Hillary’s Dangerous Negligence over Benghazi — Again

hillary-email-threatens-benghazi-prosecution-bThe attempt to convict Khatallah for the attack that killed four Americans could falter over Clinton’s deleted e-mails.

National Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, August 15, 2015:

Who cares if Hillary Clinton is convicted of a crime? What we ought to care about is if Ahmed Abu Khatallah is convicted of a crime.

Khatallah is the only person charged thus far in the attack on a shadowy U.S. government compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Dozens of jihadists participated in the attack, during which four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens, were slain. Yet Khatallah has been singled out for prosecution. As I’ve previously detailed (here and here), the Obama Justice Department has filed an indictment that infuses evidence with politics: Trying to prove the terrorist conspiracy that actually occurred without refuting the Obama/Clinton fiction that the attack was a spontaneous protest ignited by an anti-Muslim Internet video.

That’s why there are worse jobs to have right now than defense counsel for a murderous jihadist.

Mrs. Clinton has spent the last few weeks learning that federal court is not the mainstream media. Because of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits brought by Judicial Watch, she and her top aides are finally being asked tough questions about conducting government business over a private communications system — a system that Clinton designed in order to hide her communications from public inspections, congressional inquiries, and judicial proceedings. We’ve thus learned that Team Clinton may have concealed government records, stored and transmitted classified information on private e-mail systems, and erased tens of thousands of government files.

If Mrs. Clinton thinks FOIA is a headache, wait until she sees what happens when a top government official’s reckless mass deletion of e-mails takes center stage in a terrorism prosecution of intense national interest. Federal criminal court is not the nightly news. There, mass deletion of files is not gently described as “emails a government official chose not to retain”; it is described as “destruction of evidence” and “obstruction of justice.”

RELATED: Contrary to Media Spin, It’s Hillary Who’s Being Investigated, Not Her Server

In criminal cases, the government is required to disclose to the defense any information in its possession that may tend to prove the defendant not guilty of the charges. That includes information that calls into question the prosecution’s version of events, theory of guilt, and credibility.

In the indictment against Khatallah, the Justice Department alleges that nothing of consequence happened until the day of the Benghazi attack, when he is said to have complained aloud that “something” had to be done about “an American facility in Benghazi” that he believed was an illegal intelligence operation masquerading as a diplomatic post. Suddenly, at 9:45 that night, “twenty armed men,” including “close associates of Khatallah” (not identified by prosecutors), “violently breached” the facility. In the ensuing violence, the Americans were killed. Khatallah is alleged to have participated in the mayhem and to have prevented “emergency responders” from stopping it.

Of course, there is far more to the story than the Justice Department has elected to tell.

RELATED: Why Hillary’s Wiping Her E-mail Server Clean Matters More than It Might Seem

In the months preceding September 11, the “diplomatic facility” and other Western compounds in Benghazi had been targeted in terrorist bombings and threats. September 11 would be the eleventh anniversary of the killing of nearly 3,000 Americans by al-Qaeda, which had every incentive to mark that occasion with a significant attack. American forces, moreover, had recently killed Abu Yahya al-Libi, al-Qaeda’s top Libyan operative; that prompted Ayman al-Zawahiri, the terror network’s leader, to call on fellow jihadists to avenge al-Libi — an incitement issued just a day before the Benghazi attack.

So al-Qaeda was very much on the offensive. Obama, however, was on the campaign trail falsely assuring Americans that the terror network had been “decimated.” Obama’s decision to back Libyan “rebels” against Moammar Qaddafi had resulted in the arming of anti-American jihadists and the teetering of Libya on the brink of collapse. Obama, however, was on the campaign trail pronouncing his Libya policy a boon for regional stability.

As Obama next called for the ouster of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and reports surfaced of covert American support for the Syrian “rebels,”arms used by jihadists in Libya were shipped to jihadists in Syria by way of Turkey. Was that why we needed a “diplomatic facility” with a CIA annex in Benghazi, which was a transit point for some of these weapons? Was that why Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi meeting with Turkey’s ambassador on September 11 despite the obvious peril? The Obama administration refuses to say.

Throughout 2012, American personnel in Benghazi were under heightened terrorist threat. Despite their pleas for more protection, however, the State Department under Secretary Clinton actually reduced security.

Finally, when the September 11 siege occurred, the Obama administration knew from the first moments that it was a terrorist attack of the sort that any competent assessment of the red-blinking intelligence would have predicted. Obama and Hillary Clinton, however, colluded in an elaborate scheme to convince the public that the atrocity was not an al-Qaeda-connected terrorist attack but a spontaneous protest run amok, provoked by an anti-Muslim video.

EDITORIAL: As the FBI Seizes Clinton’s Server, Her E-Mail Scandal Enters a More Serious Phase 

Like all indicted defendants, Khatallah has the right to defend himself by putting the government’s story on trial. Specifically, he could contend that he is being scapegoated for an al-Qaeda plot that was longer in the making. I’d expect him to elaborate that the government singled him out — even though many others were involved — because he was a known critic of American policy who had the misfortune of being in the vicinity of the “diplomatic facility” that night. His prosecution for an allegedly spontaneous attack, he will claim, is an effort to deflect attention from the State Department’s failure to upgrade security, from Obama’s complicity in arming jihadists long before the Benghazi attack, and from the administration’s decision to downplay the role of al-Qaeda (which is not even mentioned in the indictment) while pretending the attack was caused by a video.

Mind you, a defense theory does not have to be true. The defendant has no burden to prove his innocence. To be admissible, it is enough for a defense theory simply to have the potential to cast doubt on the government’s version of events.

RELATED: State Department to Judge: Not Our Job to Search Clinton’s Server

To press such a theory, Khatallah’s lawyer can be expected to argue that the government is hiding evidence that (a) the State Department knew of the continuing al-Qaeda threat but recklessly reduced security before September 11; (b) administration policies had empowered jihadists in Benghazi, who later carried out the attack for which Khatallah is being blamed; and (c) high administration officials, including Secretary Clinton and President Obama, concocted the video story during a tight presidential-election race to divert public attention from questions about who really carried out the Benghazi attack and what was really going on at the “diplomatic facility.”

Her criminal liability is quite beside the point. This is about judgment, credibility, and character.

Laying out this scenario, you can almost hear Khatallah’s lawyer saying, “Your Honor, we believe we are entitled to communications by the secretary of state with other officials. They would demonstrate the government’s knowledge of security lapses, the rising al-Qaeda threat, the fact that the September 11 operation was a terrorist attack, and the identities of attack participants whom the government has chosen not to charge while singling out my client. They would also show the connivance of top government officials in a scheme to convince the public this was a spontaneous attack caused by the video — a scheme that made it easy to frame my client because he happened to be on the scene that night, rather than the terrorist organization that planned it long before.”

A judge gets reversed if he fails to ensure that a defendant gets a fair trial — he cannot ignore defense lawyers the way the press ignores administration critics. On such a showing, then, a judge would be expected to order the prosecutors to search all of the government’s files, including communications by the State Department, and report back to the court about whether there is anything that tends to support the defense claims.

RELATED: Hillary’s E-mail Server Contained Classified Information — Hold Her Accountable

In this instance, the prosecutors would have to reply, “Your Honor, we wish we could but it seems the former secretary of state ran her own e-mail system outside government servers. It also turns out that she destroyed over 30,000 e-mails that she says were about yoga and her daughter’s wedding.”

As the judge’s head seemed to explode, the prosecutor would stammer on: “We’re afraid we can’t verify exactly how many e-mails she destroyed and exactly what they were about. You see, she hit ‘DELETE’ before reviewing them with State Department records custodians, as government guidelines require. And I know this may sound a bit, well, convenient, but it seems there are remarkably few existing e-mails that have anything to do with Benghazi. . . . And, no, we can’t explain why the secretary of state would have had more yoga e-mails than Benghazi e-mails.”

At that point, thanks to Hillary Clinton, the case of a terrorist allegedly responsible for the murder of Americans becomes a trial of whether the government is covering up embarrassing missteps, derelictions of duty, and efforts to deceive the public.

Prior to trial, judges almost never dismiss indictments based on allegations of government misconduct. Such motions are better addressed after the trial is over, when a non-speculative record of the misconduct and its effect on the truth-seeking process has been fully developed.

But there is no need to grapple with such a motion unless the defendant is first convicted. Khatallah’s trial — if the Obama administration goes through with it — will not be an easy one. Expect his lawyers to be given considerable leeway to claim egregious governmental derelictions of duty.

Good defense lawyers can go far on a little leeway. And most of them would tell you they’ve never had a windfall quite like 30,000 e-mails destroyed by the government official at the center of the case.

