US Intel Knew in Real Time Benghazi Attack was Terrorism from Intercepted Phone Calls

061114_sr_stahl_640Front Page, (with video) by Daniel Greenfield:

There was no failure of intelligence. There was no period in which anyone thought that it was a protest. They knew all along.

They knew and they lied.

Eric Stahl, who recently retired as a major in the U.S. Air Force, served as commander and pilot of the C-17 aircraft that was used to transport the corpses of the four casualties from the Benghazi attacks – then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, information officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods – as well as the assault’s survivors from Tripoli to the safety of an American military base in Ramstein, Germany.

In an exclusive interview on Fox News’ “Special Report,” Stahl said members of a CIA-trained Global Response Staff who raced to the scene of the attacks were “confused” by the administration’s repeated implication of the video as a trigger for the attacks, because “they knew during the attack…who was doing the attacking.” Asked how, Stahl told anchor Bret Baier: “Right after they left the consulate in Benghazi and went to the [CIA] safehouse, they were getting reports that cell phones, consulate cell phones, were being used to make calls to the attackers’ higher ups.”

A separate U.S. official, one with intimate details of the bloody events of that night, confirmed the major’s assertion. The second source, who requested anonymity to discuss classified data, told Fox News he had personally read the intelligence reports at the time that contained references to calls by terrorists – using State Department cell phones captured at the consulate during the battle – to their terrorist leaders. The second source also confirmed that the security teams on the ground received this intelligence in real time.

If the teams knew, then Obama, Hillary and Rice knew. They were also determined to lie and mislead.

Was Benghazi a Scandal?

pic_giant_061014_A_0By Victor Davis Hanson:

If the CIA wanted to smuggle guns to Syria or interrogate al-Qaeda suspects in Benghazi, that was its business, not necessarily the administration’s. To the degree Obama was involved in overseeing events in Libya, his involvement was most likely limited to a vague warning that, in the latter part of the nip-and-tuck 2012 campaign, there must not be anything resembling a shoot-’em-up Mogadishu, which a beefed-up security presence in Benghazi might have made more likely by evening the odds. Better to keep a low profile amid increasing security threats and hope for the best. And, if the worst happens — well, things do happen.

When the violence did erupt, a freelance video producer became the perfect villain. Obama and his subordinates, principally Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton, almost immediately damned the hapless filmmaker as having incited global violence by his bigotry. The more Obama told the world that he too condemned Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (and in fact he had Mr. Nakoula jailed on a trumped-up probation violation), the more Benghazi became a sort of revolutionary morality tale: Right-wingers in America keep getting innocent people killed by gratuitously inflaming Muslims — over the objections of sober and judicious progressive and internationalist Americans.

It worked. Benghazi fizzled. Obama was reelected. Mr. Nakoula cooled his heels in jail. (Should Dinesh D’Souza have learned a lesson about what is in store for inconvenient filmmakers?) Obama had gone to bed early the night of Benghazi and washed his hands of the inconvenience, and for the last two years the military, the intelligence agencies, the State Department, and the media have been blame-gaming one another.

Read more at National Review

Benghazi conspiracy? Hell yes!

20140508_Benghazi_obama_clintonL (1)By Victor Volsky:

The Ben Rhodes e-mail has demolished the Obama administration’s defense that the White House had nothing to do with the infamous talking points ascribing the Benghazi tragedy to a spontaneous protest over an American-made anti-Muslim video.  Even some of the White House correspondents accustomed to carrying water for the Obama administration clashed with White House spokesman Jay Carney, who shamelessly tried to sell them this bill of goods.  Nobody likes being played for a sucker.

Now it is crystal-clear that the administration, right from the start, was intimately involved in a deceptive scheme aimed at deflecting the blame for the death of four Americans killed in the terrorist assault in Benghazi.  But rather than clarify the situation, the Rhodes e-mail has only deepened the mystery.

What is the reason for the frantic, concerted effort to cover up the truth about Benghazi?  Considering that it’s the cover-up rather than the deed itself that does all the damage, wouldn’t it have been safer to acknowledge the fact of a terrorist attack and disclose all relevant information, putting an end to the controversy?  And yet the White House and its allies are fighting tooth and nail to prevent the American people from knowing what happened on that fateful day.  Why?

