Video: Timmerman’s Benghazi speech at Horowitz’s Wednesday Morning Club

Kenneth R. Timmerman – “Dark Forces” from DHFC on Vimeo.

Also see:

Benghazi Bombshell: Clinton State Department Official Reveals Details of Alleged Document Review

cnpphotos042907By Sharyl Attkisson:

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

UPDATE: Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff allegedly present at after-hours document review.

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.

At the time, Maxwell was a leader in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which was charged with collecting emails and documents relevant to the Benghazi probe.

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

New Benghazi allegation puts spotlight on Hillary Clinton confidants, alleged after-hours document review.

UPDATE: Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff allegedly present at after-hours document review.

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.

At the time, Maxwell was a leader in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which was charged with collecting emails and documents relevant to the Benghazi probe.

Ray Maxwell (Photo: Sharyl Attkisson)

“I was not invited to that after-hours endeavor, but I heard about it and decided to check it out on a Sunday afternoon,” Maxwell says.

He didn’t know it then, but Maxwell would ultimately become one of four State Department officials singled out for discipline—he says scapegoated—then later cleared for devastating security lapses leading up to the attacks. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were murdered during the Benghazi attacks.

‘Basement Operation’

Maxwell says the weekend document session was held in the basement of the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in a room underneath the “jogger’s entrance.” He describes it as a large space, outfitted with computers and big screen monitors, intended for emergency planning, and with small offices on the periphery.

When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.

“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisers.

“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ”

A few minutes after he arrived, Maxwell says, in walked two high-ranking State Department officials.

In an interview Monday morning on Fox News, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, named the two Hillary Clinton confidants who allegedly were  present: One was Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff and a former White House counsel who defended President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial. The other, Chaffetz said, was Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, who previously worked on Hillary Clinton’s and then Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

 

 

Read more at The Daily Signal

A Mismanage-able Problem

pic_giant_091014_SM_Obama-Manages-ISIS

Obama’s belief that he can “manage” the Islamic State may collide with reality.

National Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, Sep. 10, 2014:

President Obama says he intends to shrink the al-Qaeda-spawned Islamic State into a “manageable problem.” Perhaps we’ll learn more about how when he speaks to the nation on Wednesday evening. Still, the question presses: Is he the manager for the job?

In answering that question, past performance is more a guarantee of future results than is any statement of newfound purpose from a president whose innate dishonesty has turned his signature phrase “Let me be clear” into notorious self-parody.

In late September 2012, Mr. Obama’s administration quietly approved the transfer of 55 jihadist prisoners out of the Guantanamo Bay detention center. As Tom Joscelyn explained at the time, most of the detainees had previously been categorized as “high risk” because they were deemed “likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests, and allies” if released. Almost all of the rest had been assessed “medium risk” — still posing a threat, albeit one less certain than the “high risk” jihadists.

But Obama officials overruled those judgments. Rife with members of the Lawyer Left vanguard who had stampeded to volunteer their services to al-Qaeda detainees during the Bush years, who had smeared Gitmo as a gulag, and who had fought bitterly against the Bush/Cheney paradigm that regarded al-Qaeda’s jihad as a war rather than a crime wave, the administration determined that the anti-American terrorists were fit to be sprung from American custody.

Wait a second . . . two years ago in September . . . what was going on then? Why yes, the Benghazi massacre — whose second anniversary we mark this Thursday.

The Obama administration would like us to forget that bit of old news since “dude, this was like two years ago.” You may nonetheless recall it as an act of war in which al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists attacked a sovereign American government compound. The terrorists murdered our ambassador to Libya, killed three other Americans, and wounded many more in an eight-hour siege during which President Obama declined to take any meaningful responsive action. Indeed, agents of the U.S. security team in Benghazi say they were prevented from trying to save Ambassador Stevens.

Among those carrying out the attack were operatives of Ansar al-Sharia. That’s the al-Qaeda affiliate with cells in Eastern Libya’s jihadist hotbeds, Benghazi and Derna.Ansar is led by Sufian Ben Qumu, a former Gitmo detainee who, inexorably, went right back to the jihad.

News of Obama’s approval of the mass transfer of Gitmo detainees came less than two weeks after the Benghazi massacre. Let that sink in: The Obama administration knew that a former Gitmo detainee was complicit in the most humiliating defeat suffered by the United States since the 9/11 attacks that took the nation to war; yet, the president approved the transfer of dozens more Gitmo terrorists. Just as, only a few months ago, he approved the transfer of five top Taliban commanders even as the Taliban was (and is) continuing to conduct terrorist operations against American troops in Afghanistan.

Shocking, yes, but how surprising from Barack Obama? Mind you, this is the president who, though AWOL (and still unaccountable) while terrorists were killing and wounding American personnel in Benghazi, had the temerity not just to fly off to a Vegas fundraiser the very next day but to pick that setting, and that moment, to declare victory: “A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.”

Yes, bin Laden is dead. But the terrorist hordes chanted, “Obama, we’re all Osama!” as they torched our embassies and raised the black flag of jihad — the flag the Islamic State vows to fly over the White House. And just two days after Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” fundraiser, Ansar al-Sharia’s Tunis cell attacked the American embassy there. That al-Qaeda franchise is led by Seifallah ben Hassine, long-time jihadist confidant of bin Laden and his successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Some path to defeat.

Of course, the Benghazi massacre would never have happened had Obama not switched sides in Libya, dumping the Qaddafi regime — theretofore an American counterterrorism ally — and partnering with Eastern Libyan jihadists. The president’s strategy ensured that enemies of the United States would acquire much of Qaddafi’s arsenal, empowering jihadist cells throughout North Africa and the Middle East, growing al-Qaeda and what would become the Islamic State. And as we have seen in just the last few weeks, Obama’s “lead the jihad from behind” strategy has resulted in the near complete disintegration of Libya, with Ansar al-Sharia and its allies now controlling much of Tripoli.

Nor is that all. Hours before the Benghazi attack began on September 11, 2012, there had been rioting at the American embassy in Cairo. It was stoked by al-Qaeda leaders — including Zawahiri’s brother, Mohammed. The latter had called for attacks against the United States to avenge the recent killing of the network’s leader in Libya. The al-Qaeda leaders had also been threatening to besiege the embassy to extort the release of the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, imprisoned in the U.S. on terrorism charges. These jihadists had been enabled in their incitements against America by the Muslim Brotherhood–controlled government — a government the Obama administration had pressured Egypt’s military leaders to make way for.