The Clinton camp is desperate to narrow the latest Hillary scandal to the question of whether she committed indictable classified-information offenses. Her criminal liability is quite beside the point. This is about judgment, credibility, and character.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

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Also see:

How Obama and Hillary made the Arab world safe for radical Islam

20150310_obamahillaryclinton2014Family Security Matters, by LAWRENCE SELLIN, PHD, August 13, 2015:

Far from being “spontaneous” and “indigenous,” the uprisings known as the “Arab Spring” that swept North Africa and the Middle East were long planned and planned from abroad with the Muslim Brotherhood’s role hidden in plain sight.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 as a Sunni Islamist religious, political and social movement.  According to Lawrence Wright in his book “The Looming Tower,” its founder Hassan al-Banna “rejected the Western model of secular, democratic government, which contradicted his notion of universal Islamic rule.” The fundamental goal of the Muslim Brotherhood remains Islam’s global domination, an effort that quickly turned violent and eventually spread to over eighty other nations. For example, one Muslim Brotherhood splinter group was responsible for the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for his peace treaty with Israel and another offshoot is the terrorist organization Hamas.

Barack Obama clearly supports the Muslim Brotherhood as a so-called “moderate” alternative to more violent Islamist groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State, and a vehicle for political reform in the Middle East and North Africa, as outlined in the secret 2011 directive called Presidential Study Directive-11, or PSD-11.

In addition to a wide-spread infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into the Obama Administration, Hillary Clinton’s longest serving assistant, Huma Abedin, has enjoyed an intensely close relationship with the Brotherhood for decades. Her father, Zyed Abedin, served as editor of an anti-Semitic journal funded by an Islamist; her mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, replaced him as editor in 1993 when he died. As editor, Saleha has promoted the Muslim Brotherhood violent jihad and the “right” of women to be repressed under sharia.

Therein rests the motivation for the policies formulated and actions taken by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Egypt, Libya and Syria, all of which led to the growth of radical Islam in North Africa and the Middle East.

In terms of US foreign policy and national security, the role of Hillary Clinton in the Libyan fiasco was as reckless as it was cataclysmic.

Clinton was among the most vocal early proponents of using U.S. military force to topple Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, claiming erroneously that Gadhafi was about to engage in a genocide against civilians in Benghazi, where the Islamist rebels held their center of power.

Even Obama bowed to her leadership on the issue, privately informing members of Congress that Libya “is all Secretary Clinton’s matter.”

Yet according to Jeffrey Scott Shapiro and Kelly Riddell of the Washington Times:

“Top Pentagon officials and a senior Democrat in Congress [Dennis Kucinich] so distrusted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2011 march to war in Libya that they opened their own diplomatic channels with the Gadhafi regime in an effort to halt the escalating crisis, according to secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli.”

The Pentagon liaison to Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s son, Seif, indicated that Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., a top aide to then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Michael Mullen, “does not trust the reports that are coming out of the State Department and CIA, but there’s nothing he can do about it.”

Despite these concerns, the Obama Administration, on March 17, 2011, supported U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 for military intervention in Libya. On that day Clinton ordered a general within the Pentagon to refuse to take a call from Gadhafi’s son Seif and other high-level members within the regime, to help negotiate a resolution. A day later, on March 18, 2011, Gadhafi himself called for a cease-fire, another action the administration dismissed.

In released, but redacted emails, Clinton expressed interest in arming Libyan opposition groups using private security contractors, though at the time, the opposition was not formally recognized by the U.S. or United Nations, which prohibited arming without following strict guidelines and oversight. In an April 8, 2011 email to her then-deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan, Clinton wrote: “FYI. The idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered,” attaching an intelligence report from adviser Sidney Blumenthal, her preferred source of intelligence.

It now appears probable that, in 2011, at Clinton’s urging, Obama secretly approved the arming of rebels in Libya and Syria via a third party, likely Qatar, the only Arab nation at the time that recognized the rebel government and brokered the sale of more than $100 million in crude oil from rebel-held areas.

Many of those weapons would ultimately be destined for Syria.

Through shipping records, Fox News 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, 2012, five days before the Benghazi terrorist attack. The cargo reportedly included surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, RPG’s and Russian-designed shoulder-launched missiles known as MANPADS, all believed destined for Syrian rebel groups.

Both Obama and Clinton had a vested interest in lying about Benghazi and permanently concealing the truth; Obama to ensure his reelection prospects in 2012 and Hillary to protect hers for 2016. It is significant, however, that Clinton was the most aggressive administration official promoting the arming of the Libyan Islamists and the first to associate the video with the Benghazi attack (see timeline) as well as its most vigorous and persistent advocate.

A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report presented in August 2012 and declassified in May 2015, stated that “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al- Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” being supported by “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey.”

An article published a year earlier, on June 21, 2014, noted:

“The present Shia-Sunni civil war in Iraq was fueled by American abdication of a foreign policy in Syria, where we sub-contracted our interests to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Instead of dealing directly with the moderate Free Syrian Army, we outsourced the funding and arming responsibilities.

They then pursued their own interests; the Saudis supporting radical Islamic Salafis, while the Turks and Qataris backed the Muslim Brotherhood, all of which was at least partially meant to counter growing Iranian influences in the region, but complicating America’s anti-terrorism efforts.”

An interview with retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former head of the DIA, given to Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan, confirms earlier suspicions that Washington was monitoring jihadist groups emerging as an opposition in Syria. General Flynn dismissed Al Jazeera’s supposition that the US administration “turned a blind eye” to the DIA’s analysis, stating: “I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.”

The disintegration of Libya and the rise of ISIS can rightfully be placed at the doorsteps of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

History will prove that it was not just incompetence, but criminal negligence in the conduct of foreign policy and the safeguarding of American lives.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution “. He receives email at lawrence.sellin@gmail.com.

See also:

WATCH: FIRST TRAILER FOR MICHAEL BAY’S BENGHAZI MOVIE ’13 HOURS’

Screen-Shot-2015-07-29-at-10.59.39-AM-640x480Breitbart, by Daniel Nussbaum, July 29, 2015:

The movie, based on Mitchell Zuckoff’s 2014 book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, tells the story of the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya in which four Americans–U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service’s Sean Smith and CIA contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods – were killed by Islamist terrorists.

Bay is directing the film from a script by Chuck Hogan (FX’s The Strain). James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Pablo Schreiber, Toby Stephens, David Denman, Max Martini, and Dominic Fumusa star.

The trailer conveys a strong sense of dread before the classic Bay-inspired action kicks in.

“When everything went wrong, six men had the courage to do what was right,” the text in the trailer reads.

With a budget reportedly in the range of $30-$40 million, Bay is working on 13 Hourswith a lot less money than he usually gets to play with on blockbuster films likeTransformers. Here’s hoping the result is a return to form for Bay and a tight, focused action film that honors the memories of the American heroes who sacrificed their lives on that day.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi hits theaters January 15.

Also see:

Intel expert: Obama admin framing arms dealer

Hillary Clinton testifying on the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack

Hillary Clinton testifying on the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack

WND, by Jerome Corsi, July 27, 2015:

NEW YORK – A member of the independent Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi believes the Obama administration positioned arms dealer Marc Turi to take the fall for illicit arms deals to Libya orchestrated in 2011 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department.

The Justice Department has charged Turi with lying on an export-license application, alleging he hid his intent to ship weapons and ammunition to Libya in direct violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 170. The Feb. 26, 2011, resolution imposed an arms embargo on all member states to prevent “the immediate prospect” of a Gadhafi-led attempt “to slaughter rebel forces in Benghazi that would likely result in massive civilian casualties.”

“We have ample evidence the Libyan gun-running operation was a White House operation and that the State Department under Hillary Clinton ran the show,” said Clare Lopez, a member of the Citizens’ Commission who served as a career operations officer with the CIA and is currently vice president for research at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy.

Lopez made it clear she was speaking for herself and not for the commission.

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi is a group of 17 retired admirals and generals, former intelligence agents, counter-terrorism experts, media specialists and former members of Congress organized in 2013 by Roger Aronoff, editor of Accuracy in Media. The founding members are retired U.S. Navy Adm. James Lyons and retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely.

Find out what really happened: Aaron Klein’s “The REAL Benghazi Story” exposes the ongoing cover-up

The commission has been working behind the scenes for the past two years to ensure Congress uncovers what really happened in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

As WND reported Thursday, defense filings in the Department of Justice prosecution of Turi allege the Obama administration is willing to prosecute an innocent man to cover up the role Hillary Clinton played shipping weapons to Libya.

Lopez told WND the “key point is that Marc Turi, despite receiving written approval from the U.S. government to broker weapons to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, never actually went through any weapons purchases or shipments to Qatar, to the UAE or to Libya.”

She pointed to the Citizens’ Commission’s April 2014 interim report, which concluded it was Clinton’s State Department that was shipping the guns to Libya.

“Marc Turi was set up and framed for something he didn’t do, while others, who actually did collaborate with Qatar and the UAE to deliver the weapons under U.S. and NATO protection and supervision, are not only not prosecuted like Marc Turi, they’re not even mentioned,” Lopez said.

The official story

On Dec. 5, 2012, New York Times reporters James Risen, Mark Mazetti and Michael Schmidt, without citing a source, clearly implicated Turi as the arms dealer at the center of the 2011 redirection of weapons from Qatar that was interdicted by Libya and shown to world media by then-Gadhafi officials spokesman Moussa Ibrahim, as reported by WND.