As reported by Kenneth Timmerman,top military brass at AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany watched live video feed from a Predator drone over Benghazi, which clearly showed no protests.  The CIA station chief in Tripoli, in his report to Langley, not just indicated, but emphasized that there were no protests.  Former AFRICOM’s Deputy Intelligence Chief Brigadier General (Ret.) Robert Lovell testified under oath to the same effect, and so did even Mike Morell, the smarmy ex-CIA deputy director.

Former CBS news reporter Sharyl Attkisson has uncovered an e-mail sent by Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East Beth Jones describing her conversation with Libya’s Ambassador at 9:45 am on Sept. 12, 2012.  Atkisson reported, “When [the Libyan Ambassador] said his government suspected that former Qaddafi regime elements carried out the attack, I told him the group that conducted the attacks – Ansar al-Sharia – is affiliated with Islamic extremists.”

The classic cover-up question – “What did they know, and when did they know it?” – does not apply in this case.  We know that the White House and the State Department were fully informed about the events in Benghazi practically from the get-go.

Why did Hillary Clinton’s State Department resolutely turn down the many pleas for enhancing security at the Benghazi compound with which Ambassador Stevens bombarded his superiors, warning about the growing extremist threat?

Why didn’t the administration prepare for likely terrorist attacks on the anniversary of 9/11?  Didn’t they know the Islamists’ propensity to time their attacks to mark important anniversaries, above all that of their “glorious victory over the Great Satan”?  The Bush administration knew it and always prepared for such attacks, but Obama’s White House ignored the danger.  Why?

Why was nothing done to rescue the besieged Americans in Benghazi?  The Pentagon insists that there were no resources available to mount a rescue expedition.  But many military experts insist it’s not true: much could have been done to relieve the pressure on the Special Mission Compound and the Annex.

Furthermore, according to Kenneth Timmerman (ibid.), orders were issued, then recalled, to deploy a 50-man Special Forces unit from Croatia that could have reached Benghazi within hours.  Who ordered that unit to stand down, and why?

What accounts for the stonewalling on the part of the administration?  Why has it strenuously refused to comply with the House subpoenas for its Benghazi-related internal communications?  Why have none of the Benghazi survivors been allowed to testify to Congress about their first-hand experiences? And why has the FBI refused to divulge the records of its interrogations?  Is the White House afraid of what those records might tell?

Read more at American Thinker

Noonan “Voxplains” Media’s Motives for Joining Obama’s Benghazi Cover-up

obama-clinton-benghazi-funeral-apBreitbart, By John Nolte:

Ezra Klein’s latest online news venture, Vox.com, advertises itself as the place to go if you want the news explained to you. What we are already discovering, though, is that Vox is just a nicer-looking version of Media Matters: a place where leftists pretending to be wonks use cherry-picked data to explain why leftists are objectively 100% correct about everything.

In other words, Vox is just another left-wing propaganda machine built to give our objective, unbiased, not-at-all-liberal media the skewed left-wing data and talking points they so desire.

But if Vox were to be true to its mission, when it came to explaining why our unbiased, objective, not-at-all-liberal media is and will continue to do everything in its power to ensure the American people never learn the truth about Benghazi, it would read something like this…

The more effective pushback [against the Benghazi Select Committee] will come from Big Media. Network leaders, producers and newspaper editors did not go after the story when the first serious questions began to bubble up. Afterward they dismissed the questions as old news. Now they are defensive and resentful. They are not going to help Republican investigators do the job they themselves should have done. (If they’d done it there might be no need for another investigation, because people might feel satisfied they know the essential facts.) Any proof of a Democratic coverup will have the appearance of indicting the media, too.

That’s Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. She might not be explaining the news, but she is perfectly explaining the news media.

Let’s not forget that the media became complicit and part of the Benghazi cover-up within hours of the fatal attack. Just eight weeks out from what was looking like a close election, the media immediately circled the wagons to protect the president.

Just days before, at his nominating convention, Obama had assured America that he had all but defeated al Qaeda. Then… Four Americans died at the hands of an al Qaeda franchise in a consulate compound that was pretty much left undefended, despite repeated requests for additional security and the red-circled anniversary of September 11.