When the Left says it intends to make the challenge of international terrorism “manageable,” that is usually code for saying it wants to return counterterrorism to the law-enforcement paradigm, in which terrorism is a crime addressed by indictments. Crime — petty theft, graft, racketeering, and the like — is a constant that society manages. National-security threats, on the other hand, cannot be indicted into submission. And they are not “managed” by imagining that if we ignore them they will go away.

President Obama probably does believe the Islamic State could become a manageable problem. Unfortunately, he also believes that when his ideology collides with reality, it is reality that must give. Reality does not see it that way.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book, Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment, was released by Encounter Books on June 3.

State Dept: US Embassy in Libya Held by Jihadists is “Secure”

 

Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield:

This seems to be some usage of the word “Secure” that I was not familiar with. Neither was Ambassador Stevens who was assured that the Benghazi facility was secure.

A senior State Department official said Sunday that the U.S. Embassy in Libya’s capital is believed to be secure after reports that an Islamist-allied militia group took over the compound.

“We’ve seen the reports and videos and are seeking additional details,” said the official. “At this point, we believe the Embassy compound itself remains secure but we continue to monitor the situation on the ground, which remains very fluid.”

Considering that the Libya Dawn, a coalition that includes Ansar al-Sharia, responsible for the Benghazi attack, and Feb 17, which was meant to be providing security, holds the residential compound, not to mention the Libyan government, what basis is there for believing it’s secure?

But then again admitting what is really going on would damage Obama’s image and so everyone immediately goes into cover up mode.

That’s what happened in Benghazi and with virtually every event in Libya. Considering that Obama implemented regime change and that the whole thing badly fell apart, the country is a black hole of media coverage.

Now Jihadists are swimming in the pool of the residential compound of the “secure” US Embassy.

A Survivor of 9/11 Speaks: An Interview with Deborah Weiss, Esq.

world trade  center 9-11-01 (3)By Jerry Gordon:

The jihad attack that took the lives of 2,996 Americans and foreigners on 9/11 was perpetrated by 19 middle class Egyptians, Saudis and Yemenis. This dastardly act by Al Qaeda (AQ) Islamic terrorists destroyed an iconic landmark of American International economic prowess, the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Another plane took out one side of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and another crashed into a rural area near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The last recorded voice heard from Flight 93 was “allahu akbar” – their god Allah was “the greatest.” This was the first act of Islamic terrorism perpetrated from afar on America.  9/11 was called the “Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century.”

9/11 was followed over the past 13 years by other AQ- inspired acts of jihad terrorism in the US, two of which killed American service personnel in Little Rock and Fort Hood. Dozens of AQ-inspired attempts were foiled in Detroit, Times Square and other locations across the country. As of early 2014, 6,802 American service personnel and an estimated 6,800 contractors died in both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts fighting AQ and Taliban jihadists.

The West and the world were unprepared when 9/11 occurred, although many warnings had been given.

The 9/11 warnings still have not been heeded. On August 19, 2014, the Islamic State (IS), formerly ISIS, released a “Message to America” – a video of the gruesome barbaric beheading of intrepid American photo journalist Jim Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire. He was captured in November 2012 by radical elements of the Free Syrian Army who contributed their captive to the extremist Salafist jihadi group, ISIS. ISIS is rumored to hold several other Americans captive, among them, journalist Steven Joel Sotloff was featured in the same video.

IS threatens the Levant from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, the West and even the US. The 13th commemoration of 9/11 finds us no safer, perhaps unprepared to deal with this supremacist jihadist threat.

Deborah Weiss 2On the occasion of this 13th Commemoration of 9/11, we interviewed a survivor of that attack in lower Manhattan; Deborah Weiss, Esq. Ms. Weiss heads Vigilancenow.org.  She formerly worked for the Committee on House Oversight in Congress; the Forbes for President Campaign in 1995-96; and served as an attorney in New York under the Giuliani administration. Her articles have also been published in FrontPage Magazine, American Thinker, American Security Council Foundation, the Weekly Standard, Washington Times, and National Review Online. She is a contributor to Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamist Terrorist Network (Sarah Stern, editor) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). She is the principal researcher and writer of Council on American-Islamic Relations: Its Use of Language and Intimidation.

Watch this You Tube video of Deborah Weiss presenting at the Westminster Institute in August 2013:

 

Jerry Gordon:  Deborah Weiss, thank you for consenting to this interview.

Deborah Weiss:  Thank you for inviting me.

Gordon:  You are a 9/11 Survivor. Where were you when the terrorist attack occurred?

Weiss:  I was running late for work or I would have been inside the WTC. Instead, because it was Election Day for the mayoral primary, I was still in my apartment at Gateway Plaza, the closest residence to the WTC. I was getting ready for work and all of a sudden, I heard a really loud noise, like nothing I’ve ever heard before. I couldn’t figure out what it was. It sounded like my upstairs neighbor’s furniture was falling down. I also heard people screaming outside, but I’m not a morning person and NYC can be noisy, so at first, I didn’t bother to look out the window. I turned on the radio and found out that a plane had hit the WTC, so I turned on the TV. A little while later, I heard another noise, even louder than the first one. I knew then that the first plane wasn’t an accident, but that these were terrorist attacks. The lights in my apartment flickered and then went out. The building started to shake and I fell to the floor. I knew I had to get out of there and it was pretty scary. I made the decision to take my cat. So I went inside the closet to get her box and when I came out, I couldn’t see anything outside my window except pitch black. I had a huge window facing away from the WTC. I remember it was a beautiful sunny Tuesday morning. Just a bit earlier I had looked out and saw the sun and the leaves of a tree pressing against my window. The window was very wide and covered the whole side of my living room. Yet, after I got up, I couldn’t see one ray of light. Part of what makes it so scary when you’re in the midst of it is you don’t know what’s happening. People in other parts of the world know more of what is going on than you do. I thought we were getting bombed. All you really know in that situation is someone is trying to kill everyone around you and something really, really bad is happening and that you might not get out alive.

I dug my nails into my cat, threw her into her box and ran down the stairs. In the lobby, a lot of people were entering our building from the WTC side. They were covered in white with red eyes. Smoke started coming in and it became increasingly difficult to breathe. Along with some others, I entered a back apartment on the ground level and sat down on the floor. I remember one woman there with tears in her eyes holding her newborn twins, one in each arm. We couldn’t exit the back door of the building because it was locked. Finally, they unlocked it and a lot of people fled. I had learned that all the dust I saw was from the collapse of the first tower. Because there was no plan and nowhere to run, a few of us decided to stay put. Then, all of a sudden, a police officer came to the apartment and started screaming hysterically for us all to leave NOW! I ran out the door and knew immediately that we were at war. Everything was covered in white: the trees, the streets and the benches. I ran along the water. Looking backwards, I saw the remaining tower burning and tilting in my direction. Suddenly, a Coast Guard rescue ferry appeared and approximately 15 of us jumped on. Moments later, when we were a yard or two out, the second building collapsed. We all said a prayer for those who had just died. We were taken to a triage center in NJ, where we sat all day listening to radio updates. All the phones were out because the transmitters were in the WTC. So it was awhile before you could reach anyone by phone. Once you could, all the hotels were quickly filled up.

