End the Benghazigate Cover-up: Tell your Congressman to appoint a House Select Committee

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Rep. Frank Wolf called a press conference outside the capitol to discuss his sponsorship of H. Res. 36, which would create a special congressional committee to investigate the failures that contributed to the deadly jihadist attack in Benghazi, Libya last year. He was joined by Family Research Council’s Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and former member of Delta Force. Boykin represented Special Operations Speaks, a group of ex-special forces operators who came together to write a letter to Members of Congress, urging them to commit to getting to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi, and to end the administration’s cover-up. Finally, the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney spoke about the implications of the attack in Libya on America’s national security and foreign policy in the Middle East/North Africa region.

Tell your Congressmen to support H.Res 36, which would create a House Select Committee to investigate the September 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

The Center For Security Policy has a convenient email form for you to use —-> End the Benghazigate Cover-up

CONTACT SPEAKER BOEHNER

SIGN THE SPECIAL OPERATIONS SPEAKS PETITION

Retired Air Force Col. Dick Brauer, now a member of S.O.S. discussed his group’s push for information on Fox and Friends:

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SOS Open Letter To The U.S. House Of Representatives

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Kerry Picket reports,

 In a conference call with bloggers, yesterday, Frank Gaffney mentioned a talking point that then Sec. of State Hillary Clinton repeated during her hearing on Benghazi. ”We are confronting a global jihadist threat,”  she told the Senators several times. But the failure that was manifest on Sept 11, Gaffney reminded us, was that the Regime didn’t recognize the global jihadist threat in any way shape or form. Clinton failed to countenance the global jihadist threat until she was heading out the door.

Another thing Gaffney thought was kind of stunning was the absence of any of the folks who survived the attack from the public domain. He called it a “witness suppression program.”

The day before Hillary Clinton testified to both House and Senate committees  on the Libya terror attack, Jennifer Griffen and Adam Housley posted a string of “Facts and questions about what happened in Benghazi” at Fox News. Unfortunately, most of those questions remain unanswered. A review of these questions now helps underscore how serious the failures in Benghazi are and leads us to the inescapable conclusion that there is indeed a massive cover-up:

DELAY IN MILITARY RESPONSE

The facts:

Fox News has learned that U.S. Marines who were part of a FAST (Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team) responding to Libya were told by the State Department to deplane, change out of their U.S. military uniforms and put on civilian clothes before flying to Tripoli — a decision that delayed them from launching by approximately 90 minutes, according to senior military officials who briefed Congress. The FAST team, which was made up of about 50 Marines, was ordered by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to launch from Rota, Spain, the night of the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic mission.

Members of the Special Operations teams sent from Fort Bragg, N.C. and the Commander’s In Extremis Force in nearby Croatia say they were never given permission to enter Libya, even though some were just a short flight away in Europe.

The Accountability Review Board appointed by Clinton and overseen by Adm. Mike Mullen and former Ambassador Thomas Pickering concluded: “The Board members believe every possible effort was made to rescue and recover Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith. The interagency response was timely and appropriate, but there simply was not enough time for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference.”

The questions:

Why was it necessary for those Marines to change into civilian clothing when it was apparent that U.S. government officials were in imminent danger?

Did the State Department ever secure permission from Libya and Italy to fly armed units and flights to Libya the night of the attack?

U.S. military planes based at both Sigonella and Aviano, Italy, must have permission from the Italian government on a case-by-case basis to take off armed. According to former U.S. military commanders, this is an issue that can stymie rescue efforts, if the State Department does not manage to secure the appropriate permissions from the host government — Italy, in this case. If those permissions were not secured, is it safe to assume the State Department was reluctant to ask the U.S. military to help in Libya before, during or after the Sept. 11 attack?

Were they concerned about a Black Hawk Down-type situation, losing military assets trying to help with a rescue?

The facts:

Defense Department spokesman George Little says that the FAST team would not have been in Libya in time to save any lives, and any delays to change out of military uniforms likely did not make a difference since all surviving State Department personnel left the consulate for the CIA Annex about an hour and 45 minutes after the attack began at 9:42 p.m. Libyan time.