In their article, titled “U.S.-Approved Arms for Libya Rebels Fell Into Jihadis’ Hands,” they wrote: “The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.”

The Times story said the “case of Marc Turi, the American arms merchant who had sought to provide weapons to Libya, demonstrates other challenges the United States faced in dealing with Libya.”

“A dealer who lives in both Arizona and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Turi sells small arms to buyers in the Middle East and Africa, relying primarily on suppliers of Russian-designed weapons in Eastern Europe,” the Times said.

From there, the Times account of Turi’s involvement in the Qatar-Libya arms deal bears close resemblance to the “statement of facts” provided the U.S. District Court in Arizona in the Turi criminal indictment brought by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Phoenix.

“In March 2011, just as the Libyan civil war was intensifying, Mr. Turi realized that Libya could be a lucrative new market, and applied to the State Department for a license to provide weapons to the rebels there, according to e-mails and other documents he has provided,” the Times article continued.

The newspaper noted American citizens are required to obtain U.S. approval for any international arms sales.

“Mr. Turi’s application for a license was rejected in late March 2011,” the Times reported. “Undeterred, he applied again, this time stating only that he planned to ship arms worth more than $200 million to Qatar.”

Then, the newspaper reported that in May 2011, Turi’s application was approved.

“Mr. Turi, in an interview, said that his intent was to get weapons to Qatar and that what ‘the U.S. government and Qatar allowed from there was between them.’ Two months later, though, his home near Phoenix was raided by agents from the Department of Homeland Security.”

The Times reported administration officials said he remained under investigation in connection with his arms dealings.

The Justice Department would not comment, the Times said.

The paper said: “Mr. Turi said he believed that United States officials had shut down his proposed arms pipeline because he was getting in the way of the Obama administration’s dealings with Qatar. The Qataris, he complained, imposed no controls on who got the weapons. ‘They just handed them out like candy, he said.”

‘Zero footprint’

As WND reported, Fox News analysts Andrew Napolitano, in a nationally syndicated column published July 1, said an interview with Turi conducted by Fox News intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge and Fox News Senior Executive Producer Pamela Browne led him to review emails to and from State Department and congressional officials sent when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

The correspondence caused him to conclude “beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty” that Hillary had conducted a “secret war” shipping arms to Libya illegally in 2011.

Read more

The Missing Hillary Emails No One Can Explain

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Daily Beast, by Alexa Corse and Shane Harris, July 28, 2015:

Among the approximately 2,000 emails that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has released from her private account, there is a conspicuous two-month gap. There are no emails between Clinton and her State Department staff during May and June 2012, a period of escalating violence in Libya leading up to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.

A State Department spokesman told The Daily Beast that for the year 2012, only those emails related to the security of the consulate or to the U.S. diplomatic presence in Libya were made public and turned over to a House committee investigating the fatal Benghazi assault. But if that’s true, then neither Clinton nor her staff communicated via email about the escalating dangers in Libya. There were three attacks during that two-month period, including one that targeted the consulate.

That two-month period also coincides with a senior Clinton aide obtaining a special exemption that allowed her to work both as a staff member to the secretary and in a private capacity for Clinton and her husband’s foundation. The Associated Press has sued to obtain emails from Clinton’s account about the aide, Huma Abedin.

The status of Clinton’s emails has become an explosive political issue ever sinceThe New York Times revealed that the then-Secretary of State was using a private email server to handle her official correspondence. Cybersecurity experts believe the homebrew system opened Clinton and her colleagues to targeting from online spies. The State Department and Intelligence Community Inspector Generals have asked the Justice Department to look into possible disclosure of classified information.

Regarding the security situation in Libya, there was plenty for Clinton and her team to discuss via email. On May 22, 2012, the International Red Cross’s Benghazi office was hit by rocket-propelled grenades.

“The attack on the International Red Cross was another attack that also involved us and threats to the compound there in Benghazi,” testified Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood, a senior State Department security chief in Libya (PDF) before the House Oversight Committee in October 2012.

Then, on June 6, an improvised explosive device detonated outside of the U.S. consulate, ripping a 12-foot-wide hole in the compound’s wall and prompting officials to release a public warning on “the fluid security situation in Libya.”

Yet the State Department has not produced any emails to or from Clinton about the improvised bomb.

Republicans on the House committee investigating the Benghazi attack have called the absence of any email communication noting the explosive attack at the U.S. consulate “inexplicable.”

“There are gaps of months and months and months,” Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, said in a March 8 interview.

“The State Department transferred 300 messages exclusively reviewed and released by her [Clinton’s] own lawyers,” Gowdy added in a May 22 statement noting gaps in the email records. “To assume a self-selected public record is complete, when no one with a duty or responsibility to the public had the ability to take part in the selection, requires a leap in logic no impartial reviewer should be required to make and strains credibility.”

Since then, the Benghazi committee has recovered one email, largely about business interests in Libya, from June 2012 after subpoenaing Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. The email from Blumenthal does not mention threats to the U.S. consulate, and there is no response from Clinton. The State Department subsequently gave the committee its copy.

U.S. interests weren’t the only ones being targeted in Benghazi. Five days after the improvised bomb damaged the consulate, an RPG hit a convoy carrying the British ambassador in Benghazi, wounding two bodyguards.

The United Kingdom and the Red Cross closed their facilities in Benghazi by the end of June 2012.

From there, the violence directed at the U.S. escalated. In a cable dated July 9, 2012, U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens asked that the State Department provide a minimum of 13 security personnel for the U.S. embassy in Tripoli and the consulate in Benghazi, noting a heightened security threat. The State Department did not fulfill Stevens’s request, a Senate Intelligence Committee report (PDF) later revealed.

A Clinton aide didn’t respond specifically to a request about the two-month email absence. But in a statement to reporters, Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill noted, “More emails are slated to be released by the State Department next week, and we hope that release is as inclusive as possible.”

The two-month period wasn’t notable only for violence in Libya, and it has been the subject of questions about Clinton’s email and State Department records for a different reason.

On June 3, Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide and personal friend of the Clinton family, was given the status of a “special government employee,” which allowed her to stay on the State Department payroll while simultaneously working for the Clinton Foundation, Teneo, a consulting firm founded by Clinton confidant Doug Band, and as a private adviser to Clinton regarding her post-State Department transition.

Conflict-of-interest laws ordinarily would prohibit that arrangement, but the special designation exempted Abedin from some ethics rules.

In 2013, the AP filed a Freedom of Information Act request for State Department records on how Abedin obtained the special employee status. The news organization asked for emails about the matter.

Last week, a federal judge gave the State Department one week to respond to the AP’s two-year-old request. At midnight Tuesday, just before the judge’s deadline, the department’s lawyers submitted a declaration identifying about 68 pages of “potentially responsive” documents.

That marked the first time that the department acknowledged, in its two-year dispute with the AP, the existence of any agency documents related to Abedin’s arrangement.

Michael Smallberg, an investigator at the Project on Government Oversight, told The Daily Beast that while special government employees are not uncommon, the lack of information about Abedin may be keeping alive questions about potential conflict of interest in her work for the secretary and the foundation’s fundraising.

“Unless you come across any evidence to the contrary, there’s no reason to believe she was abusing the special government position,” Smallberg said. But, “the State Department has allowed those concerns to fester by withholding basic information,” Smallberg added. “Even if she did nothing wrong, secrecy breeds mistrust.”

State Department lawyers have argued that once all of Clinton’s emails are released on the agency’s website, following a vetting process that will take months, the AP’s request for information about Abedin will have been satisfied.

However, since some of the emails on Abedin that the AP wants likely fall within the June 2012 time frame, that might not be the case.

About 7 percent of Clinton’s emails have been released. All the emails are scheduled to be released on a rolling, monthly basis until the last set is released in January 2016, to comply with an order by a different federal judge. The next release is tentatively scheduled for this Friday.

Muslim Brotherhood Skeletons Remain in Hillary Clinton’s Closet

Richard Ellis/Getty Images

Richard Ellis/Getty Images

Breitbart, by JAMES ZUMWALT, July 20, 2015:

No sooner had Hillary Clinton announced the start of her U.S. presidential campaign than several skeletons popped out of her closet.

The Clinton Foundation skeleton, at worst, gave foreign contributors a “pay to play” influence at the U.S. State Department, or, at best, the appearance of such. If the former, the Clintons have taken Harry Truman’s motto, “the buck stops here,” to mean millions of them.

Another skeleton is Hillary’s unauthorized use of a private email server along with her erasure of those communications while announcing her candidacy.

A third skeleton, Benghazi, is being examined by Chairman of the House Select Committee which is investigating the matter.

These three skeletons demand, and are receiving, close scrutiny. However, a fourth and much more damning skeleton—Hillary’s Muslim Brotherhood connection—still escapes scrutiny. Interestingly, in connection with the Benghazi investigation, three Hillary aides have been subpoenaed by Gowdy to produce emails. The one who has yet to do so completely is the one with the closest ties to the Brotherhood—Huma Abedin.