Read more at New English Review

In Search of a Strategy

U.S. President Obama addresses reporters ahead of national security council meeting at the White House in WashingtonNational Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, Aug.30, 2014:

Is it better to have no strategy or a delusional strategy?

The question arises, of course, after President Obama’s startling confession on Thursday that he has not yet developed a strategy for confronting the Islamic State, the al-Qaeda-rooted terrorist organization still often called by its former name, ISIS – an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. Al-Sham refers to Greater Syria.

You may have noticed that President Obama calls the group ISIL, preferring the acronym that refers to the Levant to the one referring to al-Sham. After all, anything that invokes Syria might remind you of red lines that turned out not to be red lines and the administration’s facilitation of the arming of “moderate rebels” who turned out to include, well, ISIS. The fact is that the president has never had a Syria strategy, either — careening from Assad the Reformer, to Assad the Iranian puppet who must be toppled, to Assad who maybe we should consider aligning with against ISIS — ISIS being the “rebels” we used to support in Syria . . . unless they crossed into Iraq, in which case they were no longer rebels but terrorists . . . to be “rebels” again, they’d have to cross back into Syria or cruise east to Libya, where they used to be enemy jihadists spied on by our ally Qaddafi until they became “McCain’s heroes” overthrowing our enemy Qaddafi.

Got it?

No? Well, congratulations, you may have caught mental health, a condition to be envied even if it would disqualify you from serving as a foreign-policy and national-security expert in Washington. In either party.

The Islamic State’s recent beheading of American journalist James Foley is not the only thing that captured Washington’s attention of late. The Beltway was also left aghast at the jihadist’ rounding up of over 150 Syrian soldiers, forcing them to strip down to their underpants for a march through the desert, and then mass-killing them execution style.

Shocking, sure, but isn’t that what the GOP’s foreign-policy gurus were telling us they wanted up until about five minutes ago? Not the cruel method but the mass killing of Assad’s forces. Nothing oh nothing, we were told, could possibly be worse than the barbaric Assad regime. As naysayers — like your faithful correspondent— urged the government to refrain from backing “rebels” who teem with rabidly anti-American Islamic-supremacist savages, top Republicans scoffed. It was paramount that we arm the rebels in order to oust Assad, even though “we understand [that means] some people are going to get arms that should not be getting arms,” insisted Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Turns out that quite a lot of people who shouldn’t have gotten arms have gotten quite a lot of arms. And that is because Syria is not the only place as to which Republicans urged Obama to ignore federal laws against arming and otherwise supporting terrorists. They did it in Libya, too.

We have several times documented here that influential Republicans led by Senator John McCain were champions of Moammar Qaddafi before they suddenly switched sides — along with President Obama — in campaigning to oust the Libyan regime they had only recently treated (and funded) as a key American counterterrorism ally. The resulting (and utterly foreseeable) empowerment of Islamic supremacists in eastern Libya directly contributed to the Benghazi Massacre of four Americans on September 11, 2012; to the rise of the Islamic State and the expansion of al-Qaeda franchises in Africa, all of which were substantially strengthened by the jihadist capture of much of Qaddafi’s arsenal; and to what has become the collapse of Libya into a virulently anti-American no-man’s land of competing militias in which jihadists now have the upper hand.

The disastrous flip-flop was no surprise. When Mubarak fell in Egypt, Senator McCain stressed that the Brotherhood must be kept out of any replacement government because the Brothers are anti-democratic supporters of repressive sharia and terrorism. He was right on both scores . . . but he soon reversed himself, deciding that the Brotherhood was an outfit Americans could work with after all — even support with sophisticated American weaponry and billions in taxpayer dollars. The Brothers were in power because, in the interim, McCain’s good friend Secretary Clinton pressured Egypt’s transitional military government to step down so the elected “Islamic democracy” could flourish. When the Brothers took the reins, they promptly installed a sharia constitution, demanded that the U.S. release the Blind Sheikh (convicted of running a New York–based terror cell in the 1990s), rolled out the red carpet for Hamas (the terror organization that is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch), and gave free reign to terrorist leaders — including the brother of al-Qaeda’s leader and members of the Blind Sheikh’s Egyptian jihadist organization — who proceeded to foment the violent rioting at the U.S. embassy in Cairo the same day as the Benghazi Massacre.

I could go on, but you get the point. While ripping Obama for having no Islamic State strategy, Republicans are now reviving the inane strategy of supporting the illusory “moderate Syrian opposition.” Those would be the same forces they wanted to support against Assad. The only problem was that there aren’t enough real moderates in Syria to mount a meaningful challenge to the regime. The backbone of the opposition to Assad has always been the Muslim Brotherhood, and the most effective fighters against the regime have always been the jihadists. So we’re back to where we started from: Let’s pretend that there is a viable, moderate, democratic Syrian opposition and that we have sufficient intelligence — in a place where we have sparse intelligence — to vet them so we arm only the good guys; and then let’s arm them, knowing that they have seamlessly allied for years with the anti-American terrorists we are delegating them to fight on our behalf. Perfect.

There is no excuse for a president of the United States to have no strategy against an obvious threat to the United States. But at least with Obama, it is understandable. He is hemmed in by his own ideology and demagoguery. The main challenge in the Middle East is not the Islamic State; it is the fact that the Islamic State and its al-Qaeda forebears have been fueled by Iran, which supports both Sunni and Shiite terrorism as long as it is directed at the United States. There cannot be a coherent strategy against Islamic supremacism unless the state sponsors of terrorism are accounted for, but Obama insists on seeing Iran as a potential ally rather than an incorrigible enemy.

Moreover, the combined jihadist threat is not a regional one merely seeking to capture territory in the Middle East; it is a global one that regards the United States as its primary enemy and that can be defeated only by America and its real allies. This is not a problem we can delegate to the basket-case governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, or to the “moderate” Syrian “rebels.” Yet the Obama Left’s relentless indictment of American self-defensive action in the Middle East has sapped the domestic political support necessary for vigorous military action against our enemies — action that will eventually have to include aggressive American combat operations on the ground.

