The Motives Behind The November Rogers/Ruppersberger “House Intelligence Panel” Report On Benghazi…

benghazi4-e1351495805540 (1)By Sundance:

Those of you familiar with the Benghazi Brief will note the alignment and expectation of the Rogers/Ruppersberger report.  Their report is exactly as we anticipated it would be.

With a House Select Committee (Trey Gowdy) already in place, you might rightly ask yourself why did Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger even produce a report?  As you read their House Intelligence Panel Report on Benghazi it is important to note a few key aspects:

• Both Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger are members of the Congressional Gang of Eight.  They are the ONLY authors.

This is not a House Intelligence “Committee” report on Benghazi.  This is only two committee members writing a report based on prior information.

• Both Rogers and Ruppersberger would have been briefed on the CIA operations in Benghazi during 2011/2012 as the covert operation began.

• President Obama signed a finding memo in 2011 permitting Operation Zero Footprint to begin. The congressional “gang of eight” held oversight responsibilities.

• Rogers, Ruppersberger along with Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Saxby Chambliss and Diane Feinstein would have been notified of the presidential authorization. In 2011 they were the congressional Gang of Eight.  Their lack of oversight reflected a willful blindness to the operation.

• In addition to the covert Zero Footprint Operation, the Benghazi CIA annex served as a rendition site. [We find this out in 2013 from Paula Broadwell, who was the pillow-talk recipient of information from 2012 CIA Director General David Petraeus. Broadwell and Petraeus had an extramarital affair.]

The Rogers/Ruppersberger Report is specifically designed, by wording, to provide political cover to both parties – Republicans and Democrats within the Gang of Eight particularly  included, and protected.

It is professional obfuscation in structure, content and wording.

Read more at The Last Refuge

HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE RELEASES BENGHAZI FINDINGS, SOME AT ODDS WITH PRIOR NEWS REPORTS

benghazi-radical-reutersBreitbart, By John Sexton, Nov. 21, 2014:

After a two-year investigation, the bipartisan House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on Benghazi. The report contains a total of 17 findings, most of which focus on the behavior of the intelligence community. Some of the report’s findings are at odds with reporting by major news organizations, including Fox, CNN,and the NY Times.

The following list provides excerpts from all 17 findings. Refer to the full report for the complete text.

  1. There is no evidence of an intelligence failure. Prior to the Benghazi attacks, the CIA provided sufficient strategic warning of the deteriorating threat environment to U.S. decision-makers, including those at the State Department.
  2. CIA provided sufficient security personnel, resources, and equipment to defend against the known terrorist threat and to enable CIA operations in Benghazi.
  3. State Department security personnel, resources, and equipment were unable to counter the terrorist threat that day, and they required CIA assistance.
  4. The CIA was not collecting and shipping arms from Libya to Syria.
  5. A mixed group including members of al-Qa’ida in the lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), the Muhammad Jamal Network (MJN), Ansar Al-Sharia (AAS), and Abu Abaydah Ibn Jarah Battalion (UJB) participated in the attacks, along with Qadafi loyalists.
  6. Appropriate personnel on the ground in Benghazi made the decision to send CIA officers to rescue the State Department officers at the TMF.
  7. Although some security officers voiced a greater urgency to depart for the TMF, no officer at CIA was ever told to stand down.
  8. The decision to send CIA officers from Tripoli to Benghazi to rescue the Ambassador and bolster security of the U.S. personnel in Benghazi was a tactical decision appropriately made by the senior officers on the ground.
  9. The Tripoli team’s decision not to move to the hospital to retrieve Ambassador Stevens was based on the best intelligence at the time.
  10. The CIA received all military support that was available. Neither the CIA nor DOD denied requests for air support. One CIA security officer requested a Spectre gunship that he believed was available, but his commanding officer did not relay the request because he correctly knew the gunship was not available.
  11. Ambassador Rice’s September 16 public statements about the existence of a protest, as well as some of the underlying intelligence reports, turned out to be inaccurate.
  12. Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell made significant changes to the talking points.
  13. CIA’s Office of Public Affairs also made substantive changes to the talking points by removing the reference to “ties to al-Qa’ida” in the second bullet of the original draft.
  14. Overall, the CIA could have placed more weight on eyewitness sources on the ground and should have challenged its initial assessments about the existence of a protest earlier.
  15. CIA did not intimidate or prevent any officer from speaking to Congress or otherwise telling his story.
  16. There is no evidence that the CIA conducted any unusual polygraph exams related to Benghazi.
  17. While at times the agencies were slow to respond, ultimately the CIA, NCTC, FBI and other Executive Branch agencies fully cooperated with the Committee’s investigation.