However, even according the ARB timeline, Ambassador Chris Stevens’ body was not returned to the Benghazi airport until 8:25 a.m. on Sept. 12.

He remained missing for nearly 11 hours.

The question:

Should more have been done to try to retrieve his body from the Benghazi hospital?

DISCREPANCIES IN OFFICIAL DOD TIMELINE

The facts:

The official Defense Department timeline and the independent Accountability Review Board state that the European Commander in Extremis Force that AFRICOM commander Gen. Carter Ham ordered to Sigonella from a training mission in Europe arrived at 7:57 p.m. on Sept. 12 (nearly 22 hours after the attack began). Fox News has reported it was training in nearby Croatia, a short flight away.

Fox News has learned that a 12-member alert force from the CIF team who were staged to Sigonella from Croatia arrived at the staging base in southern Italy within several hours of being alerted of the attack — but they were not given permission to move into Libya.

Fox News has also learned that the team of Tier One special operators who took off from the United States landed in Sigonella air base in southern Italy at about 7:30 a.m. local time – an hour before Stevens’ body was retrieved.

And yet the official Defense Department timeline says that this National Mission Force team did not arrive in Sigonella until 9:28 p.m. Libyan time on Sept. 12 (nearly 24 hours after the attack began).

The question:

Why the discrepancy in the official Defense Department timeline and the time that those special operators say they landed in Sigonella from the United States?

“FAST MOVERS” WERE PROMISED

The facts:

The quick reaction force that was mobilized from the Libyan capital was made up of five Americans — including Glen Doherty, who was on contract with the CIA’s Global Response Staff (or GRS), and two Delta Force special operators who were in Libya on a separate assignment. That was all the hastily rented plane could hold, according to the State Department Review Board. Stevens used the cellphone of Regional Security Officer 1, who is currently recovering at Walter Reed. Stevens was speaking with the Embassy in Tripoli at 9:50 p.m. from the safe room where he and RSO1 had retreated for safety.

When the reaction team left Tripoli for Benghazi several hours after the attack began, they were told by one of the senior U.S. security officials at the Embassy that there would be “fast movers above Benghazi” when they arrived. “Fast movers” is a reference to military jets used to fly over a combat situation. It was a reference to F-18s, F-15s or F-16s that would have been flown in from Europe.

The team that left for Benghazi assumed they would have air cover when they landed. Instead, they got held up at the Benghazi airport without transportation and did not arrive at the CIA Annex to help with the evacuation until 5 a.m. local time on Sept. 12 (more than seven hours after the attack had begun.) Air support never came.

Doherty, a former Navy SEAL, was a part of that team and was killed by a mortar while he and Tyrone Woods manned defensive positions on the roof. Woods did not die immediately from the mortar attack. He bled out over several hours, according to one eyewitness who was there that night.

Fox News has also learned that some of Stevens’ in-country security detail did not accompany him to Benghazi on Sept 11.

The questions:

Why was the “fast movers” team never sent from Italy?

Why did highly trained members of the diplomatic security service remain behind in Tripoli, and why did Stevens take only a skeletal security team to Benghazi?

The Board found that Stevens made the decision to travel to Benghazi independently of Washington. His plans “were not shared thoroughly with the Embassy’s country team, who were not fully aware of planned movements off the compound,” according to independent investigators. Why the secrecy?

WHAT WAS THE CIA DOING IN BENGHAZI?

The facts:

The U.S. post in Benghazi consisted of two parts – the diplomatic consulate and a CIA Annex. Details about the extent of the annex’s work was unclear.

“General Ham did not have complete visibility of the extent and number of government personnel in Benghazi in the event that a NEO (Noncombatant Evacuation Operation) was required,” according to a report by Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, even though the Defense Department “assumes responsibility for evacuation of diplomatic personnel, U.S. citizens…in crises. AFRICOM was responsible for working with Department of State officials in Libya to develop and coordinate Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) plans for the diplomatic facilities in the region.”