But the GOP should take note: The jihad is not a problem we can delegate to the Muslim Brotherhood, either. We will not defeat our enemies until we finally recognize who they are — all of them.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book, Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment, was released by Encounter Books on June 3.

 

 

 

Benghazi: When America Switched Sides In The War On Terror And Armed Al-Qaida

Clare Lopez2

Click here to go to the new 19 min. video

Daily Caller, by Ginni Thomas:

The Center for Security Policy’s Vice President for Research and Analysis, Clare Lopez, says in this exclusive video interview with The Daily Caller that very few have seemed to care that America switched sides in the global war on terror when President Obama deposed an erstwhile ally in the Middle East and provided weapons to al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Focusing on this under-reported, critical shift in American foreign policy, Clare Lopez discusses how an American ambassador and others were killed in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11 because the Obama administration decided to promote and defend their narrative that “al-Qaida was on the run,” even as we were outright arming militants affiliated with the terrorist group.

Lopez spent 20 years as an undercover operations officer for the CIA. Believing she can now best serve her country in the policy arena, she has found a natural fit at a non-partisan non-profit that promotes American national security and foreign policy based on the principle of “peace through strength.”

This week, we feature part 1 of 2 of our video interview with Lopez on the topic of the Benghazi attacks. Lopez, who’s also a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi, says, “Benghazi is symbolic of more than just a disastrous foreign policy or a disastrous attack on our mission that took the lives of four Americans serving there and injured many more. Benghazi is not just what happened on September 11, 2012 either. Americans really need to care about Benghazi and what happened there because that is the place, and 2011 and 2012 was the time, when America switched sides in the war on terrorism.”

To her, the American decision to overthrow the head of a sovereign government, Muammar al-Gaddafi, and to instead support al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood laid the important framework for a resurgence of global jihad.

Lopez says when we supported the local Islamic forces, America flipped in the global war on terror and we, the U.S. government, turned on our erstwhile ally and provided funding, backing, intelligence, our participation in a NATO effort and weapons for rebel forces.

“We facilitated the flow of weapons to the Gaddafi opposition, and we knew the opposition was dominated by al-Qaida. It was led by the Muslim Brotherhood and the fighting militia was dominated by al-Qaida. That’s who we helped,” she explained.

Later in the interview, Lopez discusses the important, unanswered questions on Benghazi before, during and after the 2012 attack. She discusses the weapons transfers happening in Benghazi that were at the heart of the controversial change in American policy, and the significance of the capture and prosecution of Ahmed Abu Khattala.

In addition, Lopez discusses the significance of the Muslim Brotherhood giving a “kill order” to al-Qaida, showing significant “command and control” as the global jihadist forces began a resurgence.

Lopez ends by bringing viewers back to the fall of 2012. When the reality of the Benghazi attack came to light due to Judicial Watch’s “smoking gun email,” we now know the Obama administration scurried to promote a narrative that did not challenge the President’s reelection mantra “Osama bin Laden is dead and al-Qaida is on the run.” Lopez says, “It would not have suited, at all, to be defending against a nonexistent al-Qaida!”

 

General Ham: Forgetful or Just Oblivious of Explicit Attack Warnings in Libya?

timthumb (8)Accuracy In Media, By Clare Lopez,  August 12, 2014:

General Carter Ham, AFRICOM commander in September 2012 when al-Qa’eda jihadis attacked the U.S. mission in Benghazi, spoke with Martha Raddatz [1] on the ABC News’ “This Week” program Sunday morning 10 August 2014. The topic was what to do about the Islamic State and its blitzkrieg advance across the Middle East, but there was a question at the end about Benghazi, too. And General Ham blew it. Badly.

Raddatz asked him about the U.S. preparation in Iraq and how different it was than in Benghazi nearly two years ago. Ham characterized the U.S. preparation in Iraq as “much more significant [2]” than was possible in Benghazi at the time. He went on to add, “Of course there was, at least as far as I am aware, no indications of imminent attack against the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi,” he said. “Current circumstance is very different in Iraq where there is an imminent threat.  It’s very present, and it’s known.”

Except that’s not exactly accurate, because the reporting out of Libya and specifically out of Benghazi was not only voluminous—it was quite explicit about the deteriorating security situation there in the months, weeks and days leading up to 11 September 2012.

Let’s recall that Gen. Ham was the commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) at the time. That means he received all the intelligence reporting from the State Department Embassy in Tripoli, the CIA Station in Tripoli, and the CIA Base of Operations in Benghazi (the “Annex”)—on top of all the Defense Department reporting from across the North Africa region. There was so much threat reporting out of Libya after the 2011 U.S.-NATO-engineered overthrow of Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi that maybe Gen. Ham just got confused. Or overwhelmed…although preventing that is supposedly one of the reasons why combatant commanders like Gen. Ham have such large staffs.

In any case, as we now know, Libya descended into chaos pretty much immediately after Qaddafi was killed in October 2011. The al-Qa’eda- and Muslim Brotherhood-linked militias that the CIA, Special Forces and State Department had armed during the uprising fell to squabbling among themselves, but also began launching attack after attack against Western interests in Benghazi. The British Ambassador’s convoy was hit with an RPG attack in June 2012 and the International Red Cross decided to pull out that same month. The U.S. Special Mission Compound (SMC) in Benghazi was attacked twice, in April and June, with an IED. Even the Tunisian consulate in Benghazi was stormed by Ansar al-Sharia gunmen on 18 June 2012. On 16 August 2012, according to a cable Ambassador Christopher Stevens sent back to the State Department, a CIA officer had briefed him just the day before on the known presence and locations of some ten al-Qa’eda terror training camps [3] in the immediate vicinity of Benghazi. As we now know, too, thanks to FOX News’ Adam Housley, Ansar al-Sharia [4] had actually moved in next door to the SMC within weeks of that villa compound being rented by the Americans. Gen. Ham either knew or should have known about all of this—it was his job to know.

Over and over again, Ambassador Stevens, his Regional Security Officer (RSO) Eric Nordstrom, and others warned that they were increasingly at risk and pleaded for additional security resources.  Instead, security methodically was stripped away from Benghazi [5]. The Blue Mountain security outfit (with links to both MI 6 and the CIA) hired to guard the SMC wasunarmed [5], according to Nordstrom—on State Department orders. RSO Nordstrom warned on 21 July that the risk to U.S. officials in Libya was “High.” Gen. Ham either knew or should have known all of this, too.

