced to the compound, at time running and shooting their way through the streets just to get there.”  Alarmingly, the piece also included information saying that when the terrorists stormed the consulate property, they said “We’re here to kill Americans, not Libyans” and spared the lives of the Libyan guards, Wolf said.

CBS’ Lara Logan also addressed the pressure on witnesses she encountered during the 60 Minutes investigation, saying “An extraordinary amount of pressure on anyone in the government – the military side, the political side – not to say anything outside of official channels.”

“This is consistence with the concerns I have repeatedly raised on the House floor about efforts by this administration to silence survivors and witnesses to the Benghazi attack and response,” Wolf said.  “What are they afraid of these witnesses sharing with the American people?  And how can the Congress stand by and allow this to happen, knowing full well it is taking place?”

Wolf pointed out numerous intelligence failures that occurred prior to and following the attack.

“The administration’s response to the Benghazi attack over the last year has been nothing short of shameful – and that also merits a full investigation by a Select Committee,” Wolf said.  “From the first hours of the attack, when it became apparent that no help was coming to assist those under attack – either from U.S. forces or our allies in the region – to the failure of the FBI to gain access to key suspects in Tunisia and Egypt over the last year, this administration has sent a signal to terrorists that the U.S. will not strongly respond to an attack on Americans abroad.”

Wolf’s measure to create a House Select Committee on Benghazi currently has 178 cosponsors – more than a supermajority in the House.  It has been endorsed by the family members of the victims, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Special Operations community and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents the Diplomatic Security agents who were at the consulate in Benghazi.

For a full list of endorsements, click here.

For more on Wolf’s work on Benghazi, click here.

The full text of Wolf’s floor speech.

Excerpt:

We need a public hearing with the principals involved in the decision making process in Washington on September 11, 2012, including former Secretary Panetta, former Secretary Clinton, former CIA Director Petraeus, former White House advisor and current CIA director John Brennan and former AFRICOM commander General Ham, as well as the White House.

We also need a similar hearing with each of their deputies and others who were witness to the calls for help and the decisions surrounding the response.

Unless we hear from these people publicly, the American people will never learn the truth about whether there were warnings prior to the attack, what calls for help were made that night, whether the CIA security team was in fact delayed in leaving to respond to the initial attack at the consulate and what the response was from Washington, among many other questions.

Until these key individuals are sitting side-by-side answering questions under oath, we will never get a clear picture of who made decisions that night and why.  Failure to get those answers means there will never be any accountability, which further erodes public confidence in government.

Absent a Select Committee, the Congress will fail to learn the truth about what happened that night because the administration will continue to use the jurisdictional barriers between each committee to continue to slow walk or deny information.

There are a number of new developments in recent weeks that make a Select Committee more timely than ever.

First, our colleague Mike Rogers, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, confirmed earlier reports telling Fox News that the plot against the consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi appears to have been weeks, if not months, in the making and that at least two of the plot’s leaders had close connections to senior al Qaeda leadership.

Nearly a year ago, I circulated a memo to all Members prepared by respected terrorism analyst Thomas Joscelyn detailing the apparent connections and likely coordination between al-Qaeda affiliates in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen that resulted in threats and attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in those countries the week of September 11, 2012.  Unfortunately the committees have not held public hearings looking at the connection between these threats.

Last week, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge first reported that: “At least two of the key suspects in the Benghazi terror attack were at one point working with Al Qaeda senior leadership, sources familiar with the investigation tell Fox News. The sources said one of the suspects was believed to be a courier for the Al Qaeda network, and the other a bodyguard in Afghanistan prior to the 2001 terror attacks.”

Herridge noted that, “The direct ties to the Al Qaeda senior leadership undercut early characterizations by the Obama administration that the attackers in Benghazi were isolated “extremists” — not Al Qaeda terrorists — with no organizational structure or affiliation.”

Then, on Sunday, CBS’ 60 Minutes aired a segment by Lara Logan further explaining what happened that night and the increasingly clear connection to al-Qaeda.  Logan reported that “Just a few weeks ago, Abu Anas al-Libi was captured for his role in the Africa bombings and the U.S. is still investigating what part he may have played in Benghazi.  We’ve learned that this man, Sufian bin Qumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee and long-time al Qaeda operative, was one of the lead planners along with Faraj al-Chalabi, whose ties to Osama bin Laden go back more than 15 years.  He’s believed to have carried documents from the compound to the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan.”

It is particularly notable that al-Chalabi reportedly delivered documents from U.S. facilities in Benghazi to “the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan,” establishing a direct link between the Benghazi attacks and most senior leadership of al Qaeda.

Among the other revelations in the 60 Minutes segment:

•    Al-Qaeda stated its intent to attack Americans in Benghazi, along with the Red Cross and the British mission well in advance of September 11.  Lt. Col. Andy Wood, the top American security official in Libya in the months leading up to the attack told CBS that both the State Department and Defense Department were well aware of the threat and the attacks on the Red Cross and British mission and it was “obvious” to the Americans in Libya that it was only a matter of time until an attack on the U.S. facilities.