To protect Obama, the media turned its fire on Romney (for a full nine days) because he dared criticize a decision the administration made to apologize for free speech in another Middle Eastern country. The goal was to take voters’ eyes off of Obama’s incompetence and dishonesty.

The media only dug itself in deeper a few days later when it became obvious the White House had lied about a video being the reason for the Benghazi attack. Even “60 Minutes” joined the cover-up. It was all about the media coordinating to push Obama over the re-election finish line.

Now the media are in a deep dark hole and as desperate to protect themselves as they are Obama and Hillary. The fabricated two-year myth that pretends Benghazi and the ensuing White House cover-up are all part of a partisan nothingburger must survive. So much is at stake for the media: their need to lie to themselves, the hope of another Clinton presidency, and the legacy of Obama, whom they assured us was up for the job.

The media today are like a trapped animal and therefore a very dangerous one. The House Select Committee has a desperate, bitter, and venomous foe to deal with… and the Democrats.

Read Noonan’s full column. She also points out quite accurately what Republican lawmakers have so far done terribly wrong and what they must to do right if they are to thwart the media and get to the truth.

ADDED: My thanks to a commenter for this video of Trey Gowdy challenging the media to answer the unanswered questions about Benghazi. The media can’t answer these questions and don’t want them answered:

Why doesn’t the mainstream media want these questions answered?

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Megyn Kelly on Politics and the press:

Here’s an interesting maneuver by Washington Post to be on “the right side of history” noted by Daniel Greenfield: 

Washington Post Urges Congressional Investigation of Obama for Libyan War

Attkisson: If I Let the Left Influence All My Reporting, I’d Only Cover Weather

BY: 
May 5, 2014 8:12 am

Former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson quipped Monday on Fox and Friends that if she let all the left-wing blogs and media voices influence her reporting, all she’d have left to cover would be the weather.

“I basically am trying to keep my nose to the grindstone, and if I were influenced by the left-wing blogs and the people who are trying to steer public opinion a certain way, I would be left covering pretty much nothing but the weather now,” she said. “I’m still continuing to do what I see as my job.”

Attkisson has come under fire from liberal groups like “Media Matters for America” for her reporting on the Benghazi terrorist attack and the White House’s controversial political response. Former Obama administration members David Plouffe and Van Jones attacked Republicans for pursuing Benghazi on This Week Sunday, calling it politicized and blaming Fox News for keeping the story alive.

“Well, the key words they use such as ‘conspiracy’ and ‘delusional’ are, in my opinion, clearly designed to try to controversialize a story, a legitimate news story, a legitimate area of journalistic inquiry,” she said. “To some degree, that’s successful, but I think primarily among those that don’t want to look at this as a story in the first place.

Read more

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The tangled web of media-Obama administration ties, American Thinker, by Thomas Lifson, May 3, 2014:

Thanks to the work of Crayfisherfiles, we have an at-a-glance chart available to trace the intermarriage of the Obama administration and the Alphabet networks plus CNN. It is a tangled web, in the Sir Walter Scott sense of the term (“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”) Oddly enough, the only major television news source not implicated represented is Fox News, which has stood alone in defying the MSM norm of ignoring news that might politically harm any Democrat the Nation’s First Black President.

I realize our format does not permit the chart below to be very legible, so please follow this link to get the full effect.

Hat tip: Clarice Feldman

Also see:

 

The Benghazi Memo Points to a Crime

ytzOF7OhThe New Media Journal, by Frank Salvato, May 1, 2014  (h/t @El_Grillo1)

The newly dislodged memo from the Obama White House is effectively the smoking gun proving that President Obama’s handlers sought to deceive the American electorate in the run-up to the 2012 General Election on the issue of Benghazi. Even the refined spin and disinformation skills of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney weren’t enough to “play in Peoria”; the White House Press Corps audibly giggling at his insistence that the issue is a Republican conspiracy theory focused on “talking points.” That the Obama Administration has no problem lying to the American people in the pursuit of its agenda should be troubling enough, but now we have the issue of their complicity in covering-up the deaths – the murders – of four Americans. Anyone else executing the same rhetorical maneuvers would be charged with obstruction of justice, perjury and accessory to murder.