Like the previous Senate report, the House Intel report does place blame with the State Dept. for not heeding the frequent, albeit non-specific, warnings issued by the CIA about the deteriorating security situation in Libya.

The House report does knock down several claims surrounding the response to the attack, including that the military could have done more to respond (finding #10). But many of the report’s findings are at odds with reports by large, credible news sources, includingFox News, CNN and the NY Times.

The report disputes that there was a delay in responding to the attack beyond what was required for CIA personnel to put on their gear (finding #7). That finding seems to be at odds with the statements of three men directly involved in the response, who told Fox News‘ Bret Baier that they were ready to go in five minutes and were explicitly told, “Stand down, you need to wait” by a supervisor they refer to as “Bob.”

The finding that no undue pressure, polygraphs, or NDA’s were used to silence CIA officers contradicts reporting by CNN. According to a CNN report dated August 1, “Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations.”

With regard to finding #4, multiple reports from the NY Times alleged that the CIA was involved in organizing an arms pipeline to move weapons from Libya to Turkey and Syria. No one claimed the CIA was directly funding this pipeline, only that it was tacitly involved.

As for the talking points, the House report finds they were indeed wrong but faults the CIA for the error, saying they did not place enough value on eyewitness testimony (finding #14) or challenge their early findings soon enough. The report does not mention that a separate set of talking points prepared for Susan Rice by the White House told her to emphasize that the attack was not the result of the President’s foreign policy but of the internet video.

There remains some partisan disagreement confined to the appendices of the report. The majority staff faults the State Department for the security failure and faults the Obama administration for downplaying the apparent al Qaeda connections and emphasizing the spontaneous, video-caused attack to back up their campaign year claim al Qaeda was decimated. The minority disputes these assertions, even once again making the claim that the President called the attack an act of terror the following day.

Leading Republican wants Senate to join House probe of Benghazi attack

Sept. 11, 2012: A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames. (Reuters)

Sept. 11, 2012: A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames. (Reuters)

By Catherine Herridge, Pamela Browne:

A leading Republican wants to expand the House investigation into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack by adding a Senate probe, as a new House Intelligence Committee report Friday concluded that the initial CIA assessment found no demonstrations prior to the assault and a primary purpose of the CIA operation in eastern Libya was to track the movement of weapons to Syria.

The report described the attack as “complex” with the attackers affiliated with Al Qaeda. It also said the initial CIA assessment concluded there were no demonstrations outside the State Department Consulate in Eastern Libya.

Referring to the House Select committee Chairman, and the Democratic ranking member, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, said the current House investigation should be expanded.

“(Republican) Trey Gowdy and (Democrat) Elijah Cummings have done a good job,” he said. “I can’t imagine the U.S. Senate not wanting to be a part of a joint select committee. We’ll bootstrap to what you’ve done, but we want to be part of discussion,” Graham told Fox News. “What I would suggest to (incoming Senate majority leader) Mitch McConnell is to call up Speaker Boehner and say ‘Listen, we want to be part of this’.”

Graham, along with his two Republican colleagues, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, have been outspoken advocates of a special investigation, because they say then-acting director of the CIA Mike Morell misled them about his role in crafting the so-called media talking points that blamed an opportunistic protest gone awry for the assault.

“Number one, Mike Morrell misled three senators,” Graham said of their November 2012 meeting on Capitol Hill, where Morell accompanied then UN Ambassador Susan Rice to explain her flawed explanation on national television five days after the attack.