The subpoena stems from Gowdy’s efforts to track what communications were made by Hillary and her staff concerning Ambassador Chris Stevens movements prior to the Benghazi attack. Of interest also will be why efforts were undertaken after the attack to minimize involvement by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some background about the Brotherhood is needed to understand its driving force and why, under Hillary’s leadership as Secretary of State, a decision would have been made to embrace an organization determined to eliminate America and her allies.

Because our Middle East allies understand this background, they have outlawed the group.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 as a Sunni Islamist religious, political and social movement. Founder Hassan al-Banna’s fundamental goal was Islam’s global domination. That effort quickly turned violent. As its influence grew, its tentacles spread to 80 other nations, laying the groundwork for an envisioned global caliphate.

An early influential Brotherhood member, Sayyid Qutb, wrote of the need to cleanse the world of Western influence by imposing sharia. Years later, his work became Osama bin Laden’s and Ayman al-Zawahri’s “bible.” But, feeling the Brotherhood was not moving fast enough to achieve global Islam, they created an offshoot group—al-Qaeda—to quicken the pace.

At various times, as the Brotherhood gained influence causing domestic instability, nations cracked down on it. To survive, it renounced violence—birthing numerous splinter groups to do its violent bidding.

In 1981, one such group assassinated a Middle East peace apostle—Egyptian President Anwar Sadat—for his peace treaty with Israel. Hamas was another terrorist splinter group.

Viewing America as an obstacle to Islam’s global dominance, the Brotherhood—to this day—seeks to destroy America, informing followers to be “patient” as it so plots to do so.

In the 1990s, Brotherhood leaders mapped out a secret war plan to accomplish this—one discovered completely by accident in 2004. Despite this discovery and our knowledge about what is in the plan (such as using Muslim Brotherhood front companies within the U.S. and making claims of Islamophobia whenever Islam is criticized), the Brotherhood openly continues implementing that plan today. Meanwhile, under Obama’s tutelage, the federal agencies responsible for protecting us from such a threat fail to do so.

Just like Osama bin Laden’s 1997 declaration of war against America received little media attention, so too did the Brotherhood’s 2010 war declaration against America by its Supreme Guide, Muhammad Badi.

Badi called for jihad against “the Muslim’s real enemies, not only Israel but also the United States. Waging jihad against both of these infidels is a commandment of Allah that cannot be disregarded.”

The Brotherhood’s long running anti-American platform properly inhibited U.S. recognition of the group. But, incredibly, under the Obama/Clinton team, that changed overnight.

Failing to support our long-time ally, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Obama welcomed the Brotherhood with open arms in June 2011—without even demanding it withdraw its war declaration or otherwise renounce its anti-American platform.

The skeleton in Hillary’s closet now in need of close scrutiny is how the Muslim Brotherhood instantly converted—in the Administration’s eyes but not those of the Brotherhood itself—from foe to friend.

Of note in all this is that the family of Hillary’s now longest serving assistant, Huma Abedin, has enjoyed an intensely close relationship with the Brotherhood for decades. Her father, Zyed Abedin, served as editor of an anti-Semitic journal funded by an Islamist; her mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, replaced him as editor in 1993 when he died. As editor, Saleha has promoted the Muslim Brotherhood (she is a member of its female division), violent jihad and the “right” of women to be repressed under sharia.

Despite this connection and despite the fact Abedin was working for a Muslim Brotherhood journal at the time, Clinton’s request Abedin’s security clearance be expedited was honored. Yet, astonishingly to this day, the Abedin skeleton receives little media scrutiny.

The extent of the media’s focus on Abedin has been extremely limited. National security issues seem to be of no concern as it only placed Abedin in the spotlight as the wife of U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner. He was the one who gave the Oscar Mayer weiner song new meaning after exposing himself on Twitter.

If lines were drawn from opposite ends of an influence graph, one depicting the Muslim Brotherhood under President Obama and the other Abedin under Secretary Clinton, convergence occurs as America embraces a group still committed to our destruction.

Despite continuous Brotherhood terrorist activity since receiving Obama’s embrace—including the destruction of 52 churches in Egypt within a 24-hour period on August 13, 2013 and the arrests in Cairo earlier this month of thirteen members seeking to plant explosives to disrupt Suez Canal maritime traffic, Obama regularly welcomes Brotherhood representatives at the White House. He also continues his Muslim outreach programsgranting access to Brotherhood agents at the highest levels of our government despite convictions in U.S. courts of some for terrorist funding activities.

In other words, the Muslim Brotherhood continues to implement its war plan against America with the help of our own President.

Obama’s unbending commitment to a Muslim Brotherhood that, both in his eyes and Hillary’s, can do no wrong, is detailed in a secret directive known as “Presidential Study Directive-11.” It borders on treason this policy continues in place based on the Brotherhood’s aggressive anti-U.S activities both before and after its issuance.

Whether due to political correctness or naiveté, the media has failed to pull the Muslim Brotherhood’s skeleton out of Hillary’s closet. It needs to do so—thoroughly examining it to determine how a group so committed to America’s destruction remains so warmly embraced by those responsible for protecting us from it.

Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of “Bare Feet, Iron Will–Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam’s Battlefields,” “Living the Juche Lie: North Korea’s Kim Dynasty” and “Doomsday: Iran–The Clock is Ticking.” He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.

What Hillary is Hiding

7c82ae3fcd6d92288c37d6951964be20Frontpage, by Kenneth R. Timmerman, July 2, 2015:

The left-wing media establishment is turning against Hillary Clinton.

It’s happening long after the rest of us understood that Mrs. Clinton bore a unique responsibility for the tragic and avoidable disaster in Benghazi that cost the lives of four brave Americans, so please: there is no need for applause. After all, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS Sixty Minutes, and NBC News are just doing their jobs. Finally.

Well, almost doing their jobs. For most of these, the Clinton “story” is all about process. As more emails turn up that Hillary “overlooked” when she scoured her personal server, the New York Times wonders if any serious discrepancy will emerge, and gives Hillary’s spokesperson’s effort to bury the story far more credit than he deserves.

Here is Hillary’s problem: not only did she conduct official business on a private server, apparently with the blessing of a key lackey, Undersecretary for Management, Patrick Kennedy; but as copies of those emails surface, key elements of the story she has tried to suppress from Day One are emerging.

First, there is the matter of who “lost” Libya. The email traffic released nearly two years after House Democrats claimed the State Department had provided everything there was to know about Benghazi to Congress, shows that Hillary was desperate to hide her responsibility for U.S. policy toward Qaddafi and the jihadi-dominated rebel alliance that overthrew his regime.

We now have multiple emails, none of which was produced until recently, showing that when Libya was going well, Hillary wanted to be seen as the architect of the “lead from behind” and “zero footprint” strategy that allowed the Obama administration to claim a foreign policy victory without engaging U.S. troops.

Jake Sullivan, her top political advisor, drafted a glowing “talking points” memo on the Libya success story on August 21, 2011, which the Clinton team later realized had become an embarrassment and needed to be suppressed. It was only just recently produced.

Now we learn that an important player behind Hillary’s grandstanding was none other than long-time Clinton consigliore, Sid Blumenthal.

Until just two months ago, the State Department pretended that Blumenthal’s emails to Secretary Clinton didn’t exist, even though Mrs. Clinton forwarded them to her inner circle, often at their official state.gov addresses.

Then, faced with a subpoena from Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the Benghazi Select Committee, State finally produced 300 emails previously withheld by Clinton, including “intelligence” memos sent by Blumenthal to Hillary’s private email account.

Gowdy could see the smoke, and issued another subpoena, this time to compel Blumenthal to testify under oath. At that closed-door hearing two weeks ago, Blumenthal produced an additional fifteen memos to Secretary Clinton that the State Department claims it can’t find. Like so much else.

Read more

***

Judicial Watch: Newly Released Documents Confirm White House Officials Set Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Response

NATO Summit Lisbon 2010 - Day 1Judicial Watch, June 29, 2015:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released new State Department documents showing that Hillary Clinton and the State Department’s response to the Benghazi attack was immediately determined by top Obama White House officials, particularly Ben Rhodes, then-White House deputy strategic communications adviser, and Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for the National Security Council.  The new documents were forced from the U.S. State Department under court order in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01511)).

Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request on June 13, 2014, and subsequently a lawsuit on September 4, 2014, seeking:

Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to notes, updates, or reports created in response to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. This request includes, but is not limited to, notes taken by then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or employees of the Office of the Secretary of State during the attack and its immediate aftermath.

A September 11, 2012, email sent at 6:21 p.m. by State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland to Meehan, Under Secretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, and Clinton’s personal aide Jacob Sullivan shows that the State Department deferred to the White House on the official response to the Benghazi attack.  Referencing pending press statements by Barack Obama and Clinton, Nuland wrote: “We are holding for Rhodes clearance. BMM, pls advise asap.”

Meehan responded three minutes later, at 6:24 p.m.: “Ben is good with these and is on with Jake now too.”

Rhodes sent an email at 9:48 p.m. to senior White House and State officials on the issue: “We should let the State Department statement be our comment for the night.”