If none of this was “imminent” or “specific” enough, it got worse. Cairo Embassy next door in Egypt had been monitoring Gama’at al-Islamiyya and Muslim Brotherhood plans to stage a big protest on September 11 to demand the release from U.S. federal prison of the Blind Sheikh (who’s serving a life sentence for directing the 1993 World Trade Center attack). By 10 September, however, the State Department knew that the focus in Cairo had switched over to an amateur YouTube video about the life of Muhammad. The warning went out to the White House, Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, AFRICOM, and diplomatic posts across the Muslim world that anger was building over that video and that the 9/11 anniversary would be an explosive one. Everyone went to an elevated alert status no later than the morning of 11 September 2012. Gen. Ham, along with all the other combatant commanders (who, inexplicably, had been called to the Pentagon for a meeting that 9/11, instead of being at their posts), undoubtedly knew this, too. In fact, he was the one who had to give the elevated alert order to AFRICOM.

The final—and extremely specific—warning came from al-Qa’eda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who issued an explicit attack order [6] in a videotaped message posted to jihadi websites on 10 September 2012. That message called on Libyans to attack Americans in revenge for the CIA drone killing of his deputy, Abu Yahya al-Libi, some months before. There could hardly have been a more explicit warning that American interests in Libya were being targeted for attack by al-Qa’eda in conjunction with the 9/11 anniversary date. This, too, Gen. Ham either knew or should have known. It was his professional responsibility to know.

All of which leaves us with the unwelcome realization that Gen. Carter Ham has been either exceptionally forgetful, exceptionally oblivious, or less than fully truthful in his Congressional testimony and public statements about what he knew about Benghazi and when he knew it.

It falls to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and his Select Committee on Benghazi to subpoena the General and ask him under oath a number of very specific questions. Americans will be watching.

Clare Lopez
Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy and a Senior Fellow at The Clarion Project, the London Center for Policy Research, and the Canadian Meighen Institute. She is also a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi.

Obama Lifts Ban on Libyans Attending U.S. Flight Schools, Training In Nuke Science

Libyan militias parade through Tripoli / AP

Libyan militias parade through Tripoli / AP

By Adam Kredo:

The Obama administration has lifted longtime restrictions on Libyans attending flight schools in the United States and training here in nuclear science, according to a final amendment of the ban recently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Less than two years after the deadly terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is poised to sign off on an amendment reversing the ban, which was enacted following a wave or terrorist attacks in 1980s and prevents Libyans from studying these sensitive trades in the United States.

The original law effectively disqualified all Libyan nationals and those “acting on behalf of Libyan entities” from training in “aviation maintenance, flight operations, or nuclear-related fields,” according to the ban.

DHS said the prohibition is irrelevant now since the United States and Libya have worked to “normalize their relationship,” according to the directive approved by the OMB.

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations by rescinding the regulatory provisions promulgated in 1983 that terminated the nonimmigrant status and barred the granting of certain immigration benefits to Libyan nationals and foreign nationals acting on behalf of Libyan entities who are engaging in or seeking to obtain studies or training in,” the amendment states.

“The United States Government and the Government of Libya have normalized their relationship and most of the restrictions and sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations toward Libya have been lifted,” it says. “Therefore, DHS, after consultation with the Department of State and the Department of Defense, is considering rescinding the restrictions that deny nonimmigrant status and benefits to a specific group of Libyan nationals.”

Members of the House Judiciary Committee expressed outrage on Monday about the rollback in the law, maintaining that Libyans continue to pose a security risk to the United States, particularly if they are given access to train in the aviation and nuclear fields.

The terror threat continues and numerous news reports document recent terror-related activities coming from Libya,” the Judiciary Committee said in a statement. “Recently, the employees at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were evacuated due to violence between rival militias near the facility.”

“Since then, many foreign governments have closed their embassies in Libya and evacuated staff as the violence has spread throughout the country,” the statement said.

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

HOW OBAMA ARMED THE ISLAMIC CALIPHATE

Gadhafi_rebelsBy GREG COROMBOS:

Jihadists in Benghazi are declaring themselves part of an Islamic caliphate just days after tribal warfare forced American diplomatic personnel out of Libya over fears for their safety.

As WND reported Monday, in a repudiation of the premise advanced by President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the “Arab Spring” was a democracy movement, Libya has descended into lawless chaos in which various terrorist militia, including al-Qaida, vie for power.

With most of the world focused on foreign crises like the Israel-Hamas conflict and the Russian influence in Ukraine, the State Department quietly announced the withdrawal of U.S. Embassy staff on July 26.

Barely a week later, the fate of the war-torn country appears even more bleak.

“There has been a rapid deterioration over the past couple of weeks. (Friday) in Benghazi, the Ansar al-Sharia group, which of course was involved in the attacks on our special mission compound in Benghazi, has announced an Islamic Shariah state, a portion of a caliphate. They have taken over Benghazi and declared Islamic law,” said reporter Ken Timmerman, author of “Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi.”

Timmerman said the fighting between radical Islamic groups is steadily intensifying, and the conditions on the ground simply became untenable.

“The country is descending into chaos. I think this was a foreseeable thing. I’ve been talking to people who have been at the U.S. Embassy recently, who have been engaged in the security procedures. They told me this was a disaster waiting to happen,” said Timmerman, who did have a bit of praise for Secretary of State John Kerry while jabbing his predecessor.

“Secretary Kerry at least had the foresight to evacuate the embassy, unlike Hillary Clinton, who left our people out to dry on Sept. 11, 2012,” he said.

According to Timmerman, the rapid unraveling of stability in recent weeks is particularly noticeable and alarming.

“In Tripoli, you still have ongoing fighting. The international airport has been bombed and shelled repeatedly. Aircraft have been destroyed on the ground. Libyans are basically isolated from the rest of the world. The country is going to hell in a hand basket,” he said, noting that all of this was avoidable because there was no need to force Col. Muammar Gadhafi from power in 2011.

“The Obama administration engaged in the sabotage, an undermining of a regime in Libya that was no threat to the United States whatsoever. Gadhafi had given up his weapons of mass destruction. He had destroyed his ties to terrorist groups. He was helping the United States in the war on terror. Was he a nice guy? No, he wasn’t. Were people in political prisons? Yes, they were. Were thousands jailed? No. He was a thug. He was a dictator, but he was not a threat to the United States and, frankly, he wasn’t even a threat to the Libyan people,” Timmerman said.

“We overthrew him, and the result of that was predictable,” he said. “It was getting these Islamist groups, these jihadi groups, who we helped to arm by the way. We helped to arm them, in Benghazi and elsewhere. They took over the country, and since then they’ve been fighting for control.”