The memo, dated September 14, 2012 – now being referred to as the “smoking gun” memo – shows that then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes not only notified political operatives David Plouffe and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (among others), on the email, but that all involved knowingly launched a disinformation campaign about the cause of the Benghazi attacks. In the memo Rhodes writes:

Subject: RE: Prep Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET

Goals:

▪ To convey that the United States is doing everything that we can to protect our people and facilities abroad;

▪ To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy;

▪ To show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm Americans to justice, and standing steadfast through these protests;

▪ To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.

The rest is recent history.

Forget for a moment that points one, two and three are absolute and bald-faced lies, rooted in the slash-and-burn political tactic of “say anything to get elected” Progressive politics, and that point four is the stuff of a political campaign memo and not a national security memo meant to inform the American people about the assassination of a United States Ambassador and his security contingent; an act of war. Forget all that for a moment.

What is of note here is: the date of the memo; who was included in the memo; and the fact that the instructions of this memo were carried out over 12 hours later.

That the date of the memo preceded now-UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s Sunday talk show circuit appearances proves that the effort was, in fact, a disinformation campaign. That then-White House Senior Advisor and political strategist David Plouffe, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney were included in the email proves that there was an illegal coordination between the political and operational offices of the Obama White House. And since the actual deception was executed, just prior to a General Election where there was no clear front-runner, proves that everyone with any weight in the Obama White house – including David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and President Obama himself – signed off on the execution of this disinformation campaign.

These three points clear, it would, to borrow a phrase from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, require a “willing suspension of disbelief” to believe that the erroneous information championed by the White House in the early days after the Benghazi attacks was both as fully informed as it could have been and not politically calculated. In other words, you would need to have the I.Q. of a fig to believe what is currently being shopped by Jay Carney.

The only conclusion possible for any thinking person is that the Obama Administration got caught with its pants down on the issue of al Qaeda-related terrorism by way of the assassination of a US ambassador and his security detail in Banghazi on September 11, 2012, and that in order to support its re-election political narrative – that al Qaeda was “on the run” – they knowingly and willfully lied to the American people. Again, the President of the United States and his handlers willingly lied about the murders of a US diplomat and three security personnel for political purposes.

A side note. The word “murder,” by definition, means:

1. Noun – Law. The killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law…

5. Verb – Law. To kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously.

On August 9, 1974, facing the prospect of impeachment, President Richard M. Nixon, resigned the presidency of the United States of America. His “high crime and misdemeanor”: His knowledge and suspected complicity in a cover-up of a politically motivated crime that took place at the Watergate. The History Channel sums it up thusly:

“Early in the morning of June 17, 1972, several burglars were arrested inside the office of the Democratic National Committee, located in the Watergate building in Washington, DC. This was no ordinary robbery: The prowlers were connected to President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign, and they had been caught while attempting to wiretap phones and steal secret documents. While historians are not sure whether Nixon knew about the Watergate espionage operation before it happened, he took steps to cover it up afterwards, raising ‘hush money’ for the burglars, trying to stop the Federal Bureau of Investigation from investigating the crime, destroying evidence and firing uncooperative staff members. In August 1974, after his role in the Watergate conspiracy had finally come to light, the president resigned. His successor, Gerald Ford, immediately pardoned Nixon for all the crimes he ‘committed or may have committed’ while in office. Although Nixon was never prosecuted, the Watergate scandal changed American politics forever, leading many Americans to question their leadership and think more critically about the presidency.”

Of note, the burglars at the Watergate were seeking to facilitate the gathering of information that would give Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President (known derisively as CREEP), an advantage over Democrat nominee George McGovern.

I bring up Watergate in the context of the Benghazi attacks for several specific reasons.

What Did Mr. Obama (and His Principles) Know and When Did He Know It
Just as in Watergate, there are legitimate questions as to when Mr. Obama knew: a) that the attack even occurred; b) that the attack had taken the life of a US ambassador (an act of war); c) that an al Qaeda associated group was responsible for premeditating the attacks; d) that operatives within the CIA, State Department and Pentagon with knowledge of the attacks knew from the first moments that it was a terrorist attack; and e) that approval was given by senior White House staff to deceive the American electorate to shield the President’s reelection bid.

Both Events Resulted in Crimes
Aside from the fact that – both morally and ethically – the Obama State Department was guilty of ignoring critical security assessments for the Benghazi compound calling for tighter and upgraded security before the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks, three specific crimes have striking parallels when Watergate and Benghazi are examined honestly.