•    When the terrorists stormed the consulate property, they said: “We’re here to kill Americans, not Libyans” and spared the lives of the Libyan guards.

•    Confirmation of information I detailed on the House floor in July noting that “a quick reaction force from the CIA Annex ignored orders to wait and raced to the compound, at times running and shooting their way through the streets just to get there.”

•    The Americans faced a “professional enemy” as they encountered waves of intense fighting on the CIA annex in Benghazi during the early morning of September 12.   Mortars fired during the final wave of the assault hit the roof of the annex three times in the dark.  Lt. Col. Wood described hitting a target like that as “getting the basketball through the hoop over your shoulder” and that it took “coordination, planning training, experienced personnel” to pull off such a “well executed attack.”

•    Two Delta Force operators who fought at the CIA annex, apparently as part of the impromptu team that flew in from Tripoli with Glen Doherty during the attack without permission from Washington, have “been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cross – two of the military’s highest honors.”

•    The U.S. already knew that senior al Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Libi was in Libya and was “tasked by the head of al Qaeda to establish a clandestine terrorist network inside the country.  Al-Libi was already wanted for his role in bombing two U.S. embassies in Africa.”  Notably, the administration made no mention of his connection to the Benghazi attacks in its announcement of his capture last month.

•    Some of the key questions that remain unanswered are why the CIA security team was ordered not to respond to the attack at the consulate and “why no larger military response ever crossed the border into Libya – something [U.S. deputy chief of mission] Greg Hicks realized wasn’t going to happen just an hour into the attack.”

It’s particularly noteworthy that Logan addressed the pressure on witnesses she encountered during her investigation, saying: “An extraordinary amount of pressure on the people involved not to talk.  And an extraordinary amount of pressure on anyone in the government – the military side, the political side – not to say anything outside of official channels.”
This is consistent with the concerns I have repeatedly raised on the House floor about efforts by this administration to silence survivors and witnesses to the Benghazi attack and response.

What are they afraid of these witnesses sharing with the American people?    And how can the Congress stand by and allow this to happen, knowing full well it is taking place?
CNN in July reported that: “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.”

Fox News, in a separate piece in July, reported: “At least five CIA employees were forced to sign additional nondisclosure agreements this past spring in the wake of the Benghazi attack.”

As someone who represents thousands of federal employees and contractors, including many who work for the CIA, FBI, State Department and the Defense Department, I know from years of firsthand experience how agencies can sometimes use various forms of pressure and intimidation to keep employees from sharing information of concern with Congress.
I know the Benghazi survivors and other witnesses that night from those agencies need the protection of a “friendly subpoena” to compel their testimony before Congress, particularly on a matter as sensitive as this.

So far, the committees have failed to provide this protection to allow survivors and other witnesses to allow them to share their story publicly.

Based on disclosures in recent news reports, I now believe that the Benghazi plot represents a significant intelligence failure by the U.S. at several levels.  Understanding these failures – as well as the government’s inexplicable response during and after the attack – is critical to preventing future attacks.

I want to outline a number of the apparent intelligence failures leading up to the attack, which I believe a Select Committee investigation would confirm:

First, the State Department and CIA apparently failed in their assessment of the militia groups working for the Americans in Benghazi, including the February 17 Martyrs Brigade responsible for guarding the consulate property, which abandoned the Americans and may have even facilitated access to the compound for the terrorists.  According to a May 21 article by Eli Lake on The Daily Beast, CIA “officers were responsible for vetting the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, the militia that was supposed to be the first responder on the night of the attack, but melted away when the diplomatic mission was attacked.”

Second, the State Department, Defense Department and CIA apparently failed to adjust their security posture to support the Americans in Benghazi based on the growing number of attacks on Western targets in Benghazi during the summer of 2012.  To date, no one has explained or been held accountable for why the U.S. mission was so poorly secured, despite pleas for assistances from the Embassy staff in Tripoli to Washington.  No one has adequately explained why the Defense Department’s emergency response team was on a routine training mission in Croatia during the week of September 11, when it should have been on alert to respond – especially given the threats to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt earlier in the day before the Benghazi attacks.

Third, the intelligence community apparently failed to understand the size and scope of the attack brewing in Benghazi in the months leading up to September 11.  As Chairman Rogers acknowledged to Fox News’ Catherine Herridge last week, this was a well-coordinated attack that was many weeks, if not months in the making.  Earlier this year, CNN reported on the number of foreign fighters that arrived in Benghazi to participate in the attack in the days leading up to September 11.

A witness in the 60 Minutes report noted how black al-Qaeda flags were openly flying in the months before the attack, and also noted the announced threat against U.S., British and Red Cross facilities.  How did the government miss these warnings?  Or were they simply ignored?

Fourth, the intelligence community seems to have more broadly failed to understand and anticipate how al-Qaeda was metastasizing in North Africa.

This administration has been quick to take credit for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011 and declared throughout the 2012 presidential campaign that as a result of its efforts that “core al-Qaeda” had been decimated.

However, the facts don’t support the administration’s narrative.