An email from Meehan, sent at 10:15 p.m. on September 11 to Rhodes, Nuland, Sullivan, Kennedy and Clinton aide Philippe Reines, further confirms the White House approval of Hillary Clinton’s statement tying the Benghazi terrorist attack to an Internet video: “All, the Department of State just released the following statement. Per Ben [Rhodes’] email below, this should be the USG comment for the night.”

The “USG comment” turned out to be Clinton’s notorious public statement, made hours after the initial terrorist attack, falsely suggesting that the Benghazi assault was a “response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”

Rhodes emailed Meehan, Sullivan and Reines at 11:45 p.m. on September 11, writing, “Fyi – we are considering releasing this tonight.”  The next line is redacted.  The email also included a “Readout of President’s Call to Secretary Clinton,” the contents of which are also completely redacted.

On September 12, the day after the attack, Meehan sent an email to Obama administration officials announcing that “to ensure we are all in sync on messaging for the rest of the day, Ben Rhodes will host a conference call for USG communicators on this chain at 9:15AM ET today.”

The new documents show that the Obama administration engaged domestic and foreign Islamist groups and foreign nationals to push the Internet video narrative. The day after the attack, Rashad Hussain, the Obama administration’s special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), sent an email to Ambassador Ufuk Gokcen, the OIC’s ambassador to the United Nations, and Cenk Uraz, an official with the OIC, pushing the video as the cause of the Benghazi attack.  The email has the subject line:  “Urgent: Anti-Islamic Film and Violence” and reads in part:

I am sure you are considering putting a statement on the film and the related violence.  In addition to the condemnation of the disgusting depictions, it will be important to emphasize the need to respond in a way that is consistent with Islamic principles, i.e. not engaging in violence and taking innocent life …

The resulting OIC statement, sent to Hussain by the OIC’s Uraz, linked the film, as requested by the Obama administration, to the Benghazi attack and suggested that the United States restrict free speech in response.  The official OIC statement called the film “incitement” and stated that the attack in Benghazi and a demonstration in Cairo “emanated from emotions aroused by a production of a film had hurt [sic] the religious sentiments of Muslims.  The two incidents demonstrated serious repercussions of abuse of freedom of expression.”  The OIC’s statement referenced its own efforts to criminalize criticism of Islam. Hussain sent the OIC statement immediately to other Obama administration officials, including then-Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills, who thanks Hussain for the email.

The State Department withheld communications on September 12, 2012, between Hillary Clinton’s senior aide Huma Abedin and Rashad Hussain about an article passed by him about how “American Muslim leaders” were tying the video to the Benghazi attack.  At the time of the Benghazi attack, Abedin had been double-dipping, working as a consultant to outside clients while continuing as a top adviser at State. Abedin’s outside clients included Teneo, a strategic consulting firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton counselor Doug Band. According to Fox News, Abedin earned $355,000 as a consultant for Teneo, in addition to her $135,000 “special government employee” compensation.

The State Department also disclosed a document, dated September 13, 2012, entitled “USG Outreach and Engagement Post Benghazi Attack.”  This record details how the Obama administration reached out to domestic groups, foreign groups and governments in a full-court press to tie the video to the Benghazi attack.  The document “captures USG efforts to engage outside voices to encourage public statements that denounce the attack make it clear that the anti-Muslim film does not reflect American [sic].”  The document highlights the use of Hillary Clinton’s statement tying the terrorist attack to an Internet video.  The “outreach” document also highlights “Special Envoy’s engagement” with the OIC and the “Saudi Ambassador.”

The documents show that the Internet video was raised in a September 15 discussion between Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.  The “eyes only” “secret” document was partially declassified.  Davutoglu “called the controversial anti-Islam video a ‘clear provocation,’ but added that wise people should not be provoked by it.”  The next line is blacked out and the markings show that it will not be declassified until 2027, more than twelve years from now.

Another email, evidently from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), sent to Meehan and other top White House and administration officials, shows that the administration took no action to deploy military assets almost five hours after the attack begun:

OSD has received queries asking if military assets are being sent to either location [Libya and Egypt].  Have responded “not to our knowledge.”

The State Department referred Judicial Watch to documents in the batch of 55,000 emails allegedly turned over by Hillary Clinton and searched in response to the court order in this lawsuit.  These emails were published on the State Department’s web site, but are also available here.  In addition, the State Department produced new documents containing Hillary Clinton emails.  In one such email (September 11, 2012 at 11:40 p.m.) from Clinton to Nuland, Sullivan and top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, with the subject line “Chris Smith,” Clinton writes: “Cheryl told me the Libyans confirmed his death. Should we announce tonight or wait until morning?”

Nuland responds: “We need to ck family’s druthers. If they are OK, we should put something out from you tonight.” Mills then replies to Nuland, “Taking S [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] off.” (Sean Smith, not “Chris Smith” was one of four Americans killed at Benghazi.)

On September 13, 2012, Politico’s Mike Allen sent then-National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor an Independent.co.uk news article entitled “America was warned of embassy attack but did nothing.”  The story reported that “senior officials are increasingly convinced” the Benghazi attack was “not the result of spontaneous anger.” Vietor forwarded the story to other top White House and State Department officials, but Vietor’s accompanying comments and the comments of other top Obama appointees are completely redacted.  The administration also redacted several emails of top State officials discussing a statement by Romney campaign spokesman criticizing the “security situation in Libya.”

In April 2014, Judicial Watch first obtained smoking gun documents showing that it was the Obama White House’s public relations effort that falsely portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.”

The documents include an email by White House operative Ben Rhodes sent on Friday, September 14, 2012, with the subject line: “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.” This “prep” was for Ambassador Susan Rice in advance of her appearances on Sunday news shows to discuss the Benghazi attack and deflect criticism of the administration’s security failures by blaming the attack on spontaneous protests linked to the video.

The email listed as one of the administration’s key talking points:

“Goal”: “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”

Documents released by Judicial Watch last month further confirm that the Obama administration, including Hillary Clinton, Rice and Obama immediately knew the attack was an al-Qaeda terrorist attack.

“These documents show the Obama White House was behind the big lie, first promoted by Hillary Clinton, that an Internet video caused the Benghazi terrorist attack,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, “Top White House aide Ben Rhodes, Hillary Clinton, and many key Obama officials pushed others to tie the Internet video to the attacks. It is disturbing that the Obama administration would use Islamist radicals to push the false Benghazi story in a way that would abridge free speech.  It is little wonder that Mrs. Clinton and the entire Obama administration have fought so hard to keep these documents from the American people.  All evidence now points to Hillary Clinton, with the approval of the White House, as being the source of the Internet video lie.”

HILLARY WITHHELD “BLOOD FOR OIL” LIBYA EMAILS

hillary-clinton-what-difference-does-it-makeFrontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, June 29, 2015:

It’s bad enough that Hillary Clinton failed to turn over email exchanges between her and Sidney Blumenthal, but editing the emails to remove certain problematic topics is an admission of guilt. Because it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup.

Hillary Clinton withheld Benghazi-related emails from the State Department that detailed her knowledge of the scramble for oil contracts in Libya and the shortcomings of the NATO-led military intervention for which she advocated.

Clinton removed specific portions of other emails she sent to State, suggesting the messages were screened closely enough to determine which paragraphs were unfit to be seen by the public.

Here’s some of what Hillary tried to cover up.

For example, one email Clinton kept from the State Department indicates Libyan leaders were “well aware” of which “major oil companies and international banks” supported them during the rebellion, information they would “factor into decisions” about about who would be given access to the country’s rich oil reserves.

The email, which Clinton subsequently scrubbed from her server, indicated Clinton was aware that involvement in the controversial conflict could have a significant financial benefit to firms that were friendly to the Libyan rebels.

Considering the tangled web of energy contracts involving Hillary and her husband, particularly from foreign companies, this could be explosive. Especially since the French, whose oil companies are mentioned as players, were the ones originally pushing this illegal war.

Clinton withheld an email sent March 22, 2011 that described the French government’s alleged involvement in forming the transitional government as the uprising against Gaddafi raged.

In the email, Blumenthal claimed the French had “provided money and guidance to assist” with the emerging Libyan council.

“In return for this assistance, [French government] officers indicated that they expected the government of Libya to favor French firms and national interests, particularly regarding the oil industry in Libya,” Blumenthal wrote.

The question is what ties Blumenthal and Clinton may have had to those companies. It’s also hypocritical considering the incessant liberal “No blood for oil” chants about Iraq, when this was actually a war where blood was shed for oil.

An email in which Blumenthal encouraged Clinton to consider the same “shock-and-awe” tactics former President George W. Bush employed in Iraq was also not included among the emails Clinton provided to State.

Again, the hypocrisy is obvious.

Clinton withheld another email that showed she informed Blumenthal of a “very good call” she had with the new Libyan president, Mohammed Yussef el Magariaf. She deleted another, in which she called a memo about Magariaf’s intention and history “a keeper.”

So we’ve got private Clinton contacts that are kept out of reach of even the government. This is very troubling.