The questions:

What was the CIA doing in Benghazi establishing one of its largest hubs in North Africa without informing AFRICOM commander Carter Ham?

Why did Stevens feel the need to be in Benghazi on Sept. 11? He went to the CIA Annex for a briefing the day before. And why did communications specialist Sean Smith travel to Benghazi the week before Stevens’ arrival if he was simply going to Benghazi to attend the opening of an “American corner” at a local school, as reported in the ARB?

What was the meeting with the Turkish envoy about on the night of Sept. 11 — has the FBI interviewed the Turkish diplomat?

The facts:

The Embassy and Stevens were in the process of shutting down the Benghazi mission, and the State Department had authorized it to be closed in December 2012.

“Another key driver behind the weak security platform in Benghazi was the decision to treat Benghazi as a temporary, residential facility, not officially notified to the host government, even though it was also a full time office facility,” the ARB report concluded.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, who was just made the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Trade, has been demanding answers from the Pentagon about what U.S. personnel were doing in Benghazi and has been frustrated about the administration’s unwillingness to answer his questions.

“There are a lot of contradictions and inconsistencies in these reports,” Poe told Fox News.

He has asked whether the U.S. or its allies furnished any rebel groups in Libya with weapons during the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi — in particular Ansar al-Shariah, the group largely believed to be responsible for the consulate attack.

The question:

Poe, in an interview with Fox News, asked “did we help facilitate in some way, or know about the movement of weapons to Libyan rebels and did we help, know about, or get involved in the weapons movement from Libya to Syria?”

WHAT DID THE NATIONAL COMMAND AUTHORITY AUTHORIZE?

The facts:

Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy was running the Operations Center overseeing the rescue on Sept. 11 at the State Department. As the attack began, the Tactical Operations Center in the U.S. mission Benghazi “triggered an audible alarm, and immediately alerted the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli and DS (Diplomatic Security) headquarters in Washington. These notifications were quickly transmitted from the Department of State to the Department of Defense. DS headquarters maintained open phone lines with the DS personnel throughout the attack.”

But the defense secretary and Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey were not alerted to the attack for 50 minutes, and they in turn did not raise the issue with the president until a previously scheduled meeting with Obama at the White House at 5 p.m. — one hour and 18 minutes after the attack began.

“That same DS agent (at the consulate) also called the annex to request assistance from security personnel there, who immediately began to prepare to aid the U.S. personnel at the diplomatic facility,” according to the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s report.

The CIA response team from the annex arrived at the consulate which was one mile away within 25 minutes. CIA Director David Petraeus was in the CIA operations center overseeing the rescue that night and did not leave until all U.S. personnel were accounted for. Petraeus flew to Tripoli in subsequent weeks to interview the station chief and others about what happened that night and found there was no delay in rescue efforts.

The Accountability Review Board, we have since learned, did not interview all members of the CIA’s Global Response Staff who were at the CIA Annex that night, at least one of whom says his team was not given permission at first to go and help at the “consulate” after security personnel put out immediate calls for help — a charge the CIA refutes.

The diplomatic security officer who repeatedly re-entered the smoke-filled premises to try to find Stevens also says he was not interviewed by Mullen and Pickering’s team. He says the senior leadership at the State Department did not make them available to the Accountability Review Board.

The questions:

Where was John Brennan, the president’s chief counterterrorism adviser, the afternoon of the attack?

Are there minutes from the Situation Room?

What was his advice to the president that afternoon and evening?

Was anybody at the CIA Annex told to stand down or to wait before responding to the consulate?

Related articles

Contracted: America’s Secret Warriors

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If truth is the first casualty of war, author Kerry Patton has ably attempted to correct that dictum in his highly entertaining novel, Contracted: America’s Secret Warriors, a fictionalized account of the heroic but overlooked work performed by civilian contractors in Afghanistan.