As CNN reported on Monday, terrorist attacks hit a record high in 2012 and, “More than 8,500 terrorist attacks killed more than 15,500 people last year as violence tore through Africa, Asia and the Middle East.”  Increasingly, this includes North African countries, like Libya.

CNN also said that “Despite the death of Osama bin Laden and capture of other key al Qaeda leaders, the group has exported its brand of terrorism to other militant Muslims.”  These groups include affiliates like Ansar al Sharia in Libya.

Additionally, CBS’ Lara Logan noted earlier this week following her report on Benghazi that, “it became evident to us during the course of our research that very little is known publicly about the true nature of al Qaeda’s network in Libya.  And that has consequences beyond Benghazi and beyond Libya. It has consequences that speak to the national security interests of the United States of America.”

Most of these affiliate terrorist groups have sworn an allegiance to al-Qaeda and appear to closely coordinate their activities and plots with the “core al-Qaeda” leadership, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s successor.  To dismiss or minimize their relationship with al-Qaeda’s senior leadership is misguided and dangerous, as we have seen over the last several years.

I fear that this administration’s insistence in treating “core al-Qaeda” in Afghanistan and Pakistan differently than groups like Ansar al Sharia in Libya has led to a dangerous mischaracterization of the threat – and has apparently resulted in a failure to anticipate attacks like the one that occurred in Benghazi.

Fifth, it appears that documents were taken from the consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi in the wake of the attacks.  As I said earlier, 60 Minutes reported that terrorist Faraj al-Chalabi, whose ties to bin Laden go back nearly two decades, is “believed to have carried documents from the compound to the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan.”  What was taken from the consulate and annex and given to al Qaeda’s leadership?

Additionally, as Lara Logan noted following her report, “We did not expect that we would find the U.S. compound in the state that we found it.  There was still debris and ammunition boxes and a whiteboard that had the day’s assignment for the security personnel at the compound as of September 11, 2012.”  Clearly in the chaos of the fighting and evacuation that night, information was left behind at the facilities that may have consequences for Americans operating in the region.

I also believe the administration’s response to the Benghazi attack over the last year has been nothing short of shameful – and that also merits a full investigation by a Select Committee.  From the first hours of the attack, when it became apparent that no help was coming to assist those under attack – either from U.S. forces or our allies in the region – to the failure of the FBI to gain access to key suspects in Tunisia and Egypt over the last year, this administration has sent a signal to terrorists that the U.S. will not strongly respond to an attack on Americans abroad.  The failure to either arrest or kill any of the scores of terrorists responsible for the attacks more than a year later is inexcusable and reflects unwillingness by this administration to bring diplomatic pressure to bear on countries harboring these terrorists.

I am increasingly convinced that this administration is more comfortable using the ongoing FBI investigation as an excuse not to answer questions than they are in bringing these terrorists to justice.  As I said on the House floor in July, last year, Tunisia detained the first suspect in the Benghazi terror attacks, Ali Harzi, after he was deported from Turkey in the weeks following the attack.  Tunisia, despite being the beneficiary of more than $300 million in U.S. foreign aid, refused to allow the FBI access to this suspect for nearly five weeks.  It was only after Congressional threats to cut off the aid that the government of Tunisia reconsidered its position.  Ultimately, the FBI interrogation team returned to Tunisia and was allowed just three hours to interview Harzi, with his lawyer and a Tunisian judge present.  Not long after the FBI interview, Harzi was inexplicably released by Tunisian authorities, and his release was celebrated by Ansar al Sharia terrorists.

Last month, it was confirmed that Harzi has been involved in at least one assassination of a Tunisian political leader.

In another equally concerning case in Egypt, the FBI has been denied access to Muhammed Jamal, an al Qaeda-connected terrorist who ran training camps in Egypt and eastern Libya prior to the Benghazi attacks.  Several of Jamal’s associates are believed to have participated in the Benghazi plot, and terrorism analysts believe that Jamal may have communicated directly with Zawahiri and al Qaeda leadership about this and other terrorist attacks.  Although Jamal has been in Egyptian custody for more than a year on other terrorism-related charges, the U.S. has never been provided access to him under both the Morsi government and now the military government.  I personally delivered a letter to former Ambassador Patterson in Cairo asking then-President Morsi to provide the FBI access to Jamal and his documents.  I don’t believe the ambassador ever even delivered my letter, despite her assurances.  Jamal’s connection to the Benghazi attack is particularly noteworthy given that both the U.S. and the United Nations formally designated him as a terrorist earlier this month.  However, in another example of this administration’s aversion to discussing terrorist connections to the Benghazi attack, the UN designation clearly notes Jamal’s connection to the Benghazi attack, whereas the State Department designation omits it.

I believe there has been pressure from the administration to omit this type of information from U.S. intelligence products, sending conflicting signals to both our allies and to countries that may have Benghazi suspects of interest to the FBI.  But if we’re unwilling to identify their involvement in the attacks, it further erodes U.S. credibility in asking for access to these individuals.  This willful blindness is disingenuous and, ultimately, dangerous.