And here is Clinton deleting references to Islamic law in Libya

For example, in July 2012, Clinton removed paragraphs from a Blumenthal memo that warned “simply completing the election…and fulfilling a list of proper democratic milestones may not create a true democracy.” Blumenthal also wrote — in sections that Clinton deleted before providing the document to State — that the government would likely be “founded on Sharia,” or Islamic laws.

This is downright criminal.

Hillary isn’t just not turning over emails. She censored materials from emails that were turned over.

***

Also see:

Exclusive: The Arming of Benghazi

062615_web_arms_0Fox Business, by Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne, June 27, 2015:

The United States supported the secret supply of weapons to Libyan rebels while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State according to federal court documents obtained by Fox News.

In a sworn declaration to the District Court of Arizona May 5th 2015, a career CIA officer David Manners said, “It was then, and remains now, my opinion that the United States did participate, directly or indirectly, in the supply of weapons to the Libyan Transitional National Council.”   The timing matters because in the Spring of 2011 the Libyan opposition was not formally recognized, and the direct supply of arms was not authorized. At that time, the CIA Director was David Petraeus. (DAVID MANNERS DOCUMENT HERE)

Manners testified before a grand jury investigating American defense contractor Marc Turi who faces trial this September on two counts that he allegedly violated the arms control export act by making false statements.

Turi and his company Turi Defense Group are at the center of an ongoing federal investigation over the source and user of weapons defined in court documents as “end user” or “end use”  flowing into Libya as Moammar Qaddafi’s regime was collapsing in 2011.

In “United States of America v. Marc Turi and Turi Defense Group,”  Manners identifies himself as having 18 years experience as an intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency or CIA, with foreign postings as Chief of Station in Prague, Czechoslovakia and in Amman, Jordan.  Manners also stated he was “the executive assistant to the Deputy Director of the National Security Agency.”

Manners’ declaration supports statements made exclusively to FOX News by Turi about what President Obama’s team and members of Congress knew about weapons flowing into the region  during the chaotic Arab Spring of 2011.

“When this equipment landed in Libya, half went one way, and the half went the other way,”  Turi said, emphasizing that poor oversight, allowed individuals hostile to the United States to get arms.  “The half that went the other way is the half that ended up in Syria.”

As part of Fox’s ongoing investigation of the 2012 terrorist attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, as well as former Navy Seals Ty Woods and Glen Doherty, Turi spoke exclusively to FOX Senior Executive Producer Pamela Browne.   The investigation premiered on “FOX Files” on the FOX BUSINESS NETWORK.

Turi was one of several thousand US arms contractors licensed by the State Department to sell and move weapons around the world.  He’s been a go to guy for the US government, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I got involved in this business in the 1990s,”  Turi explained. “I’ve been involved in all type of operations, regarding transportation, logistics, and liaising with those foreign governments.”

Turi admits to a criminal history.  He told Fox that in the late 1980’s, he stole a computer, his roommate’s car, and wrote bad checks including one for $100,000 dollars.  Through court records, Fox News verified he was arrested, convicted, and served time in an Arizona jail.

“In my youth, I made some very very bad mistakes…I was discharged from the United States Navy other under than honorable conditions…and I’ve been fighting ever since to get that honor back.”   (TURI DISCHARGE DOCUMENT HERE)

Licensed arms contractors require painstaking compliance in order to obtain the necessary approvals set by strict US government regulations. While Hillary Clinton served as President Obama’s Secretary of State, American arms dealers were awarded a record number of export licenses to sell sophisticated weapons, military parts and technology internationally.

“That’s actually been a huge, policy position, of the Obama Administration,”  Celina Realuyo, a professor of national security at the Perry Center at the National Defense University explained to FOX. Realuyo has served two presidents with expertise in tracking down money and weaponry used in what are called “dark networks” that can channel weapons to criminal and designated foreign terrorist organizations.

More than 86-thousand licenses with a value of $44.3 billion dollars were granted in 2011… a surge of more than $10 billion dollars from the previous year.

In the spring of 2011, Turi says his high level contacts both inside and outside of the US government, encouraged him to explore options to arm the Libyan opposition as they tried to overthrow then Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi.  He says his associates included David Manners, a former intelligence officer with the CIA who stated his expertise to the court as an expert with knowledge of “authorized covert arms transfers.”

Turi provided documents and email exchanges with high level members of Congress as well as military, and State Department employees which are currently being reviewed by Fox News.

Turi said, “That’s where I came up with this “zero footprint” Arab supply chain whereby, our foreign ally supplies another, Arab country.”  In this case, the US would supply conventional weapons to a US ally-Qatar, who would inturn supply them to Libya, as a kind of workaround.

“If you want to  limit the exposure to the US government, what you simply do is outsource it to your allies,”  Turi said, describing the practice. “The partners-the Qataris, and the Emiratis did exactly what they were contracted to do.”  Turi told Fox he never supplied any weapons to Qatar, and it was in the hands of the US government and the State Department’s Bureau of Political and Military Affairs which was headed by a key Clinton aide, Andrew Shapiro.  Mr. Shapiro was responsible to oversee the export control process at the State Department.

March 2011 was a busy time for Hillary Clinton.  Even today, congressional investigators doubt they have all of the emails from her personal server when she was Secretary of State.   On the 14th, along with Chris Stevens, who was then the number two man in Libya serving as the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Clinton met with Libya’s Mustafa Jibril in Paris– a senior member of the TNC.  The next day, Secretary Clinton met with Egypt’s new foreign minister Nabil el Arabi in Cairo and walked through Tahrir Square with her senior adviser Huma Abedin.  At the same time, Turi’s proposal, a 267-million dollar contract, was working its way through US government channels.

“My application was submitted on the 12th,”  Turi said his contacts gave the proposal to the then Secretary of State.  “…through their relationship with the TNC, then provided that application information to Mrs. Clinton via the TNC council when she was in Cairo. That’s what was told to me…and emailed. ”

Turi provided  Fox News with emails he exchanged – in early April 2011 – with Chris Stevens to alert him  to the proposed weapons deal.  The emails were previously cited by the New York Times, but Fox News is now making the message traffic public. (CHRIS STEVENS EMAIL DOCUMENT HERE)

Stevens replied with a “thank you ” and wrote  “I’ll keep it in mind and share it with my colleagues in Washington.”

As FOX Chief Intelligence Correspondent Catherine Herridge first reported, it was a heavily redacted email released to the Benghazi Committee last month that clearly states that on April 8, 2011, a day after the Turi/Stevens exchange, Secretary Clinton was interested in arming the rebels using contractors:

“FYI. The idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered,” Clinton wrote.  Significantly, the State Department released emails blacked out this line, but the version given to the Benghazi Select Committee was complete. (CLINTON EMAIL DOCUMENT HERE)

In May 2011, Turi got a brokering approval from the State Department for Qatar.  In July, his Arizona home was raided by federal agents.

“They came in  the full body armor, and weapons and, they take my computers and my cell phones and that was it. That was the last time I saw them. And they’ve been chasing me all over the world for the past three years, speaking to associates of mine all over the United States and looking into my records and my past.”

His attorney Jean-Jacques Cabou told Fox in a series of emails that his client had a track record working for the “US government through the Central Intelligence Agency” and the government case is an “epic fishing expedition.”  Adding his client”…neither lied on any application nor did he do anything other than support U.S. foreign policy and interests in the Middle East.”

Turi believes his “zero footprint” idea was stolen out from under him, and now he is being blamed for a program that went off the rails.

Such are the stakes in this case, that the Justice Department National Security Division is involved, and recently requested that some proceedings remain secret under CIPA, the Classified Information Procedures Act.   The Federal Judge wrote on June 16 “the government can seek protection under CIPA 4 in this case only by complying with Ninth Circuit law by making a formal claim of privilege, lodged by the head of the department which has actual control over the discoverable information.”

In his sworn declaration to the court, Manners said his grand jury testimony on covert arms transfers was cut off by the government lawyer. “As a result of the Assistant United States Attorney’s actions, I believe that (a) the grand jury never received a full and complete picture of authorized covert arms transfers and their relevance to the present case. ”

“At some point, I may be that internet video excuse,”  Turi said, referring to statements where then Secretary of Clinton and members of the Obama Administration wrongly blamed an obscure anti-Islam video for the 2012 terrorist attack that killed four Americans.    “I don’t know.  But, it’s really strange that the US government would invest three years, a multi-year investigation, fly all over the world interviewing people, for an application.”

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Admiral Lyons – Hillary’s Compromised – Iran’s Nuclear Program Fully Intact

imrs (7)By Alan Kornman, June 24, 2015:
WATCH VIDEO BELOW –   YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU SEE and HEAR NEXT!!
 
ADMIRAL ‘ACE’ LYONS 
Obama Administration says Iran’s chants of “Death to America” are “not helpful,” but won’t have impact on nuke talks.  
 
Admiral Lyons says, “The core elements of the Iranian nuclear program are fully intact and have increased 20-40% since these sham negotiations started.
 
It all begins in 2008 when then candidate Sen. Barak Obama, according to Michael Levine, opened secret negotiations with the Ayatollah’s.  The message was don’t sign any agreements with the Bush Administration you will get a better deal from me when I’m President, I am a friend of Iran.  This borders on treason! Mind boggling.
 