Much of “Dark Forces” details how the toppling of Gadhafi led to a massive number of American-made weapons winding up in the hands of the world’s worst actors. Timmerman said the risks posed to the U.S. and its allies may well end up being the most troubling legacy of U.S. involvement in Libya.

Read more at WND

Also see:

Don’t Put Terrorists on Trial

by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
July 14, 2014

The Obama administration has brought an accused Libyan terrorist named Ahmed Abu Khattala to Washington for trial. His saga reveals how the government views the Islamist threat, and it’s discouraging. Fortunately, a much better alternative exists.

 

Ahmed Abu Khattala.

Abu Khattala stands accused of taking part in the murder of an ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi in September 2012. After an achingly slow investigation, during which time the suspect lived in the open and defiantly gave media interviews, the American military seized him on June 15. After being transported by sea and air to Washington, D.C., Abu Khattala was jailed, provided with a defense attorney, Michelle Peterson, indicted, arraigned, and, after listening to an Arabic translation of the proceedings, pleaded not guilty to a single charge of conspiracy and requested a halal diet. He potentially faces life in prison.

 

An artist’s rendering of Abu Khattala, wearing a headphone, next to his attorney Michelle Peterson, being sworn in by Judge John Facciola at his hearing on June 28, 2014 in the federal U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

This scenario presents two problems. First, Abu Khattala enjoys the full panoply of protections offered by the U.S. legal system (he actually was read his Miranda rights, meaning his right to stay silent and to consult with a lawyer), making conviction uncertain. As the New York Times explains, proving the charges against him will be “particularly challenging” because of the circumstances of the attacks, which took place in the midst of a civil war and in a country brimming with hostility to the United States, where concerns about security meant that U.S. law investigators had to wait for weeks to go to the crime scenes to collect evidence, and the prosecution depends on testimony from Libyan witnesses brought over to the United States who may well falter under cross-examination.

Secondly, what good does a conviction bring? If all goes well, a minor operative will be taken out of commission, leaving the ideological sources, the funding apparatus, the command and control structure, and the terrorist network untouched. A years-long, cumbersome, expensive, and draining effort will prove a point, not damage the enemy. If Abu Khattala is convicted, administration officials can crow but Americans will be only marginally safer.

This futility recalls the 1990s, when terrorist attacks were routinely treated as criminal incidents and handled in courts of law, rather than as warfare to be dealt with using military force. In response, I complained in 1998 that the U.S. government saw terrorist violence “not as the ideological war it is, but as a sequence of discrete criminal incidents,” a mistaken approach that turns the U.S. military “into a sort of global police force and requires it to have an unrealistically high level of certainty before it can go into action,” requiring it to collect evidence of the sort that can stand up in a U.S. court of justice.

George W. Bush discarded the criminal paradigm when he dramatically declared a “war against terrorism” in the evening of 9/11. While that is a clumsy phrase (how can one make war on a tactic?), what became known as the Bush Doctrine had the great benefit of declaring war – as opposed to a police action – on those attacking Americans. But now, 13 years later and in part because of the success of this war, the Obama administration has reverted to the pre-9/11 approach of apprehending criminals.

 

George W. Bush addressing the nation and declaring a “war against terrorism” on 9/11.

Instead of this, the U.S. response to terrorist attacks on Americans citizens should be immediate and lethal. As I wrote 16 years ago, “anyone who harms Americans should know that retribution will be certain and nasty. … When reasonable evidence points to Middle Eastern terrorists having harmed Americans, U.S. military force should be deployed. If the perpetrator is not precisely known, then punish those who are known to harbor terrorists. Go after governments and organizations that support terrorism, not just individuals.”

Skip the fine-grain analysis of who carried out the attack. Security depends not on complex court procedures, but on a record of U.S. deterrence established by “years of terrible retribution against anyone who so much as harms a single American citizen.” Enemies must expect to face the full fury of the United States when they harm its citizens, thereby dissuading them from committing such attacks in future.

American taxpayers turn over $3 trillion a year to the federal government and in return expect to be protected from foreign threats. This holds doubly for citizens who venture abroad on behalf of their country, such as the four embassy personnel killed in Benghazi.

Crimes require rules of evidence, Miranda rights, lawyers, judges and juries. Warfare requires full-throated retaliation by the American military.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2014 by Daniel Pipes. 

Benghazi panel ramps up

Trey Gowdy, John KoskinenBy LAUREN FRENCH:

There are no Benghazi hearings on the House calendar, but the silence doesn’t mean the investigation is fading away.

Rep. Trey Gowdy is launching a special committee to wrangle a probe that’s sprawled across the jurisdictions of multiple headline-hungry committee chairmen.

And while the South Carolina Republican isn’t committing to specifics, such as whether there will be public hearings with high-profile witnesses like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, his methodical approach could help the GOP savor a scandal that has at times looked more like a political sideshow.

“No one [has] defended the five-minute questioning [process] as the most calculated way of eliciting the most amount of information,” Gowdy said in an interview. “There is most assuredly a place for hearings but not if your primary focus is to gather facts.”

While there isn’t much happening publicly, the House select committee investigating the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, is busy behind the scenes.

The panel is examining subpoenas from committees that previously investigated the Benghazi attacks to develop a list of unanswered questions from the Obama administration. There is also outreach to agencies that received requests for information.

Meanwhile, Gowdy is planning a series of closed-door meetings this month that could include a screening of a classified video from the Benghazi compound. He’s also checking with the 11 other lawmakers on the panel about working through the August recess.

Read more at Politico

 

How Not To Indict a Terrorist

pic_giant_070514_SM_How-Not-to-Indict-a-TerroristBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

What happens when the president who has politicized law-enforcement to a degree unprecedented in American history meets a terrorist responsible for killing Americans he has recklessly failed to protect, decimating his pretensions about “decimating” al-Qaeda?

What happens is: You get the most politicized terrorism indictment ever produced by the Justice Department. Behold United States v. Khatallah, Case No. 14 Crim. 141, quietly unsealed in a Washington courtroom last Saturday while the country dozed off into summer-vacation mode.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah, of course, is the only suspect apprehended in connection with the Benghazi massacre, a terrorist attack on a still-mysterious U.S. diplomatic installation. J. Christopher Stevens, the United States ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans — State Department official Sean Smith and two former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty — were killed. Until recently, such attacks have been known as acts of war carried out by the enemy. In the age of Obama, they are now known as “crimes” for which “defendants” like Khatallah are “brought to justice” — rather than brought to Gitmo. Meaning: They are whisked into our country when no one’s paying much attention. The red carpet is rolled out at a federal courthouse, where the “defendant” is given Miranda warnings, taxpayer-funded counsel, and all the rights of the American citizens they plot to kill, including lavish discovery-of-intelligence files relevant to their civilian trial.