Obstruction of Justice
Obstruction of Justice is usually a term used when a criminal or collaborator tries to thwart the investigation of a criminal act. In Watergate, the Nixon White House sought to withhold, destroy, alter and otherwise conceal evidence of wrong-doing from the FBI. With regard to the Obama White House’s response to the Benghazi attacks there was a carefully concerted effort to not only withhold, alter and otherwise conceal evidence of a crime – the murders of four Americans – from an investigative committee of the US House of Representatives, that effort extended to the dissemination of a false narrative – a lie – about the murderous events to the American people in an effort to win an election. Both acts of obstruction of justice – in Watergate and in Benghazi – were executed strictly and exclusively for political purposes.

Accessory to Murder
An accessory charge centers on “a person who assists in the commission of a crime, but who does not actually participate in the commission of the crime as a joint principal.” This charge applies to a plethora of illegal actions, including murder. It is indisputable that US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Specialist Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, were “murdered” (see the definition of murder provided above). As a point of order, the Obama Administration, by its own declarations, see the application of justice where terrorism is concerned as a “law enforcement issue,” so much so that the Holder Justice Department has sought to try 9/11 suspects in United States courts. That understood – and by their definition – they have implicated themselves via the purposeful cover-up, for political purposes, in four murders.

Perjury
Perjury is the “willful act of swearing a false oath or of falsifying an affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding.” In the Watergate scandal, the Articles of Impeachment consist of three articles: “Obstruction of Justice,” “Abuse of Power,” and “Contempt of Congress.” All three of these articles alleged the act of perjury, whether to an empowered investigator or to congressional committees. All three of these “charges” would be applicable to the actions of some of the most senior members of the Obama Administration, including, Mr. Obama himself, regarding the Benghazi attacks.

In all of these comparisons, the parallels are legitimate. Senior members of the Obama White House – if not the President himself – are, with the advent of the Rhodes memo, implicated in obstruction of justice, accessory to murder and perjury. The only thing that separates Watergate from Benghazi is this: no one died in the total of the Watergate event. Four Americans did die in the Benghazi event; an event tantamount to an act of war; an event diminished and manipulated for political purposes.

I have always asked Mr. Obama’s detractors to “dial back” on the more intense charges against the man; charges that often served the Progressive disinformation and smear machines in maligning honest Constitution-loving Americans. Instead, I begged them, please stick to his policies and actions, because, just like his brethren Progressives of yesteryear, if we allow his actions and policies to play out, eventually he will weave enough rope with which he (or they) will eventually hang himself.

Mr. Obama’s Progressive, oligarchic, elitist, political greed has woven that rope. And no, this is not about the color of his skin. It’s all about the “color” of his politics.

“ARTICLE 1

“In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice, in that:

“On June 17, 1972, and prior thereto, agents of the Committee for the Re-election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of securing political intelligence. Subsequent thereto, Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.

“The means used to implement this course of conduct or plan included one or more of the following…”

– Articles of Impeachment adopted by House Judiciary Committee on July 27, 1974

Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a non-partisan, research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy and the threats of Islamofascism and Progressivism. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of Islamist terrorism

VIETOR: ‘GUYS QUOTED IN NEWSPAPERS’ WERE SOURCE FOR BENGHAZI ‘VIDEO’ CLAIM

Vietor-FoxBreitbart, by JOEL B. POLLAK:

There were many rich moments in former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor’s interview Thursday on Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier about the Benghazi scandal. Certainly his exasperated protest–“Dude, this was like two years ago”–summarizes the callow nature of the Obama administration (one could almost hear the next Peggy Noonan column being written as the words left the youthful Vietor’s mouth).

Yet there were also interesting moments from a forensic perspective. Vietor disputed the testimony of retired Brig. Gen. Robert Lovell to the House Oversight Committee on Thursday that, in his capacity as chief officer of intelligence for AFRICOM, he knew very soon after the Benghazi assault began that it was a terror attack and not a “demonstration gone awry”–and that the information had been passed up the chain of command.

“Respectfully to the general,” Vietor told Baier, “That’s just not accurate. There’s no way anyone knew definitively the motivations of the attackers that evening.” He added: “I don’t think we know definitively today.”