Let’s talk about Benghazi.  This is a Hillary scenario, Hillary is a pathological liar.  Hillary’s  emails – You know everyone of our enemies have hacked into her emails, they have the full book on her.  She (Hillary Clinton) is totally compromised, she is damaged goods.  There’s no way she can be allowed back into the White House.
 
4:25 – Things were working out in Libya until she met with a Muslim Brotherhood operative at the Paris Westin Hotel for a 45 minute meeting.  After that meeting Hillary canceled our negotiations with Gaddafi despite every military leader and intelligence experts advice not too.
 
5:30 A few words on Christopher Stevens.  DIA had 10 days warning the Benghazi attacks were going to happen.  If you were SECDEF would you not put countermeasures in place to defend your Ambassador?
 
7:50  If I had to speculate I’d say this was an operation that went terribly wrong.  If you remember in the Summer of 2012 Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammad Morsi came to DC with one main objective. 
 
Morsi’s #1 objective was to get the release of The Blind Sheikh,  currently sitting in a U.S. Federal Penitentiary for masterminding the first 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
 
My view was Benghazi was all about the kidnapping Christopher Stevens (Libya Ambassador) and exchanging him for the blind sheikh – when you put it all together nothing makes sense to me.

Why Was a Key Benghazi Suspect Free?

harzi1Weekly Standard, by Thomas Joscelyn, June 23, 2015:

On Monday, the Pentagon announced that Ali Ani al Harzi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Mosul, Iraq. For those who have followed the public reporting on the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attack  closely, al Harzi’s name will ring a bell. He was one of the first suspects to be publicly identified by name. Eli Lake, then of The Daily Beast, got the scoop in October 2012.

A key question in al Harzi’s story remains unanswered: Why wasn’t he in custody since late 2012?

U.S. intelligence officials discovered early on in their investigation that al Harzi used social media to provide an update on the raid. It was based on this freely-available intelligence that al Harzi was detained in Turkey and deported to his native Tunisia.

In December 2012, the FBI was granted only a few hours to question al Harzi. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, the al Qaeda-linked group responsible for the September 14, 2012 assault on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, stalked the FBI agents who questioned him. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia posted the FBI agents’ pictures on Facebook. This was intended to intimidate the FBI agents.

The following month, January 2013, a judge in Tunis ordered al Harzi released.

Senior Obama administration officials, including then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and John Brennan, who was about to become the head of the CIA, were asked about this during Congressional testimony at the time. Both of them vouched for al Harzi’s release.

On January 23, 2013, Clinton testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She told senators that the Tunisians had “assured” the United States that Harzi was “under the monitoring of the court.”

“Upon his release, I called the Tunisian prime minister. A few days later Director Mueller met with the Tunisian prime minister,” Clinton explained. She continued: “We have been assured that he is under the monitoring of the court. He was released, because at that time — and — and Director Mueller and I spoke about this at some length — there was not an ability for evidence to be presented yet that was capable of being presented in an open court. But the Tunisians have assured us that they are keeping an eye on him. I have no reason to believe he is not still in Tunis, but we are checking that all the time.”

During a separate hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, then Congressman Tom Cotton asked Clinton if she found “it distressing that the Tunisian government has released that gentleman [al Harzi] in light of the hundreds of millions of dollars of aid we’ve given them over the last two years?”

Clinton responded: “At this point, Congressman, I do not for two reasons. First, I had a long conversation with high-ranking Tunisian officials about this, as did Director Mueller of the FBI when he was there in person. We have been assured there was an effort to have rule of law, judicial process, sufficient evidence not yet available to be presented, but a very clear commitment made to us that they will be monitoring the whereabouts of the — Harzi and we’re going to hold them to that and watch carefully.”

Obviously, the Tunisians’ assurances didn’t pan out. In fact, the Tunisian government accused al Harzi of participating in the assassinations of two prominent politicians. One of them was killed on February 6, 2013, just weeks after al Harzi was released. And al Harzi was, quite obviously, able to travel from North Africa to the heart of the Middle East on behalf of the terrorist organizations he served.  The Pentagon says he was working for the Islamic State at the time of his death.

In February 2013, Brennan echoed Clinton’s claims regarding the evidence against al Harzi. Brennan told Congress that the US government “didn’t have anything on” al Harzi and, therefore, his release was not worrisome.

The argument made by Clinton and Brennan – that there wasn’t sufficient evidence against al Harzi and/or the available evidence couldn’t be introduced in court – doesn’t make sense.

First, the initial evidence against al Harzi came from his social media postings – this isn’t the type of intelligence that needs to be excluded from court proceedings. Second, the U.S. government had enough on al Harzi to have him detained in Turkey, deported to Tunisia, and then questioned by the FBI. To say, as Brennan did, that the U.S. government “didn’t have anything” at all al Harzi is clearly false.

Third, the reaction of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia to al Harzi’s imprisonment was quite telling. Again, the group that had just ransacked the U.S. Embassy in Tunis agitated for al Harzi’s release. Al Harzi was a member of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, which the State Department subsequently designated as a terrorist organization for, among other things, its ties to al Qaeda’s international network. Fourth, al Harzi had already built a dossier of terrorist connections prior to the 9/11/12 attack. He had been detained and imprisoned “for planning terrorist acts in 2005 in Tunisia.” And his brother was also a known facilitator for al Qaeda in Iraq, demonstrating that jihadism was quite likely the family’s business.

Perhaps most importantly, al Harzi’s ties to the Benghazi attack have never really been disputed. In April of this year, the UN’s al Qaeda sanctions committee added al Harzi to its list of sanctioned individuals. The UN’s designation page reads: “Planned and perpetrated the attack against the Consulate of the United States in Benghazi, Libya on 11 Sep. 2012.”

According to the Pentagon, justice has finally been served in Ali Ani al Harzi’s case.

But we are left to wonder: Why did it take so long?

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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Remember that 2011 presidential finding authorizing covert arming of Libyan rebels?

obama-hillary-holding-hands-wh-photoMedia Missing The Benghazi Timeline When Reviewing and Reporting on Hillary Clinton Emails – Also Missing “Gang of Eight” When Discussing Mike Rogers

The Last Refuge, by Sundance, May 29, 2015:

Everyone is missing the late February 2011 Presidential Finding Memo, <– INSERT FLASHY “READ ME” SIGN HERE, signed by President Obama which authorized the covert CIA/State Department operation.

[…]  The Libyan uprising began on February 10th of 2011, and we also know that sometime around the end of February 2011 President Obama signed a presidential directive authorizing the State Dept and CIA to begin a covert operation to arm the Libyan “rebels”.

Everyone is also missing as a result of that directive the Intelligence Gang of Eight, which included Mike Rogers, was informed of the CIA/State Dept. goal.

The White House appears to have followed “The Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980” in informing the congressional “Gang of Eight” of Zero Footprint.

The Gang of Eight in 2011 would have included: Speaker – John Boehner, Minority Leader – Nancy Pelosi; House Permanent Select Committee on Intel Chairman – Mike Rogers, and his Democrat counterpart Charles Ruppersberger; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; along with Senate Intel Chair Diane Feinstein and her Republican counterpart, Saxby Chambliss.

All of these people were fully aware of the (Feb 2011) Presidential Directive, and fully aware of the joint CIA/State Department mission which stemmed from it.

clinton emailsFox News, one of the few organizations digging into the substance of the Benghazi/Clinton emails, via Catherine Herridge runs this article yesterday:    “Emails show Clinton’s interest in arming Libyan rebels despite prohibitions“.

Recently released emails detail then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s interest in arming Libyan opposition groups using private security contractors before the fall of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 – though at the time, the opposition was not formally recognized by the U.S. or United Nations, which prohibited arming without following strict guidelines and oversight.

The issue remains so sensitive that the emails recently released by the State Department redacted a key line on the matter. But the unredacted version of the same email, released to the congressional Benghazi Select Committee and first posted by The New York Times last Thursday, showed Clinton appearing to endorse the idea of using private contractors to her then-deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan.

“FYI. The idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered,” Clinton wrote to Sullivan on April 8, 2011, attaching an intelligence report from Hillary’s adviser Sidney Blumenthal. The opposition was known as the Transitional National Council, or TNC.

Another email released by the State Department shows that five days earlier, on April 3, 2011, Bill Clinton said he would not rule out arming the Libyan opposition. The story was circulated by Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s principal personal adviser at the State Department, to “H.” While it’s not clear who “H” is, based on the message traffic it is likely Hillary Clinton or possibly adviser Huma Abedin.

Later that same year, a Sept. 10, 2011 email with a subject line “Rogers” said, “Apparently wants to see you to talk Libya/weapons.”

At the time, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee was Mike Rogers, who abruptly announced he would not seek re-election in the spring of 2014. Rogers did not immediately respond to questions seeking comment. Fox News also filed its own Freedom of Information Act request for the documents in October 2012.