“I think it’s important that for future CIA personnel to understand, that if you come to Congress and you’re asked a question and you give a deceptive answer, you tell half the story, not the entire story, you play word games, it will follow you and will be unacceptable,” Graham said.

On Friday, with little fanfare, the House Intelligence Committee released the findings of its two year, bi-partisan investigation into the terrorist attack. The 37 page report found that the first, internal CIA assessment was accurate — that no protests were involved — but then-CIA Director David Petraeus, Morell and the administration latched onto information that supported the flawed demonstration scenario.

Fox News was first to report on September 17, 2012, one day after Rice’s controversial Sunday talk show appearances, that there were no protests when the attack unfolded.

“One day after the assault, on 9/12/12, the first CIA assessment about the attacks, a September 12th Executive update, said ‘the presence of armed assailants from the incident’s outset suggests this was an intentional assault and not the escalation of a peaceful protest,” investigators found.  And while intelligence gaps remain, “No witness has reported believing at any point that the attacks were anything but terrorist acts,” the report added.

On Saturday September 14, 2012, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes wrote in an email titled “PREP CALL with Susan,” that one of the goals for the administration’s public statements should be “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”  The House report says these conclusions were “incorrect.”

Judicial Watch, not Congress, obtained the Rhodes email as the result of a federal lawsuit.

The Obama White House did not move away from the protest explanation for the attack that killed four Americans – Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and former Navy Seals and CIA contractors Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty – until September 20, when then White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters ‘It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,” and the State Department did the same much later.

The report found the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs made three “substantive” changes to the talking points that included the removal of references to Al Qaeda and swapping the word “attacks” with “demonstrations.”  It is not clear from the publicly available, and heavily redacted emails exactly who made the changes and who directed them, since the CIA public affairs office would be unlikely to make these changes unilaterally.

When Morell retired from the CIA last year, he told The Wall Street Journal he hoped to advise a presidential campaign, with anonymous sources telling the paper Morell was close to HillaryClinton. Morell now works as a counselor at Beacon Global Strategies, a Washington D.C. firm closely aligned with the former secretary of State. He is also a national security analyst for CBS News. The President of CBS News is David Rhodes, the brother of Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.

An appendix filed by Democrats did not find evidence of “political motivations,” and Morell is praised for testifying “freely and openly” about the process.  Four Republicans, including chairman Mike Rogers, concluded “Mr. Morell operated beyond his role as CIA Deputy Director and inserted himself into a policy making and public affairs role….It is simply unfathomable that the White House’s policy preferences, or the concerns of the State Department senior officials, did not factor into his calculation about what was fair.  For these reasons, we believe that Mr. Morell’s testimony was at time inconsistent and incomplete.”

The House report leaves no doubt that the attack drew heavily on “those affiliated with al-Qai’da,”  including AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb), AAS (Ansar al-sharia), AQAP (Al Qaeda in Yemen), AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq) as well as the Egypt based Jamal Network.  As Fox News was first to report, and the committee investigation affirms, at least two long time Al Qaeda operatives, Faraj al-Chalabi, and former Guantanamo detainee Sufian bin Qumu, were significant players in the assault.

Read more at Fox News

Also see:

New Benghazi Indictment Still Doesn’t Mention Al-Qaeda

20140916__benghazi_caskets_murdered_lby ANDREW C. MCCARTHY:

On September 10, 2012, al-Qaeda’s emir, Ayman al-Zawahiri, issued a lengthy statement to his fellow jihadists in Libya. He called on them to avenge the American military’s killing of Abu Yahya al-Libi, the highest ranking al-Qaeda operative in that country. His “blood is calling, urging and inciting you to fight and kill the Crusaders,” Zawahiri cried.

The diatribe was no surprise, the following day being the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities committed against the United States by the terror network with which we were – and are – still at war. Plus, jihadists in Benghazi, the terror network’s hub in eastern Libya, had repeatedly attacked American and other Western targets during the preceding five months.