Though he admitted that the initial claim that there had been demonstrations in Benghazi had been wrong, Vietor stuck to the White House line that it had been legitimate to blame the video for the Benghazi attack.

His source? Not the military, not the Central Intelligence Agency, but the media–specifically, media reports about the motivations of demonstrators who had shown up in anti-U.S. demonstrations in Libya and elsewhere (in their “millions,” Vietor claimed, overshooting just a bit).

“What I’ve seen is, in a number of outlets, reporters talked to people on the scene that night…who said they were there because they were upset about this video.”

When pressed by Baier, Vietor said that the source for the “video” story that the administration relied upon had been “Guys quoted in newspapers saying that’s why they were there,” and not the White House itself.

It is not clear whether that is historically even possible. Journalists did not have access to those present during the attack while it was ongoing, and the White House settled on a story about the video while events were still in progress, meaning that it based its reaction on media reports from Cairo and elsewhere, not Benghazi. Vietor may be referring to media reports that quoted witnesses to the Benghazi attack some time after it happened.

Regardless, what is fascinating is that the Obama administration, and loyal alumni like Vietor, are hanging their defense of the White House’s actions and explanations on media reports–not on intelligence available that night. Vietor grew testy, in fact, when asked to describe events. He admitted Obama had not been in the White House Situation Room, for example, but added that he did not have a “tracking device” on the president.

“Did you also change ‘attacks’ to ‘demonstrations’ in the talking points?” Baier asked him. “Maybe. I don’t remember,” Vietor responded. It was two years ago, after all, he added, using the colloquial “dude,” and perhaps reflecting President Obama’s own tendency to regard everything that happened prior to his election or re-election to have been “litigated” by the electorate and absolved by the purifying force of political victory.

It seems never to have occurred to Vietor that Watergate, too, was about a two-year-old event.

Yet while the Obama crew has never known much about history, they do know plenty about how the mainstream media operate.

They knew relying on the media’s own reports as evidence would make it more difficult for journalists to question the accuracy of the “video” story–assuming, of course, they cared.

Which, at the time, they did not.

Obama’s ‘Blame the Video’ Fraud Started in Cairo, Not Benghazi

pic_giant__050114_ABy Andrew C. McCarthy:

Here is the main point: The rioting at the American embassy in Cairo was not about the anti-Muslim video. As argued here repeatedly (see here and here), the Obama administration’s “Blame the Video” story was a fraudulent explanation for the September 11, 2012, rioting in Cairo every bit as much as it was a fraudulent explanation for the massacre in Benghazi several hours later.

We’ll come back to that because, once you grasp this well-hidden fact, the Obama administration’s derelictions of duty in connection with Benghazi become much easier to see. But let’s begin with Jay Carney’s performance in Wednesday’s exchange with the White House press corps, a new low in insulting the intelligence of the American people.

Mr. Carney was grilled about just-released e-mails that corroborate what many of us have been arguing all along: “Blame the Video” was an Obama-administration–crafted lie, through and through. It was intended, in the stretch run of the 2012 campaign, to obscure the facts that (a) the president’s foreign policy of empowering Islamic supremacists contributed directly and materially to the Benghazi massacre; (b) the president’s reckless stationing of American government personnel in Benghazi and his shocking failure to provide sufficient protection for them were driven by a political-campaign imperative to portray the Obama Libya policy as a success — and, again, they invited the jihadist violence that killed our ambassador and three other Americans; and (c) far from being “decimated,” as the president repeatedly claimed during the campaign (and continued to claim even after the September 11 violence in Egypt and Libya), al-Qaeda and its allied jihadists remained a driving force of anti-American violence in Muslim countries — indeed, they had been strengthened by the president’s pro-Islamist policies.

The explosive e-mails that have surfaced thanks to the perseverance of Judicial Watch make explicit what has long been obvious: Susan Rice, the president’s confidant and ambassador to the U.N., was strategically chosen to peddle the administration’s “Blame the Video” fairy tale to the American people in appearances on five different national television broadcasts the Sunday after the massacre. She was coached about what to say by other members of the president’s inner circle.