Obviously Secretary Hillary Clinton has emails in April 2011 outlining using contractors to facilitate the Presidential Directive, and deliver weapons to the “Libyan Rebels”.  The directive was authorized in February 2011, by President Obama – IT WAS REPORTED IN REUTERS A MONTH LATER !

Why doesn’t Catherine Herridge know this?

We know this 2011 Libyan covert operation came to be known as “Operation Zero Footprint“, and fell under the military command authority of NATO not (important to repeat), NOT, the U.S. Military.

We know by the time operation “Zero Footprint” began, AFRICOM commander General Carter Ham was removed from OPSEC oversight in the Libyan campaign and NATO commander Admiral James G. Stavridis was in charge.

We know Operation Zero Footprint was the covert transfer of weapons from the U.S to the Libyan “rebels”. We also know the operation avoided the concerns with congressional funding, and the subsequent potential for public scrutiny, through financing by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

We also know that officials within the government of Qatar served as the intermediaries for the actual transfer of the weapons, thereby removing the footprint of the U.S. intervention.

We know the entire operation was coordinated and controlled by the State Department and CIA. We also know (from the Senate Foreign Relations Benghazi hearings) that “Zero Footprint” was unknown to the 2011 Pentagon and/or DoD commanders who would have been tasked with any military response to the 9/11/12 attack – namely AFRICOM General Carter Ham.

listen_up_words_horizontal__clear_bkrd__4-14-08_mayv_kyjxIf we could make a singular request it would be that THE BENGHAZI BRIEF be referenced for source citations by anyone reviewing Hillary Clinton emails around the time of the Libya decision making.

We are not looking for credit and don’t care how the information is presented. The Brief itself can be thought of as merely a reference tool to deliver over 500 internal historical MSM citations needed for both context and verification of Libyan issues.

Like This One <- March 2011

***

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Emails show Clinton’s interest in arming Libyan rebels despite prohibitions

Hillary email

Fox News, by Catherine Herridge, May 28, 2015:

Recently released emails detail then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s interest in arming Libyan opposition groups using private security contractors before the fall of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 – though at the time, the opposition was not formally recognized by the U.S. or United Nations, which prohibited arming without following strict guidelines and oversight.

The issue remains so sensitive that the emails recently released by the State Department redacted a key line on the matter. But the unredacted version of the same email, released to the congressional Benghazi Select Committee and first posted by The New York Times last Thursday, showed Clinton appearing to endorse the idea of using private contractors to her then-deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan.

“FYI. The idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered,” Clinton wrote to Sullivan on April 8, 2011, attaching an intelligence report from Hillary’s adviser Sidney Blumenthal. The opposition was known as the Transitional National Council, or TNC.

Another email released by the State Department shows that three days earlier, on April 5, 2011, Bill Clinton said he would not rule out arming the Libyan opposition. The story was circulated by Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s principal personal adviser at the State Department, to “H.” While it’s not clear who “H” is, based on the message traffic it is likely Hillary Clinton or possibly adviser Huma Abedin.

Later that same year, a Sept. 10, 2011 email with a subject line “Rogers” said, “Apparently wants to see you to talk Libya/weapons.”

At the time, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee was Mike Rogers, who abruptly announced he would not seek re-election in the spring of 2014. Rogers did not immediately respond to questions seeking comment. Fox News also filed its own Freedom of Information Act request for the documents in October 2012.

Current and former intelligence and administration officials consistently have skirted questions about weapons shipments, first documented by Fox News in October 2012, one month after the Benghazi terrorist attack, and what role the movement played in arming extremist groups the U.S. government is now trying to defeat in Syria and Iraq.

Through shipping records, Fox News 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, 2012, five days before the Benghazi terrorist attack. The cargo reportedly included surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, RPG’s and Russian-designed shoulder-launched missiles known as MANPADS.

On the movement of weapons, in an interview broadcast May 11, former acting CIA director Mike Morell said the CIA and U.S. government “played no role. Now whether we were watching other people do it, I can’t talk about it.”

Heavily redacted congressional testimony, declassified after the House intelligence committee’s Benghazi investigation concluded in 2014, shows conflicting accounts about the movement of weapons from Libya to Syria were apparently given to lawmakers.

On Nov. 15, 2012, Morell and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified “Yes” on whether the U.S. intelligence community was aware arms were moving from Libya to Syria. This line of questioning by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, who is now the intelligence committee chairman, was shut down by his predecessor Rogers, who said not everyone in the classified hearing was “cleared” to hear the testimony, which means they did not have a sufficient security clearance.

An outside analyst told Fox News that Rogers’ comments suggest intelligence related to the movement of weapons was a “read on,” and limited to a very small number of recipients.

Six months later, on May 22, 2013, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, now chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, asked if the CIA was “monitoring arms that others were sending into Syria.” Morell said, “No, sir.”

Several individuals connected to Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s term at the State Department now work at the D.C. consulting firm Beacon Global Strategies. Among them are Clinton’s principal gatekeeper Philippe Reines; Morell, who’s listed as a senior counselor; and Andrew Shapiro, who was a Clinton policy adviser at the State Department whose portfolio included ridding Libya of shoulder-launched missiles called MANPADs. Critics argue no group knows more about Benghazi or has such a vested interest in the outcome of the congressional Benghazi investigation.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

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U.S. aided arms flow from Benghazi to Syria

A Syrian Kurdish fighter in Kobani, Syria, in January Associated Press

A Syrian Kurdish fighter in Kobani, Syria, in January Associated Press

WorldMag.com, By J.C. DERRICK, May 18, 2015:

WASHINGTON—Documents released today confirm the Obama administration knew weapons were flowing out of Benghazi, Libya, to Syrian rebels in 2012 even though the rebels had well-publicized ties to al-Qaeda and other extremist groups.

Previous reports, including one by WORLD in 2013, have linked U.S. involvement in Libya to arms flowing into Syria, but the new documents provide the first verification that contradicts administration officials and congressional Democrats who maintained there was no evidence to support it. The documents provide further confirmation that the CIA and the State Department—under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—received immediate intelligence that the attack was committed by al-Qaeda- and Muslim Brotherhood-linked brigades, even as Clinton and other officials claimed it was the result of rioting against a Muslim-bashing video.

“Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya, to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria,” says an October 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document released with heavy redactions. It notes the activity took place weeks before terrorists attacked the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, killing four Americans in September: “The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were [500] sniper rifles, [100] RPGs, and [400] 125 mm and 155 mm howitzers missiles.”

Judicial Watch, a Washington, D.C., watchdog group, obtained the cache of more than 100 documents after filing a lawsuit in federal court. The judge who ordered the release, Ketanji Brown Jackson, is a 2013 appointee of President Barack Obama.

“These documents are jaw-dropping,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said. “No wonder we had to file more FOIA lawsuits and wait over two years for them.”

Administration officials—including the CIA’s former acting director in sworn congressional testimony last year—have argued that initial intelligence showed no evidence of a pre-planned attack at Benghazi. But new documents undercut that assertion. A DIA memo dated September 12, 2012, says the attack was planned at least 10 days in advance to “kill as many Americans as possible” in revenge for a U.S. air strike that killed a militant leader in Pakistan and to commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

That document, also heavily redacted, was circulated to top administration officials, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, four days before U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice went on several national television shows claiming the attack was the result of a spontaneous protest.

Clare Lopez, a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi—a group of former intelligence officers, military personnel, and national security experts—told me it comes as no surprise that Benghazi was a retaliatory attack since al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a video had called on the “sons of Libya” to avenge his deputy’s death. Lopez said the Judicial Watch release is “very significant,” because it “begins to peel back a little more of the layers of the onion about what was going on in Benghazi, and why that mission [facility] was there.”

Lopez, a former CIA officer who is now a vice president at the Center for Security Policy, said the commission has confirmed it was not the CIA but the State Department that managed the gun-running operation. According to Lopez, the department put up between $125,000 to $175,000 for each surface-to-air missile it funneled out of Libya to the Syrian battlefield.

The new revelations raise the stakes in the ongoing Benghazi investigation, which threatens to extend deep into the 2016 presidential campaign season. Republican members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, created a year ago following another Judicial Watch release, say the administration is stalling in its production of documents. Democrats have accused Republicans of moving at a “glacial pace” to unnecessarily drag out the probe.

Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 race, has agreed to testify before the panel, but the Republicans who control the committee say they won’t call her until they receive all relevant documents.

Monday’s disclosure includes startling detail showing that U.S. intelligence agencies know about militant activities down to the measurements of a room where al-Qaeda collects documents in Libya. The militants responsible for the Benghazi attacks controlled large caches of weapons “disguised by feeding troughs for livestock” and trained “almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scriptures including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology.”

A DIA report from August 2012 detailed the “dire consequences” of unfolding events in the Middle East, and predicted the rise of ISIS and a possible caliphate 17 months before Obama called the group a “JV team.
“This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters,” the document reads. “ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.”

J.C. is a reporter in WORLD’s Washington Bureau. He spent 10 years covering sports, higher education, and politics for the Longview News-Journal and other newspapers in Texas before joining WORLD in 2012. Follow J.C. on Twitter @jcderrick1.

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