The following night, September 11, 2012, jihadists from al-Qaeda’s main Libyan franchise, Ansar al-Sharia, laid siege to a U.S. State Department mission in Benghazi, the very target jihadists had detonated an IED against only three months earlier, on June 6. They torched the facility, murdered the American ambassador to Libya, killed three additional American officials, and wounded several others in an attack that lasted several hours – a terrorist attack by our wartime enemies during which President Obama and the U.S. armed forces took no meaningful action to respond or rescue our personnel.

Now, do you suppose what happened before the Benghazi massacre – the continuing war with al-Qaeda, the serial jihadist attacks, the call by the terror network’s leader right before the 9/11 anniversary to avenge a “martyr” by striking against the United States – just might shed some light on the terrorist attack involving al-Qaeda’s Libyan franchise against the State Department compound that night?

If you do, you clearly do not work for the Obama administration and its brazenly politicized Justice Department.

For them, as a superseding indictment filed on Monday reaffirms, “al-Qaeda” is a term not to be uttered – except at fundraisers, and only for the purpose of absurdly claiming victory over the terrorist group. And Benghazi is just a spontaneous protest that, somehow, came to involve terrorists – impossible to have foreseen and over in the blink of an eye, before any commander-in-chief could have done much about it.

Yes, Attorney General Eric Holder’s minions have finally filed their long-awaited superseding indictment against Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a ringleader in the Benghazi attack. It is a gussied up replay of the original indictment returned last summer, the one that was roundly mocked by critics, not least by your humble correspondent. That indictment was more a political than a legal document, hewing to the administration’s fictional account of Benghazi as a sudden uprising, not a coordinated attack within the framework of an ongoing terrorist conspiracy.

The Justice Department hopes you’ll miss the chicanery this time because, ostensibly, they’ve beefed up the charges. Instead of the original indictment’s bare-bones brevity – it was just two pages long (actually, just 15 lines) and alleged just one count against the single defendant – the superseding indictment comes in at about 21 pages and now levels 18 charges against Khatallah. But the additional heft merely comes from a mining of new statutory offenses out of the same version of events. The story has not changed.

That is, the new indictment does not allege an al-Qaeda terrorist conspiracy against the United States. It instead posits a scheme lasting just one day – indeed, perhaps just a few hours – in which Khatallah is accused of agreeing to lend material support, namely, himself, to unidentified terrorists who spontaneously attacked the State Department compound without much planning or warning. It is indictment as agitprop: a charging instrument designed to sit comfortably with the Obama administration’s political claims.

The superseding indictment makes no mention of al-Qaeda, much less of Zawahiri’s baying for American blood. After all, the president had said some three-dozen times during the 2012 campaign that he had already defeated al-Qaeda. In fact, Obama had the temerity to repeat that risible claim at his Vegas fundraiser the day after the massacre (“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”).

Read more: Family Security Matters

Why Won’t Republicans Get to the Bottom of Benghazi?

pic_giant_101114_SM_Trey-GowdyBy Andrew C. McCarthy:

Something bothers me about the first and only hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Something I haven’t been able to shake.

It was a desultory hearing. That’s not the main thing that bothers me, but it grates. Many Americans still seek real accountability for the jihadist-empowering policies and recklessly irresponsible security arrangements that preceded the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack — to say nothing of the fraud and stonewalling that followed it. We were thus cheered when the GOP-controlled House finally appointed a select investigative committee . . . although we were equally puzzled why it took so much prodding, why Republican leadership seemed so reluctant. Five months have elapsed since then, and the committee has not exactly been a bundle of energy.

The panel is chaired by Representative Trey Gowdy. We were buoyed by that, too: He is an impressive former prosecutor from South Carolina. To date, though, he has convened just the one, remarkably brief public hearing. It was on September 17, a few days after the second anniversary of the Benghazi massacre, during which terrorists killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans: Sean Smith, Ty Woods, and Glen Doherty.

The hearing seemed to be a futile quest for buy-in from committee Democrats, whose mission is to undermine the legitimacy of an investigation their party opposed — one that, if thorough and competent, cannot but damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions. Representative Gowdy agreed to the minority’s request for a session that would explore the recommendations of the Obama State Department’s Accountability Review Board (ARB) and the administration’s diligent implementation thereof.