Read more at National Review Online

Also see:

Al Qaeda-linked jihadists helped incite 9/11 Cairo protest by Thomas Joscelyn

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Walid Shoebat has done a lot of research into the Innocence of Muslims video and he says there is reason to believe that the “Innocence of Muslims” video was a hoax designed to spark the huge outpouring of Muslim rage that it did.

Orchestrated Muslim “Days of Rage” are a well known Muslim Brotherhood tactic.

See Shoebat’s recent articles:

The Real Agenda Behind Susan Rice Being Told To Lie

Carney Blamed Benghazi On Video Hours Before ‘Smoking Gun’ Email

New Evidence Links U.S. Federal Government To FILMMAKER Behind Benghazi Fiasco (Shocking)

So whose idea was it to use the video in the first place? Was it John Brennan?

From the Citizens Commission on Benghazi Interim Report:

The CCB conducted an extensive research effort into the elements and sequence of the
administration’s two-week campaign to falsely claim that a protest had preceded the
attack on our Benghazi mission, and their efforts to blame a YouTube video for the
attack. The White House campaign appears to have been well-coordinated with U.S.
Muslim Brotherhood organizations as well as Islamic state members of the Organization
of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), who all joined in condemnation of the video, and, even
more troubling, issued calls for restrictions on Americans’ free speech rights.

From that report’s Additional Documents:

Anatomy of the Cover-Up

§ “Innocence of Muslims” was a 14-minute video trailer about the life of
Muhammad posted to YouTube on 2 Jul 2012 by “Sam Bacile.”

§ In the aftermath of the 11 September 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in
Benghazi, Libya, the U.S. administration ignored facts in evidence indicating that
it was an al-Qa’eda-linked terrorist attack not preceded by any demonstration or
protest and publicly blamed the video instead.

§ The coordinated nature of the international campaign by U.S. Muslim
Brotherhood groups and member states of the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC) presents the impression that condemnation of the film was
used to further an agenda supportive of the OIC/Muslim Brotherhood objective to
criminalize criticism of Islam and curtail American Constitutional free speech
rights.

Go to the report for a detailed timeline in support of these assertions.

Benghazi Smoking Gun Exposed

benrhodes-450x303by :

The idea that the Obama administration willfully orchestrated a disinformation campaign with regard to the attacks in Benghazi has now been confirmed.

An email written by then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and obtained by Judicial Watch contained four bullet-point “Goals” outlined as part of the strategy to contain the political damage engendered by the murder of four Americans on September 11, 2012 at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. One bullet-point in particular revealed the Obama administration’s deliberate crafting of a deceitful narrative following the incident.  According to the Judicial Watch emails, the objective of the Obama administration was to “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

The email was part of a series of 41 new Benghazi-related documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed June 21, 2013. That effort was aimed at gaining access to the documents used by then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice for her September 16 appearance on five different  Sunday TV news programs. Rhodes’ email was sent on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:09 PM. It contained the following subject line: “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.”

“Now we know the Obama White House’s chief concern about the Benghazi attack was making sure that President Obama looked good,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And these documents undermine the Obama administration’s narrative that it thought the Benghazi attack had something to do with protests or an Internet video. Given the explosive material in these documents, it is no surprise that we had to go to federal court to pry them loose from the Obama State Department.”

Rhodes’ email was sent to several members of the administration’s inner circle. They included White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, then-White House Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, then-National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Pelton, Special Assistant to the Press Secretary Howli Ledbetter, and then-White House Senior Advisor and political strategist David Plouffe.

Another critical email contained in the documents was written by former Deputy Spokesman at U.S. Mission to the United Nations Payton Knopf. It was addressed to Susan Rice and sent on Sept. 12, 2012, at 5:42 PM. It provided a brief summary of the attack, and further revealed that State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland had characterized the compound assault as “clearly a complex attack.” This characterization undermined Rice’s contention that the attacks were “spontaneous.”

Nonetheless when Rice appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and CNN she insisted, as she specifically stated on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” that “based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy–sparked by this hateful video.”

Sen. John McCain, who immediately followed Rice’s appearance, revealed the utter nonsense of her assertion. “Most people don’t bring rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons to a demonstration,” he explained. “That was an act of terror, and for anyone to disagree with that fundamental fact I think is really ignoring the facts.”

Not ignoring the facts. Making them up.

Read more at Front Page

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.