In early January, when I offered an amendment to create a Select Committee in the House Rules package for the 113th Congress, Speaker Boehner told the Republican Conference he didn’t believe that we had “reached the threshold” for a Select Committee.  He suggested that we might get to the threshold, but the committees of jurisdiction just needed a little more time.

That may have been the case in January, but nearly 11 months later, I think the broad support that has built over the last year makes clear we have more than passed the threshold for a Select Committee now.  I believe the “threshold” has clearly been reached in terms of cosponsors, endorsements and new revelations from press reports.

I was particularly struck by comments made by Ambassador Stevens’ deputy Greg Hicks in the 60 Minutes segment on Sunday: “for us, for the people that go out onto the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they’re coming to get us.  That our back is covered.  To hear that it’s not, it’s a terrible, terrible experience.”

It is not enough for the administration to just say there’s nothing more that could have been done, especially given that evidence indicates that they didn’t try much at all to assist the Americans under fire in Benghazi.

Mr. Speaker, it’s time for a unified, bipartisan Select Committee. Let’s get to the truth once and for all so we can find out what happened and restore the American peoples’ confidence in congressional oversight. 

 

 

BENGHAZI: UNAUTHORIZED WEAPONS OPERATION OR CONGRESSIONAL COVER-UP?

Clinton-Petreausby KERRY PICKET:

Dozens of CIA operatives were involved in an arms smuggling operation on the ground in Benghazi, Libya during the deadly attack on the U.S. compound last September, reports CNN and the U.K. Telegraph. According to these outlets, the spy agency has gone out of its way to keep the information from the public through intimidation of CIA personnel.  

Four Americans were killed, including U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens that evening in Benghazi almost one year ago.

In light of this new information, either the Congress’ “Gang of Eight” knew about the operation and misled the public about what they knew, or the Obama administration may have been conducting an unauthorized gun-running operation. Fox News reported in October of 2012 about a Libyan ship, reportedly containing weapons for Syrian Rebels that may have been tied into the attack against the consulate and the CIA annex:

Through shipping records, Fox News has confirmed that the Libyan-flagged vessel Al Entisar, which means “The Victory,” was received in the Turkish port of Iskenderun — 35 miles from the Syrian border — on Sept. 6, just five days before Ambassador Chris Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed during an extended assault by more than 100 Islamist militants.

On the night of Sept. 11, in what would become his last known public meeting, Stevens met with the Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and escorted him out of the consulate front gate one hour before the assault began at approximately 9:35 p.m. local time.

Although what was discussed at the meeting is not public, a source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi to negotiate a weapons transfer, an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists. And although the negotiation said to have taken place may have had nothing to do with the attack on the consulate later that night or the Libyan mystery ship, it could explain why Stevens was travelling in such a volatile region on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

According to section 503’s Presidential Approval and Reporting of Covert Actions in the 1947 National Security Act, the President may not authorize covert CIA actions without informing the intelligence committees of Congress.

Legislation implemented in 1980 gave the president the authority to limit advance notification of especially sensitive covert actions to eight Members of Congress–the “Gang of Eight”: the chairmen and ranking minority Members of the two congressional intelligence committees, the Speaker and minority leader of the House, and Senate majority and minority leaders. These members are: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).

By law, such a covert weapons operation in Benghazi should have been known by all eight members. The disastrous results from the events of September 11, 2012 have not made it easy to get answers from these lawmakers regarding this point.

Many remember when Pelosi, a “Gang of Eight” member, found herself at odds with the Democratic base in 2009 and ridiculed by Republicans, when it was revealed she was actually briefed in 2002 by the Bush White House about the administration’s tactic to water-board terrorism suspects during interrogations. Pelosi denied this fact previously.

Radio host Laura Ingraham asked Boehner on January 24 about Senator Rand Paul’s questioning to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He asked if the secretary was aware of U.S. involvement in the procuring of weapons that were transferred, bought or sold to Turkey out of Libya. Clinton, seemingly confused, told Paul “nobody [had] ever raised” the issue with her before.

Boehner replied to Ingraham, “I’m somewhat familiar with the chatter about this and the fact that these arms were moving towards Turkey, but most of what I know about this came from a classified source and I really can’t elaborate on it.”

Boehner has refuses to appoint a House Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks and previously refused to support a joint Select Committee to do the same late last year.

Four members of the “Gang of Eight” have told Breitbart News over the past six months they knew nothing about any CIA operation in Benghazi involving the smuggling of Libyan weapons into Turkey that may have been shipped to Syrian rebels, some of whom were affiliated to al-Qaeda groups.

Read more at Breitbart

 

BREAKING>>> GOP Rep: Obama WH Is Hiding Benghazi Survivors AND CHANGING THEIR NAMES (Video)

xbenghazi-attack-consulate4-250x200.jpg.pagespeed.ic.TKjYZ-3A5oGateway Pundit, by Jim Hoft:

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) was on with Greta Van Susteren tonight to discuss the Obama scandals.

This came after Jake Tapper at CNN broke the news today that there were “dozens” of CIA operatives on the ground in Benghazi on 9-11 when the consulate came under attack.