As a military veteran and expert in intelligence, security and counter-terrorism who has worked at the highest levels of government, including the Department of Defense and Homeland Security, Patton initially began Contracted as an autobiography.

However, fear of breaching intelligence secrets led Patton to switch gears, writing a fictionalized story instead, one based on true events, but told through the voice of Declan Collins, a former military man recruited out of civilian life by the CIA for intelligence work in Afghanistan.

There, Declan and his civilian partner, Rex Browhart, himself a former military vet, find themselves assigned as military advisors at a Forward Operating Base in eastern Afghanistan.

At the FOB, Collins and Browhart form a working alliance with a varied group of officers and enlisted men on a plan to arm Afghan warlords eager to fight the Taliban, a plan Collins believes will save American lives.

Most of the men aiding Collins in this task are a mixture of Special Forces, including Delta Force, Navy Seals and Army Rangers and Green Berets. To Collins, these men are modern day warriors, part of a dying breed, driven to sacrifice their lives for God, family and country.

It’s a patriotic theme Patton employs throughout his book, one in which money isn’t the primary motivating factor driving these contractors — most of whom are former military — but rather a deep love of country further fueled by an abiding loyalty to aid their brothers-in-arms.

Unfortunately, the press has helped to paint a picture of civilian contractors as either nothing more than mercenaries in search of a quick paycheck or out-of-control homicidal maniacs, such as those in Blackwater, the private security consulting firm employed by the US government during the Iraq war.

Not surprisingly, that negative portrayal tends to overlook the heroism and sacrifices that many contractors have performed and endured once they have left the comfort and safety of the civilian world for life in a combat zone.

In fact, it is to that point that Patton reportedly wrote Contracted, noting it is “truly meant for those unsung heroes who never get recognized yet often get chastised.”

Patton also doesn’t neglect the hardships faced by the family and loved ones left behind, weaving into his book the struggles and fears faced by Collins’ new young wife, Brannagh. As Patton has noted, “This book is not just for them (the contractors) but for their friends and family as well. They too deserve some recognition.”

That recognition comes at the same time as the use of civilian contractors in combat zones by American corporations, defense contractors, and governmental agencies — including the DOD, State Department and CIA — is growing in both prominence and danger.

Specifically, in 2012 American civilian contractors constituted 62 percent of the US presence in Afghanistan. These contractors are used in many unarmed roles, including transporting supplies, staffing food services, building homes and commercial facilities and serving as interpreters.

However, they are also employed in armed capacities, jobs which include providing security for State Department and Pentagon officials, guarding US installations, gathering intelligence and training the Afghan army and police.

Still, whether operating in armed or unarmed roles, the risks these civilian contractors face are great. In 2011, 430 American contractors were reported killed in Afghanistan — 386 who worked for the Defense Department — and 1,777 injured or wounded.

Read more at Front Page

Frank Crimi is a San Diego-based writer and author of the book Raining Frogs and Heart Attacks. You can read more of Frank’s work at his blog,www.politicallyunbalanced.com.

Fox News: CIA operators were denied request for help during Benghazi attack, sources say

This is outrageous! It is time to let the mainstream media know how we feel about their lack of coverage on this scandal! Use the contact info supplied in this link: FAIR’s Media Contact List

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Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an  urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the  U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S.  officials — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than  help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in  Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA  annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and  his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they  informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and  requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to  “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they  were again told to “stand down.”

Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the  Consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The quick  reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate  and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find  the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they  were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There  were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the  compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In  fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a  heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security  officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested  back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special  Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground  involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more  than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just  480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One  Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force  operators.

Watch “Special Report Investigates: Death and Deceit in Benghazi” on  Fox News at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, 3 p.m. on Sunday and 10 p.m. on  Sunday.

A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis  Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they  too were told to stand down. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism  rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence  sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less  than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent  from Tripoli. Specter gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations  community to provide close air support.

According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on  the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan  mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in  coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday  that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in  Benghazi to send help.