Gold-plated due process for our enemies begins with the constitutional right to an indictment returned by a grand jury, providing the “defendant” with notice of the charges against him. In Khatallah’s case, the first thing you’ll notice is that the indictment is tiny: less than two pages long — 15 measly lines of text once you discount the caption, citations, and signature lines. This is a startling departure from Justice Department indictments in jihadist terror cases, a turn to brevity that cannot be explained solely by Obama’s banning of words like “jihadist” from the government lexicon.

Read more at National Review

Death in Benghazi, Part II: Will the House Select Committee Find the Truth?

New English Review, by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates (July 2014)

Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi National Press Club, Washington, DC, April 22, 2014

Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi
National Press Club, Washington, DC, April 22, 2014

Death in Benghazi, Part I: The Attack featured an interview with Kenneth R. Timmerman, author of Dark Forces: The Truth About Happened in Benghazi which presented a thesis that the attack on 9/11/2012 at the Benghazi diplomatic compound that killed four Americans; Ambassador Chris Stevens, communications aide Sean Smith, ex-Navy Seals CIA-contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty on 9/11/2012 was a state sponsored act of terrorism by Iran’s al Quds Force with the paid assistance of Al Qaeda militia, Ansar al-Sharia. Timmerman argues based on his investigations that the attack in Benghazi were preventable. He believes that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bears responsibility for ignoring those warnings, and preventing a military response. Ambassador Stevens and his security team had repeatedly warned Clinton of the precarious security situation in Tripoli and Benghazi and had requested additional resources. Clinton, for reasons of her own, opposed any military response to the attacks. U.S. Special Forces operators on the ground 9/11/2012 could have saved the Americans who perished. 

Death in Benghazi, Part II: Will the House Select Committee Find the Truth? presents the views of  Roger Aronoff, Chairmen of Accuracy in Media’s Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi reflected in its April 22, 2014 interim report. The report supports Timmerman’s central arguments. Larry Ward of Special Operations Speaks discusses his organization’s campaign to have a House Select Committee on Benghazi created with Rep. Trey Gowdy as chair. He assesses the prospects for truth to emerge from the Committee’s investigations and hearings that might occur following the 2014 mid-term elections in November 2014.

Mike Bates:  Good afternoon. Welcome back to Your Turn. The first half hour we spoke with Kenneth Timmerman, author of the book, Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi. We want to continue talking about Benghazi because it is such an important issue so we have joining us for this half hour, Jerry Gordon in the studio with us here in Pensacola and we have joining us by telephone Roger Aronoff who is the Chairman of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. Welcome Roger.

Roger Aronoff:  Thank you Mike. Great to be with you today. 

 

Bates:  What can you tell us about the Citizens Commission on Benghazi? What is it?

Aronoff:  Accuracy In Media about a year ago decided that we were no longer going to just sit by while Congress held these series of hearings and the media was continuing to treat this as if it was a phony scandal. Just as the Obama Administration called it. So we decided to see if we could put together a group of former top military and intelligence officials to conduct our own investigation whether Congress continued or not. We were going to try to hold peoples’ feet to the fire to push this thing. We reached out originally to a few people. Retired Admiral James Lyons, Retired General Tom McInerny, Retired General Paul Vallely and a number of other people joined us, including Former Representative Allen West and Pete Hoekstra, Former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Bates:  We also have joining us on the telephone Larry Ward who is with Special Operations Speaks (SOS). Larry, welcome to Your Turn.

Larry Ward:  Hi, thank you for having me.

 

Bates:  What can you tell us about SOS?

 

Ward:  Many of our SOS members are part of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi and so we really appreciate everything that Roger and his group have done to put that together. SOS is an organization primarily of veterans that have served in the Special Operations. Whether it is Special Forces or Navy Seals or Commandos. They are high ranking officials who as veterans have a history of not only serving the country but being bonafide heroes. This group of veterans got together in mid 2012 after the Bin Laden raid; following the Obama Administration leak of secrets about Navy Seals and their role in that raid. SOS stood up and said enough is enough. This community is relatively quiet politically. It took a lot for them to come together. However, once they did they have become a force. The organization has lit the fire. Kept the fire roaring even after Obama won reelection. Every pundit, every reporter, every member on the Hill kept telling us Benghazi is dead. We said no, we are going to go and demand a special prosecutor or select committee. We kept pushing it until we made strong headway in April when the oversight hearings occurred. Then the funniest thing happened. Lois Lerner told on herself as we were getting close to Benghazi. That took Benghazi off the front pages for awhile. However, we fought and brought it back. We held a press conference on Capitol Hill and got a thousand Special Operations Veterans to sign a petition to demand a select committee. We unrolled a sixty foot by four foot scroll on the Capitol lawn, the longest petition ever delivered to the Congress with a thousand signatures with name and rank on it. We also delivered close to a million citizens’ petitions to Members of Congress demanding a select committee. We didn’t stop there. When the government closed down with the Sequester, they put barricades in front of the war memorials. We were the organization that held the Million Veteran March at the World War II Memorial and returned those barricades to the Presidential residence at the White House.

Gordon:  Larry, the SOS was cited in Ken’s’ book Dark Forces as providing some valued assistance. I wonder if you could tell us about that.

 

Ward:  It was Colonel Dick Brauer who is one of the founders of SOS and he was cited as was Captain Larry Bailey and Ken Benway.

Gordon:  Roger, the Citizens’ Commission put out an interim report in April, is that correct?

Aronoff:  Yes, that’s correct.

Gordon:  What were the conclusions of the interim report?

Aronoff:  Let me just mention that the three members of SOS that Larry just spoke of are all part of the Citizens Commission. Another person, Admiral Chuck Kubic, contacted us after we held our original conference last September and he came to us with the story on the Libyan civil war. When we held the April 22nd press conference he said that the whole war in Libya could have been averted. By way of background he was an Admiral during the Iraq and the Afghanistan wars and he stayed over in North Africa. He was working in Libya doing engineering projects. Qaddafi‘s government approached Kubic who then went over to AFRICOM just in the days when NATO was about to start its bombing campaign. The reports were that a humanitarian crisis was about to happen because Qaddafi was poised to invade Benghazi and Misrata. Kubic came to them and said Qaddafi was prepared under certain circumstances to abdicate under a white flag of truce. Kubic went to AFRICOM, and they went to Washington with this request; let’s negotiate. Give peace a chance. The Nobel Peace Prize winning President said no and the bombing continued. Thousands of people died as a result what happened. Qaddafi knew that we knowingly facilitated the delivery of arms to Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda related groups in Libya and this became the title of our interim report: “How America switched sides on the war on terror.” The arms went generally from East Europe into Qatar, financed by the UAE and shipped into Libya. This was at a time when NATO controlled the airspace, the ports and the entries into Libya. Chris Stevens, the Ambassador, was even there at the docks as these arms came in and the groups were not even attempting to hide it. They were under the black flags of Al Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia and the weapons went to them. This led to the overthrow of Qadaffi and eventually the same people were involved in the attack on the Special Mission Compound in Benghazi.