Gowdy told Greta the Obama Administration is hiding the survivors, dispersing them around the country, AND changing their names.

“Including changing names, creating aliases. Stop and think what things are most calculated to get at the truth? Talk to people with first-hand knowledge. What creates the appearance and perhaps the reality of a cover-up? Not letting us talk with people who have the most amount of information, dispersing them around the country and changing their names.”

And, at the same time Obama is dispersing the survivors around the country he’s calling Bengahzi a ‘phony’ scandal.
Via Greta Van Susteren:

CNN’s report:

Former US Ambassador: “Benghazi Was Not Just a Mid-level Bureaucratic Failure. It Was a Failure of Leadership.”

Obama.Benghazi1-450x348By Daniel Greenfield:

That’s the conclusion of  Ambassador Richard S. Williamson writing about Benghazi.

“Thirty years ago, I assumed post as chief of mission in my first ambassadorship. One thing I learned from the able foreign service officers with whom I served was that if there was a legitimate security issue, all I needed to do was send a cable to the State Department’s undersecretary for management and the problem would be addressed promptly, professionally, and effectively. We now know that did not happen in Benghazi. America’s full arsenal of security assets was not deployed to protect Ambassador Stevens. Why not? How has the culture changed where legitimate security requests from a U.S. ambassador go unheeded by the State Department?” Williamson asks.

That’s one of the important questions to ask about Hillary’s time there. Under her watch, US diplomatic facilities were helpless as they came under siege and major abuses were covered up.

The State Department was run like Hillary’s campaign, instead of a professional organization dedicated to achieving serious national goals.

I’ve served four secretaries of State in a variety of positions in the State Department and in various ambassadorships. I’ve seen how the building works. Benghazi was not just a mid-level bureaucratic failure. It was a failure of leadership. The secretary of State sets the tone and the bureaucracy responds. If the secretary makes a priority of keeping American diplomats safe and secure, then the bureaucracy responds by doing the same. I know and have worked with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy; he is an able man. But I also know that if the secretary of State had made security for our diplomats a priority, more would have been done.

And that’s the bottom line. The buck stops with the leadership. Leaders set goals and priorities. Their people carry them out. Hillary’s goals and priorities did not involve keeping diplomats safe. Whatever those goals really were, they treated people on the ground as disposable.

From the moment the Obama administration brought up the video, it was self-evidently a MacGuffin. The ugly video had been out on the Internet for months. Why had this little-seen and little-noted video launched spontaneous demonstrations around and attacks on U.S. diplomatic posts throughout the Middle East? Oh yes, it was September 11th! Now, what exactly is the significance of September 11th? And is it remotely credible that spontaneous demonstrators bring along missile launchers? As Albert Camus once wrote, we should set “ideological reflexes aside for a moment and just think.”

Why were the president and his political operatives so anxious to divert the attention of the media and the American people? Just think. It was the final phase of a hard-fought election campaign and these events pulled back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz, revealing that a pillar of the president’s reelection campaign was smoke and mirrors.

GM was alive and government subsidized, but in Syria, so was Al Qaeda.

The president and his campaign were desperate to keep a lid on Benghazi because it fundamentally challenged their narrative. It simply could not withstand close scrutiny. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. And the facts were that Islamic extremists willing to engage in terrorism were on the march across North Africa. Benghazi was but one of the developments that revealed this fact for anyone willing to look. The president’s statements about Benghazi during the foreign policy debate revealed a lawyerly slipperiness and a contortionist’s ability to bend the truth to his immediate political advantage.

There is a significant difference of opinion on how to best prosecute the war on terror. There are good people of experience and sound judgment on both sides of this debate, and it is a debate that must be joined. But it was not a debate the Obama campaign wanted to have during the 2012 presidential campaign. By all indications, it is not a debate the Obama administration ever wants to have.

No it doesn’t. Obama has reverted to Clinton era terror policies while burying the rise of Al Qaeda beneath the occasional drone strike and Bin Laden’s corpse.

Read more at Front Page

 

The Benghazi Lie

pic_giant_051013_The-Benghazi-Lie

The government dispatched more firepower to arrest Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in Los Angeles than it did to protect its mission in Benghazi. It was such a great act of misdirection Hillary should have worn spangled tights and sawn Stevens’s casket in half.

By Mark Steyn:

Shortly before last November’s election I took part in a Fox News documentary on Benghazi, whose other participants included the former governor of New Hampshire John Sununu. Making chit-chat while the camera crew were setting up, Governor Sununu said to me that in his view Benghazi mattered because it was “a question of character.” That’s correct. On a question of foreign policy or counterterrorism strategy, men of good faith can make the wrong decisions. But a failure of character corrodes the integrity of the state.

That’s why career diplomat Gregory Hicks’s testimony was so damning — not so much for the new facts as for what those facts revealed about the leaders of this republic. In this space in January, I noted that Hillary Clinton had denied ever seeing Ambassador Stevens’s warnings about deteriorating security in Libya on the grounds that “1.43 million cables come to my office” — and she can’t be expected to see all of them, or any. Once Ambassador Stevens was in his flag-draped coffin listening to her eulogy for him at Andrews Air Force Base, he was her bestest friend in the world — it was all “Chris this” and “Chris that,” as if they’d known each other since third grade. But up till that point he was just one of 1.43 million close personal friends of Hillary trying in vain to get her ear.