“There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here,” Panetta said  Thursday. “But the basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into  harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.”

U.S. officials argue that there was a period of several hours when the  fighting stopped before the mortars were fired at the annex, leading officials  to believe the attack was over.

Fox News has learned that there were two military surveillance drones  redirected to Benghazi shortly after the attack on the Consulate began. They  were already in the vicinity. The second surveillance craft was sent to relieve  the first drone, perhaps due to fuel issues. Both were capable of sending real  time visuals back to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. Any U.S. official or  agency with the proper clearance, including the White House Situation Room,  State Department, CIA, Pentagon and others, could call up that video in real  time on their computers.

This is stunning new information…read more at Fox News with video

Special Operations OPSEC targets Obama for reckless intelligence leaks

By: Dan Spencer at the Examiner

A group of former special operations and C.I.A. officers accuse President Obama of spiking the football — taking credit for killing Osama bin Laden, and recklessly leaking intelligence information about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and other security matters solely to gain political advantage.

“Mr. President, you did not kill Osama bin Laden, America did. The work that the American military has done killed Osama bin Laden. You did not.” — Ben Smith, a Navy SEAL

The Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc, argues that high level Obama administration’s leaks are damaging U.S. security. They make their case in a new video called “Dishonorable Disclosures: How Leaks and Politics Threaten National Security.”

Watch the very well done documentary video here.

The good folks at Special Operations OPSEC see their mission as stopping President Obama and others, from politically capitalizing on U.S. national security operations and secrets, which allows the special operations and intelligence capabilities to be degraded., and educating the public about the importance and necessity of Operational Security. The video does a good job of doing that.

The Former Special Operations and C.I.A. officers are upset about the “avalanche” of leaks obviously intended to politically benefit Obama:
  • Immediate disclosure of the killing of Osama bin Laden rather than waiting to exploit the information taken by SEAL Team Six.
  • Disclosure and special access to Department of Defense and C.I.A details about the Osama bin Laden operation to Hollywood filmmakers.
  • Disclosure of the unit, the cover name, The aircraft that were used, the number of raiders, and how the team entered and moved around the grounds.
  • Disclosure of details pertaining to the intelligence gathering before the raid, including the identity of the Pakistani doctor who provided information.
  • Disclosure of U.S. and Israeli involvement in the computer viruses which targeted Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Disclosure of a joint U.S./British/Israeli covert operation that planted a spy in Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, whose information stopped a terrorist bomb plot against a U.S.-bound airliner.
  • Disclosure of the secret Obama “Kill List.”

OPSEC is not alone in being outraged about the Obama Administration’s national security leaks. Former Democrat Senator Bob Kerrey, took Obama to task for his decision to disclose some details of the Osama bin Laden operation:

“By describing certain methods — the name of the unit involved, the kinds of equipment employed, the nature of intelligence collected and techniques of insertion and extraction used in the operation — the President violated a key rule of clandestine work.”

Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has also gone after Obama for controversial leaks of classified information, saying “I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.” She was even tougher during an appearance on CNN’s “Situation Room” program:

“What we’re seeing…is an Anschluss, an avalanche of leaks. And it’s very, very disturbing. You know, it’s dismayed our allies. It puts American lives in jeopardy. It puts our nation’s security in jeopardy.”

But nobody summed up as well as former defense secretary, Robert Gates, who blasted the Obama White House’s leaks and told the Obama national security team to  Shut the f— up.”

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This morning on Fox and Friends Geraldo Rivera downplayed the seriousness of the string of intelligence leaks coming out of the White House by saying he is not aware of any deaths occurring as a result. He then went on to  characterize  OPSEC’s recent video objecting to the leaks as purely political.  I doubt he even listened to the OPSEC video all the way through.

Well I’ve got news for Geraldo. The leaks have had profound damaging effects on our national security that transcend mere partisan politics. He should watch Michele Van Cleave’s assessment of the far-reaching effects all those leaks have had.

Michelle Van Cleave is former U.S. National Counterintelligence Executive.