The ARB probe, conducted by Washington fixtures handpicked by then–Secretary of State Clinton for damage-control purposes, was hopelessly conflicted. It failed to interview key witnesses — including, natch, Mrs. Clinton herself. Its recommendations are thus of dubious value. More to the point, they are far afield from the salient matter: accountability for the disastrous decisions, actions, and omissions before, during, and after the attack.

It was obvious why Democrats wanted a hearing focused on the ARB recommendations. It could nicely frame their contention that Benghazi has already been thoroughly investigated by bipartisan Beltway eminences who found fault (though not much, and not by anyone of significance) and proposed fixes, which fixes the Obama administration anxiously and responsibly adopted. End of story, which after all, dude, was like two years ago.

In spinning this yarn, Democrats could not have chosen a more perfect witness: Gregory Starr, assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security. Mr. Starr is a highly experienced diplomat, articulate with just the right edge of condescension, and, best of all, out of the loop on anything of consequence. He wasn’t at State when Benghazi happened. He was brought back to the Department by Mrs. Clinton’s successor, John Kerry, after a stint at the UN. He was therefore perfectly positioned to give forceful soliloquies about how crucial personnel security is to the State Department and the Obama administration, yet able to dodge any questions about the unconscionable security lapses in Benghazi under Secretary Clinton.

To their credit, committee Republicans did a fine job debunking the Democrats’ narrative. Chairman Gowdy in particular was characteristically effective in showing that the ARB recommendations were essentially the same ones proposed, and quickly forgotten, after every terrorist attack on a government facility over the past three decades. He also pointed out that security for high-threat facilities was supposed to be personally approved by the secretary of state, not a subordinate — a problem given that, under Secretary Clinton, security in Benghazi was decreased despite attacks, threats, and expert assessments that clearly signaled an intensifying threat.

Still, there was no reason for committee Republicans to put themselves in a defensive posture. Chairman Gowdy decides what the hearing topics will be. In the days before the hearing, three security contractors assigned to protect the CIA annex in Benghazi went public with allegations that they’d been obstructed by superiors when they tried to come to the aid of the Americans under attack. The delay may have cost lives. Was that not more to the point of the select committee’s mission — more appropriate fodder for its much-anticipated first hearing — than the ARB recommendations?

Of course, we conservatives are used to GOP accommodations designed to both entice Democrats into good-faith cooperation and impress the media with how bipartisan or, in Gowdy’s framing of it, how non-partisan Republicans can be. The civility and sobriety are always unrequited, yet they keep trying.

But that is not my main problem. What really bothers me is what happened toward the end of the hearing.

It was the day’s most dramatic exchange: Representative Gowdy was questioning Secretary Starr. The chairman had expertly set the stage by adducing Starr’s agreement that diplomatic security in dangerous places is a cost-benefit analysis. That is, the degree of risk tolerated depends on the government’s calculation of the benefit derived from whatever mission requires an American presence. With his witness thus cornered, Gowdy pounced: There being no more perilous place on the planet for Americans than the jihadist hornet’s nest of Benghazi, he asked Starr,

We know the risk of being in Benghazi. Can you tell us what our policy was in Libya that overcame those risks? In other words, why were we there?

Starr tried to dance away, going into a speech about how such questions “have been fundamental to the Department for over thirty years,” and that there have thus been evacuations, removal of family members, reductions of personnel, etc. Gowdy, however, would have none of it — after all, none of the measures Starr listed was taken in Benghazi. So again, the chairman demanded,

We know the risk in Benghazi. My colleagues and you and others have done a wonderful job of highlighting some of the “trip wires” — I think [that] is the diplomatic term. What policy were we pursuing in Libya that was so great that it overcame all of the trip wires?

After some hesitation, Secretary Starr meekly replied: “Not being here at the time, sir, I cannot answer that question for you.”

Really?

Read more at National Review

Also see:

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