Now we know that at 8 p.m. Eastern time on the last night of Stevens’s life, his deputy in Libya spoke to Secretary Clinton and informed her of the attack in Benghazi and the fact that the ambassador was now missing. An hour later, Gregory Hicks received a call from the then–Libyan prime minister, Abdurrahim el-Keib, informing him that Stevens was dead. Hicks immediately called Washington. It was 9 p.m. Eastern time, or 3 a.m. in Libya. Remember the Clinton presidential team’s most famous campaign ad? About how Hillary would be ready to take that 3 a.m.call? Four years later, the phone rings, and Secretary Clinton’s not there. She doesn’t call Hicks back that evening. Or the following day.

Are murdered ambassadors like those 1.43 million cables she doesn’t read? Just too many of them to keep track of? No. Only six had been killed in the history of the republic — seven, if you include Arnold Raphel, who perished in General Zia’s somewhat mysterious plane crash in Pakistan in 1988. Before that you have to go back to Adolph Dubs, who died during a kidnapping attempt in Kabul in 1979. So we have here a once-in-a-third-of-a-century event. And at 3 a.m. Libyan time on September 12 it’s still unfolding, with its outcome unclear. Hicks is now America’s head man in the country, and the cabinet secretary to whom he reports says, “Leave a message after the tone and I’ll get back to you before the end of the week.” Just to underline the difference here: Libya’s head of government calls Hicks, but nobody who matters in his own government can be bothered to.

What was Secretary Clinton doing that was more important? What was the president doing? Aside, that is, from resting up for his big Vegas campaign event. A real government would be scrambling furiously to see what it could do to rescue its people. It’s easy, afterwards, to say that nothing would have made any difference. But, at the time Deputy Chief Hicks was calling 9-1-1 and getting executive-branch voicemail, nobody in Washington knew how long it would last. A terrorist attack isn’t like a soccer game, over in 90 minutes. If it is a sport, it’s more like a tennis match: Whether it’s all over in three sets or goes to five depends on how hard the other guy pushes back. The government of the United States took the extremely strange decision to lose in straight sets. Not only did they not deploy out-of-area assets, they ordered even those in Libya to stand down. Lieutenant Colonel Gibson had a small team in Tripoli that twice readied to go to Benghazi to assist and twice was denied authority to do so, the latter when they were already at the airport. There weren’t many of them, not compared to the estimated 150 men assailing the compound. But they were special forces, not bozo jihadists. Back in Benghazi, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty held off numerically superior forces for hours before dying on a rooftop waiting for back-up from a government that had switched the answering machine on and gone to Vegas.

Read more at National Review

 

Benghazi Boils Over

Libya Consulate Attack

By :

Damaging new revelations continue to undermine the Obama administration as Congress prepares to resume hearings examining the response to the September 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead including the U.S. ambassador.

There are new details that administration officials misled the public in its initial public assessments of the attack, withheld relevant information that may have been politically damaging, waged “subtle intimidation” campaigns against multiple government employees who sought to testify about the attack, and neglected evidence in its own internal investigation of the attack and its aftermath.

The new revelations, made ahead of next week’s House Oversight Committee hearing, have propelled the Benghazi issue back into the news cycle and reopened a politically uncomfortable wound for the White House and possible 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The CIA talking points on which administration officials relied during initial public interviews were edited multiple times to remove references to al Qaeda and terrorism at the behest of State Department and White House officials, according to emails obtained by congressional investigators.

Two of these officials were former State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland and White House national security official Ben Rhodes, the Weekly Standard reported Friday.

Nuland said her superiors were not happy with the talking points and were concerned Congress would use them against the State Department, according to the Standard. She did not name the superiors.

The emails were quoted in a recent congressional report suggesting former Secretary of State Clinton had an interest in downplaying the consulate attack since she had approved a plan to reduce security at the U.S. diplomatic missions in Libya in April 2012.

The talking points originally stated the government “know[s] that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack.” The final draft was reportedly edited to remove references to al Qaeda, and “Islamic extremists” was changed to just “extremists.”

The term “attack” was replaced with “demonstrations.”

Read more at Free Beacon

 

 

A call to courage over Benghazi

-1156172513Center For Security Policy:

By Adm. James “Ace” Lyons (Ret.)

Five committees of the House of Representatives recently issued an interim report on the Benghazi tragedy, which clearly indicated that the highest levels of the State Department were involved in not only denying security resources but reducing them at our facilities in Libya, including the Benghazi Special Mission Compound. These were not “routine” security requests, as some have claimed. They were made by the Regional Security Office and also by Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens as well.

Why these legitimate requests were turned down remains an open question. There remains many other unanswered questions that were not addressed by the Accountability Review Board. For example, we still do not know what business was being conducted at the compound. Also, why was it necessary for Stevens to be in Benghazi with its out-of-control security situation on what should have been a high-security-alert day of Sept. 11? Why did the administration continue to lie to the American public for the better part of two weeks that it was a video that caused the attack when they knew it was a terrorist attack from Day One?