Bates:  You just said something which, if I understood you correctly, is shocking. Did you in fact say the United States has switched sides in the war on terror?

Aronoff:  That’ is what I said. One of the people in our commission is Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. We have several retired CIA officers and she is one of them. Lopez is very knowledgeable on the history of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and Hezbollah. With her assistance we have documented this. We have a confidential informant who came to us and provided much evidence that we have in emails and other records to show how these arms flowed and the exact route through Qatar back into Libya. It is equivalent to the situation we are faced with today in Iraq. Are we actually going to go in when we know the Quds Forces are already in Iraq trying to prop up the Maliki government and start bombing on their behalf when they are aligned with the Iranians? We saw this happening from the very beginning of the Administration when Obama went to Cairo, made his speech and invited the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to come and attend there while not allowing Mubarak to come. I agree it is a shocking charge. However, we lay it out and defend it. I encourage people to go to aim.org/benghazi and you can see the entire report and the documentation. You can watch our conferences and see Clare Lopez, Admiral Lyons and Admiral Kubic tell their stories. All of this is there on the record and available on-line. Another one of our key findings that aroused  these retired military people to get involved, that Ken Timmerman referred to in Dark Forces, was we did not use our military assets to attempt to rescue these people. As Admiral Lyons has pointed out we had a hundred thirty man Marine forces at Signorelli on Sicily an hour and a half to two hours away at the most. Obama claimed that we did everything we could to rescue those people, however his orders were either ignored or he never gave them.

Bates:  I side with the, he never gave them part. I concur that the United States under Barack Obama has switched sides on the war of terror. I was just shocked to hear other people say it because most people won’t. Larry Ward, I’ve got a question for you representing SOS. Barack Obama asked permission to go into Libya from the Arab League, the United Nations and NATO. He never asked Congress. Do you have a problem with that?

Ward:  Well of course! There is something called the Constitution which the President believes is just an obstacle for him to either ignore or shred on a daily basis. Quite frankly his foreign policy has been haphazard at best. 

Bates:  Jerry, It is my understanding that MANPADS man portable air defense systems is what the acronym stands are basically shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles. My understanding is that a significant number of them went missing from Libya. What do we know about that?

Gordon:  You heard Roger and Ken refer to Qatar. During the rebellion Qatar flew in a number of weapons of that type to locations outside of Libya, either Chad or in Niger and they were filtered into Libya. You also had MANPADS in Qadaffi’s arsenal, a combination of Russian and others. They were filtered out of Libya into Niger by the former head of the Libyan military command, Abdulhakim Belhadj who is basically Al Qaeda. In Niger they were fitted with CIA–improved battery packs and according to Ken’s discussion these weapons traveled across the desert in something he called the “ant trade.” Some of them were intercepted at the Egyptian border. However, a number of them also found their way into the Sinai where the Salafist and Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists are using them. 

Bates:  Is there any reason to believe that they are going to end up on U.S. soil?

Gordon:  Not that we know of. According to Ken’s account, some of the MANPADS found their way to the Taliban in Afghanistan courtesy of the Qataris in 2012 when a U.S. Army CH47 helicopter was apparently hit. They found forensic evidence that some of this material was related to the MANPADS with the CIA battery packs. Some former CIA officers who knew about this were alarmed. One of them that Ken cites in his book is John Maguire. He was former Deputy Chief of Station in Baghdad. He had been involved with monitoring Al Quds activities in Iraq, especially the deadly IED campaign. He went to then CIA Director, General Petreaus, and told him, there are MANPADS going into places we don’t particularly like. Can I come and sit down with you and talk about this? Before Maguire could even do that John Brennan, who was White House counterterrorism czar called Petreaus and said you will not discuss this, period. The discussion between former CIA officer Maguire who discovered this MANPAD trade and Petreaus never occurred. The question arises what was going on inside the White House?

Bates:  This is why it is so critical that the House of Representatives hold hearings which they are doing.  Larry Ward of SOS where do you see these Congressional hearings going and do you really expect them to uncover the truth?

Ward:  If you have seen the news recently they are not planning on convening the Benghazi Select Committee until the fall. When I last checked no definitive date has been fixed in October or November.  Most likely it would occur after the mid-term elections. I do trust Rep. Trey Gowdy to prosecute very competently and successfully. However, Trey Gowdy will only be allowed to prosecute to the fullest extent any witness that John Boehner allows to testify.

Bates:  Oh gee, that instills a lot of confidence in me that we are actually going to get to the truth.

Ward:  I think we are going to get to the truth of things that don’t circle back to John Boehner and/or Mike Rogers. That is my personal opinion. I think both of those Members of Congress are part of the Super 8, the folks in Congress that have the highest level of clearance and are briefed at the highest level in the House. They likely knew or at the least had a heads up or maybe even gave the thumbs up to whatever covert Black Ops mission was going on in Libya. We suspect that they are going to do whatever they can to conceal that.

Gordon:  Roger, doesn’t this have a ring of familiarity with the secret war that the CIA, the Saudis and the Pakistani ISI were running during the 1980’s in Afghanistan?

Aronoff:  Yes, that’s right. The situation we find ourselves in is there are strict laws against doing anything to arm any Al Qaeda groups and Ansar al-Sharia certainly was one. Yet it happened under a presidential directive signed back in March of 2011 just as we were about to go to war in Libya. Moreover, there was another finding signed in September 2013 by President Obama that allowed arms to be shipped to the so-called moderate rebels in Syria.

Bates:  Robert Aronoff and Larry Ward thank you for giving us an insight into what the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi and Special Operations Speaks is doing to support the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Watch the April 22, 2014 Accuracy in Media Citizens’ Commission National Press Club Briefing on the Interim Report:

Watch the April 22, 2014 Accuracy in Media Citizens’ Commission National Press Club Briefing on the Interim Report, Press Roundtable, Question & Answer:

 

See also:

UPDATE: Listen to 1330amWEBY Middle East Roundtable Discussion on Dark Forces Behind Benghazi