The American public — and certainly the families of the four Americans killed — need to know who gave the “stand-down order” and on whose authority. Former CIA Director David H. Petraeus has stated that no such order came from the CIA.

The lack of a military response remains another important unanswered question. Even though our military resources, particularly those of the U.S. Sixth Fleet have been drawn down to the point at which they’re essentially nonexistent, there were in-theater resources that could have responded and, most likely, would have saved America lives. These included F-16 fighter aircraft from Aviano, Italy, which could have been over the compound in about 90 minutes. There was also a 130-man Marine Force Recon Team at Sigonella, Italy, which could have been deployed to arrive at the compound in a matter of a few hours.

These resources would have made a difference, particularly since the attack went on for more than eight hours with no fear of interference or retaliation. Further, no one has yet been able to interview the 30-odd survivors about what actually happened during the attack. Why not?

Why has there been no effort to retaliate against the al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group Ansar al-Shariah, which carried out the attack? Their leaders today sit in outdoor cafes in Benghazi sipping tea.

Our U.S. Sixth Fleet military posture in the Mediterranean is a disgrace. Since World War II up until 2008, we maintained the dominant military force in the Mediterranean, consisting of at least one carrier battle group and an amphibious Ready Group with an embarked Marine battalion, along with logistic support ships and other units. Today, we have one unarmed command ship — my old flagship — the USS Mt. Whitney (LCC-20). This is symptomatic of President Obama’s relentless effort to disarm our military, which is clearly affecting our national security.

Compounding the disarming of our military forces is Mr. Obama’s destabilizing social engineering. The latest example is a directive promulgated by the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff that all flag and general officers will now be evaluated by the subordinates under their commands. Does this make any sense? Is this to make sure that our military leadership is complying with the president’s “diversity” agenda? Will any member of the Joint Chiefs find the courage to stand up and voice objection?

This politically correct directive by the chairman defies all leadership logic. It will destroy unit integrity and morale. It will destroy the fundamental principles of the chain of command concept, which has served this nation honorably for more than 238 years. The integrity of command is not obtained by running a popularity contest. Currying favors with subordinates is alien to military leadership. This nonsense must be stopped.

Our nonresponse to the attack on our Benghazi facilities is in part reflective of our military leadership’s politically correct mentality as well as the administration’s policies to disarm our military forces. The first action that needs to be taken is to get the facts out to the American public on the Benghazi cover-up. Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican, has sponsored a resolution (H. Res. 36) to establish a select committee to investigate and respond on the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. He has been joined by 122 members, at the latest count. The problem has been that House Speaker John A. Boehner has been stonewalling the establishment of such a committee, using the lame excuse that it will cost money and take a lot of time. Nonsense. The systematic causes that brought about the Benghazi debacle need to be unearthed now, as it will affect our national security in the future.

If the president were a Republican and Nancy Pelosi were the speaker, there would have been no hesitation on her part to find the courage to form such a committee. Hopefully, Mr. Boehner can find his.

Flag Draped Coffins

article-2203298-1504F4CD000005DC-986_634x406by Justin O. Smith:

While I understand the current mission of the U.S. African Command to counter, stop and destroy Islamist militants and to fight terrorism without being drawn into a major conflict, the lack of preparation and the ignored warnings prior to the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. facilities at Benghazi are inexcusable and indefensible; repeatedly we have heard Obama and everyone associated with his administration declare that the U.S. response to these attacks was “adequate.” But more than this, as more facts are uncovered, no doubt is left that this administration is incompetent, and it is engaged in a cover-up of mammoth proportions.

Many Democrats call any criticism concerning the events surrounding the Benghazi slaughter “GOP political pandering,” but whatever your party affiliation, it is incomprehensible and beyond incompetence that Gen. Carter Ham did not request any additional forces to be on hand on the anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, despite his belief that the intelligence did not indicate an imminent attack. Ham must have been struck deaf, dumb and blind, because nothing else explains such a casual dismissal of, at the very least, ten months of communiques and memos from the Benghazi Consulate that indicated a dire and increasingly dangerous situation looming on the horizon. And on that same note, one must wonder, as heads of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board (ARB), what bribe or coercion influenced retired Admiral Mike Mullen and retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering to find the Obama administration’s response to these attacks “adequate.”

I also wonder if Obama himself or Hillary Clinton have explained to the families of Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glenn Dogherty just how “adequate” the response really was? I’ll bet Tyrone Woods thought the response was “adequate” as he painted the terrorists’ mortar armed position with a laser and waited for it to be bombed by a drone or jet fighter from Aviano Airbase (Italy)… right up until he cursed Obama with his last dying gasp.

In conjunction with Glenn Dogherty’s Libyan mission to recover advanced weapons systems, such as SA-7 missiles from the hands of the Islamists, Ambassador Stevens was negotiating a weapons transfer and removal of SA-7s from the hands of Libyan extremists on the night of 9/11; FoxNews recently reported that the Libyan vessel ‘Al Entisar’ arrived in the Turkish port of Iskenderun, just 35 miles from the Syrian border, on September 6 with a cargo of RPGs, shoulder launched missiles and surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles. Add to this Stevens’ meeting with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin the night Stevens was murdered, and it is not far-fetched, rather highly likely, that the Obama administration has been running weapons through Turkey to the rebels in Syria, mostly comprised of Islamists and Al Qaeda and enemies of the U.S.

Although Clinton stated before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “I am determined to leave the State Dept and our country safer, stronger and more secure,” her determination on 9/11/12 was focused on joining in the spinning of the story, the obfuscation and outright lies originating with Obama. Clinton was actually notified of the attacks around 4PM and about an hour before Obama was notified by Leon Panetta. Apparently they sat on their thumbs and spun afterwards, despite Clinton’s claim that “we kept talking with everyone through the night.” But through a response garnered by Senator Lindsey Graham’s efforts in blocking Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense, we know neither Clinton nor Obama attempted to contact government officials in Libya to help rescue our U.S. citizens that night, if time and logistics really were the problem; however, Obama did call Clinton at 10PM, and it was “about 10PM” when the State Dept released Clinton’s statement (FactCheck.org) entitled ‘Statement on the Attack in Benghazi’, which linked the attacks to an anti-Islamic video.

While the attacks were still ongoing, a lot of time was wasted simply doing nothing and fretting about political futures rather than saving American lives. When asked about Panetta’s and Gen. Dempsey’s Senate testimony that they weren’t in touch with the White House after their meeting ended at 5:30PM, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated, “They said they hadn’t spoken with the president. The president has a National Security Advisor… He has a Deputy National Security Advisor and remember he had already spoken with… the Secretary of Defense, with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.” And with pin-point accuracy, Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) February 7th questioning of Panetta before the Armed Services Comittee exposes Carney’s lie: “Did you communicate with anyone else at the White House that night?” Panetta answered, “No.”

After Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc) placed Hillary Clinton on the spot regarding the fact that no protest existed prior to the attack, Clinton angrily retorted, “What difference… does it make?” The difference it makes is this, Mrs Clinton: Your outright lying and colloboration with Obama in this matter created a delay that cost Tyrone Woods and Glenn Dogherty their lives; no good reason can be given for not having ordered an airstrike on the terrorists’ position. And for fear of forced retirement and other curious reasons, some of the upper echelon military ranks have lost their spine, as they support the Democratic Party line, Obama’s position and the delusive findings of the ARB!

As I recall Obama and Clinton meeting flag-draped coffins of four brave Americans in feigned respect, I am ashamed of a people who could reelect such a thing to the Office of the President. A president should always strive for more than “adequate,” because to be merely adequate is meeting only a bare minimum of requirements; while Jay Carney quotes page 37 of the ARB report, “the safe evacuation of all U.S. government personnel from Benghazi twelve hours after the initial attack… was the result of exceptional… military response…,” an immense number of accomplished military minds such as Lt. Col. Tony Schaffer and Gen. William Boykin, ex-Commander of U.S. Special Forces, have refuted this analysis, which leaves dozens of unanswered questions: Why haven’t Americans heard from the surviving diplomatic security officer, who saw the attack begin and alerted the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli that they were under seige? … Why haven’t we heard the testimony of the thirty-two survivors, who Gen. C.K. Hyde confirms were evacuated to Ramstein Airbase (Germany)? … Why didn’t the Turkish Consul General warn Ambassador Stevens about the Al Qaeda checkpoints after he left at 8:35 PM Benghazi time? It doesn’t matter that protocol and standard operating procedures were followed and the response was “adequate.” What ever happened to initiative and rising above and beyond the call of duty? No doubt remains that Tyrone Woods and Glenn Dogherty’s deaths were unnecessary, preventable and lay on Obama’s head!

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; or close the wall up with our American dead. In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage.” -literary license taken with Shakespeare’s ‘Henry the Fifth’

 

Sean Hannity interviews authors of Benghazi: The Definitive Report

coverupThe Right Scoop:

Yesterday Sean Hannity interviewed on his radio show Jack Murphy and Brandon Webb for their new book Benghazi: The Definitive Report. I’ve clipped a portion of their interview below which describes something very different than what we’ve ever heard about what led to the attack on the ‘consulate’ and the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods.

In short there were two operations going on in Benghazi, neither of which Stevens nor the CIA [Petraeus] were made aware, that made the situation on the ground in Benghazi far more dangerous than they even knew. We already know that Stevens was concerned about security, but he didn’t even know the full story.

One of the operations was direct raids against Al-Qaeda conducted by John Brennan, Deputy National Security Advisor, that instigated blowback in the form of the attack on our ‘consulate’ in Benghazi where Stevens visited that night. But because Stevens wasn’t made aware of these unilateral raids going on in his backyard, there was no way he could have even prepared himself for blowback. Stevens likely didn’t even know why he was being attacked the night he was killed.

Read more at The Right Scoop (with audio of the interview)

From Western Journalism: