ISIS’s Stay-at-Home Radicals

by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News,  
December 9, 2014

1101Across Europe and America, governments and intelligence officials are struggling to address the problem of Western Muslims who join the jihad in Syria – and then come back home again. But in the process, they may be missing the bigger threat: the ones who never left.

Counterterrorism experts agree that the danger posed by returning jihadists is significant: already radicalized before they joined groups like the Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), they are now well-trained in the practice of terrorist warfare. Unlike most Westerners, they have overcome any discomfort they may have previously felt about killing or confronting death. Chances are, they’ve already done it.

And their numbers are increasing: already an estimated 3,000 westerners have made the move to join the Islamic State and similar terrorist groups. Hence many countries, including the Netherlands and England, have determined to revoke the passports of any Syrian fighter known to carry dual nationality (many second-generation Turkish and Moroccan immigrants carry passports from their family’s land of origin. Similar bills have also been proposed in the U.S., such as one put forward by U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. The UK has also considered confiscating the passports of all British citizens who join the jihad, but such measures have been rejected on the basis of concerns about leaving individuals stateless.

But now some experts – and returning jihadists – say ISIS “sleeper cells” are already embedded in the West. So-called “Jihadi Hunter” Dimitri Bontinck told the UK’s Mail Online last month that “influential sources” had informed him of such cells, and warned that they were “preparing to unleash their war on Europe.” And an ISIS defector reportedly told a Scandinavian broadcaster of similar sleeper cells in Sweden which were, he said, “awaiting orders.”

The presence of these cells should not come as much of a surprise. More surprising is that Europe’s intelligence agencies hadn’t spotted them earlier. In part, this could be blamed on the intense focus on dealing with returnees, a problem that has left some intelligence and law enforcement agencies stretched thin: in June, for instance, Dutch intelligence agency AIVD admitted it “could no longer keep up” with the jihadists in the Netherlands. By October they were forced to bring in police teams to assist, especially in following the 40 or so jihadists who had returned. (An estimated 130 Dutch, including both returnees and those killed, have joined the Syrian fight.)

But if the AIVD and other intelligence agencies can barely follow the ones they know, this leaves countless other radicalized Muslims in Europe easy prey for Islamic State recruiters, who have already turned Europe’s efforts to block returnees to their advantage. With videos online and with extraordinary social media prowess, IS agents are increasingly encouraging Western supporters to work from home: spread the word, motivate others to make the trip (known as “making Hijrah”), or prepare to attack the infidel on Western soil.

And attack they have, as in the beheading of Fusilier Lee Rigby on a London street in 2013, the killing of a Canadian soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, in Ottawa on Oct. 22, and the hatchet attack on NYPD officers in Queens, N.Y. only two days later. Other assaults have been thwarted, such as the alleged plot by three British men who, prosecutors say, were inspired by ISIS calls for attacks on unbelievers. The men were arrested Nov. 6 in London on charges of planning to behead civilians.

But ISIS’s propaganda has been successful in other ways. Recruiting for jihad is on the rise in the Netherlands, according to a recent AIVD report, which further notes that “the number of Dutch jihadists traveling to Syria to join the conflict there has increased substantially since late 2012.” And overall support for the terrorist group is growing even faster – as thousands made clear during pro-ISIS demonstrations last summer. “Several thousand” people in the Netherlands alone support IS, the AIVD claims, while another recent Dutch report concluded that nearly 90 percent of Dutch Turkish youth considered IS members “heroes.” (That latter report has since come under fire, but its researchers stand by their findings.)

In Germany, ISIS support has grown so threatening that in September, the government passed a law to ban it outright. That legislation includes “a ban on activities that support the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, including any displays of its black flag, as part of an effort to suppress the extremist group’s propaganda and recruitment work among Germans,” the New York Times reported. On Dec. 5, officials used the law to close a Bremen mosque; sermons there allegedly encouraged young Muslims to make Hijrah – to migrate – and join in the jihad.

In France, where an estimated 700 people have made Hijrah – the highest number in Europe – an ICM poll conducted last summer for Russian news agency Rosslya Segodnya found that one in six people support ISIS. Among those aged 18-24 – the age of most of the country’s Muslim population –27 percent indicated a “positive opinion” of the terrorist group.

These are not just mathematical figures. They represent people: tens of thousands of young men and women. In fact, the Guardian observes, an analysis by Italian academics of more than 2 million Arabic-language posts online found that “support for Islamic State among Arabic-speaking social media users in Belgium, Britain, France and the US is greater than in the militant group’s heartlands of Syria and Iraq.”

Why?

This is exactly the question Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb –a Muslim of Moroccan origin – is asking. Despite his own hard stance against Islamic radicalization, the number of youths in Rotterdam suspected of radicalizing has increased by 50 percent over the past year. While attending the trial of one suspected jihadist, Dutch daily AD reports, Aboutaleb wondered aloud “why such youths, well-educated and full of promise commit themselves to the jihad.”

“The question is,” he is quoted as saying, “who are the people who go? Why do they make this step? Because they feel discriminated? Because they’re unemployed? Rejected by society? I don’t get that. Doubtless, that would maybe push someone over the edge, but there have to be other arguments that play a role.”

Ultimately, these are the questions everyone should be asking – intelligence and law enforcement agencies most of all. Because as the number of Western jihadists rises, and the support for ISIS grows, one thing is becoming clear: that until we have the answers to the basic queries, nothing else we do will matter.

Speaker Boehner, find the courage to establish a Benghazi select committee

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By Allen West:

This morning I had a chance to visit with a former colleague, someone for whom I have the utmost respect, Virginia Representative Frank Wolf. Rep. Wolf is the author of House Resolution 36, which calls for a Benghazi select committee with subpoena powers to formally and singularly focus on the incidents surrounding the US Consulate attack in Benghazi Libya.

Rep. Wolf shared with me today that he now has 182 cosponsors, all from the House GOP. One has to ask if the Democrats are more aligned with their political party or truth? The 182 cosponsors represent approximately 80 percent of the House Republican conference, and according to former Speaker Dennis Hastert, meet the standard of the “Hastert Rule,” a majority of the majority. Yet this piece of legislation is blocked from being brought to the House floor for a vote.

Rep. Wolf and I mused — actually we both became infuriated — considering how in the State of New Jersey Democrats have established a select committee and are pursuing subpoenas against Governor Chris Christie over traffic lanes being closed. Is it possible that traffic lane closures are more important than the abandonment, murder, and lying that hangs like a dark cloud over the events of September 11, 2012? Have we become so degraded that we do not see the utterly despicable hypocrisy of the Democrats in New Jersey and the liberal progressive media?

Over the weekend, we witnessed the arrogant dismissal of President Obama, who has already referred to Benghazi as a “phony scandal,” as he chided Bill O’Reilly, stating that Benghazi, among other nefarious actions, are just talking points driven by Fox News. The belligerence of President Obama has been enabled by a House GOP leadership reluctant to stop the diluted process of five different committees who must ask for information by way of FOIA requests. Just yesterday before a House Intelligence Committee hearing, Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, and others were asked when will someone be held responsible for the incidents surrounding Benghazi? The question was met with nearly 10 seconds of silence.

Losing an American Ambassador is not the new normal. Abandoning brave Americans to die is not the new normal. Supplying arms to Islamic terrorist and jihadists and running a covert weapons program is treasonous and represents high crimes and misdemeanors.

Read more 

180 Congressman Want A New Approach to Benghazi

benghazi-gate2BY SECURE AMERICA NOW:

For many months, Secure America Now has advocated for a Select Committee to investigate Benghazi. To date, no one has been brought to justice, some witnesses have yet to testify, and most important, the American people have never been told the truth about the events that lead to the death of four American citizens serving our country abroad.

Congressman Wolf once again makes an extremely compelling case for why this committee needs to be created.

Please read this letter (see below or view PDF) and contact Speaker Boehner demanding that he side with the 180 members of the House or Representatives who are calling for this committee. The current process is not working. Contact Speaker Boehner today.

Here is the full text of the letter:

==================================

January 23, 2014

The Honorable John A. Boehner

Speaker of the House

U.S. House of Representatives

H-232 The Capitol

Dear Mr. Speaker:

You and I have had multiple conversations over the last year about the House’s approach to investigating Benghazi. While we have our differences on the House’s current approach, I think we can both agree that the current committee investigations, in both the House and the Senate, have not resulted in anyone being held accountable.

Over the last several months, my staff and I have had multiple private conversations with family members of the victims, including some who have never spoken out publicly before. The one thing they all have made clear is that they are very frustrated and disappointed that no one has been held accountable for what happened that night.

In recent days, there have been several pieces published that also point out this absence of accountability. Enclosed is an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal this morning, written by Greg Hicks, the well-respected deputy chief of mission for Ambassador Stevens – and the last person to speak to him the night of September 11, 2012. Mr. Hicks details how the administration and even some in Congress have sought to blame the late ambassador for the security failures, when in fact the blame lies with senior administration officials.

Additionally, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus has written about this issue. In a piece yesterday, Marcus wrote of Benghazi, “the attack was preventable, yet no one has been disciplined for failing to prevent it. [Sen.] Collins singled out Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, who testified that the threat environment in Benghazi was ‘flashing red’ yet failed to ensure that a facility he approved there had adequate security. If the State Department were a corporation, heads would have rolled.”

Mr. Speaker, there has literally been zero accountability for what happened in Benghazi. No terrorist has been detained or killed. No administration official has been held responsible for the security failures and poor response that night. Don’t the families of those killed deserve accountability and justice?

What signal does this send to our men and women in uniform, or in the Foreign Service, or in the Intelligence Community? It’s hard not to conclude that there’s one set of rules for those who serve their country and another for those who run it. Perhaps the most telling part of the Senate report is in the ‘additional views’ section, which points out that “important questions remain unanswered as a direct result of the Obama Administration’s failure to provide the committee with access to necessary documents and witnesses.”

Look at the discrepancies between the House interim report last April and the Senate report released this month. The Senate report – released by Democrat Chairman Dianne Feinstein – raised key new issues and findings that the House committees have never shared before. Why? And speaking of the House’s nearly year-old “interim progress report,” when will the final report of the committees be published, if ever?

Amazingly, the Senate report raised the critical point that while some in the Department of Defense may have known of the CIA facility, neither AFRICOM nor its Commander “were aware of an annex in Benghazi, Libya.” And more importantly, just what was the CIA doing in Benghazi that was so secret that AFRICOM was not made aware of its existence?

You know me well enough to know that my persistence in pursuing answers isn’t about politics or a vendetta, it’s about the Legislative Branch conducting its most basic responsibility: strong oversight. To date, we can’t honestly say we’ve fulfilled this Constitutional responsibility with regard to Benghazi.

We are never going to get to the bottom of what happened that night until there is a bipartisan House Select Committee that can reach across jurisdictional boundaries, compel public testimony and documents that the administration continues to withhold from the Congress and protect those who may want to testify publicly about the events of that evening. I have always made the case that I believe “iron sharpens iron” and that we need the Members and investigators from each of the five committees working together and sharing all information to ensure a seamless review of all of the facts. Perhaps, if we had such a Select Committee, the recent Senate report would have better represented Mr. Hicks’ testimony about the administration’s failure to provide adequate security in Benghazi, rather than forcing him to pen an op-ed to correct the record.

That’s precisely why I and 180 of our colleagues continue to call for a bipartisan, independent Select Committee to ensure the full truth is learned and accountability is assigned. Aren’t these recent disclosures from the Senate Intelligence Committee report and Hicks’ op-ed today enough to demonstrate huge gaps in the current investigation and the need for clear accountability? What more will it take?

I couldn’t agree more with the final sentence of the ‘additional views’ section of the Senate report: “The families of those murdered in Benghazi deserve the truth, and all of our intelligence, military, and diplomatic professionals who serve overseas in dangerous places are entitled to have confidence that the errors of Benghazi will not be repeated.”

Mr. Speaker, it’s past time for a Select Committee. We really do owe it to the families and the American people.

Best wishes.

Sincerely,

Frank R. Wolf, Member of Congress

PS: The men and women who faithfully serve our nation – and the American people – deserve accountability and transparency.

******************

*** IMPORTANT LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT ***Your Phone Calls and E-mails are Producing Results!

Two More Co-sponsors Added to H.R.36,
Legislation Creating Benghazi Special Committee,
Thanks to You!!!

 

For more than a year, ACT! for America has joined a chorus of concerned Americans calling for a thorough investigation of the September 11th, 2012 Jihadist terrorist attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

For just as long the issue has been held up in political bickering and outright stonewalling by the Obama administration.

Now, however, we have finally seen a small breakthrough in the quest for the truth about the Benghazi attack.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Senator Diane Feinstein of California, has released a new, bipartisan report on the attack that goes a long way toward dispelling some of the myths surrounding the attack and assigning accountability for what went wrong.

While this report is significant in that it is the first sign of a bipartisan willingness to truly investigate the Bengahzi attack, it is actually just the beginning. In fact the Senate report notes that “important questions remain unanswered as a direct result of the Obama Administration’s failure to provide the committee with access to necessary documents and witnesses.”

This is unacceptable to us and is why ACT! for America continues to support H. Res. 36, Rep. Frank Wolf’s legislation creating a special short-term congressional committee to investigate the Benghazi attack.

Our efforts are working and your federal legislators are listening to you. Just last week, two additional members of the House of Representatives, Rep. Vance McAllister (LA/5th) and Rep. Gary Miller (CA/31st) decided that Benghazi should be a top priority and signed on to Rep. Wolf’s legislation. You can be sure that this action was taken because they responded to the requests of their constituents. Thank you.

We need the push to continue, so that even more Members of Congress cosponsor H. Res. 36 and the special Benghazi committee becomes a reality. America deserves no less and the world is watching. Will you help by taking the quick and simple action steps noted below?

** Important Benghazi Action Item **

Please contact your legislator in the U.S. House of Representatives TODAY to express support for H. Res. 36, Rep. Frank Wolf’s legislation creating a special congressional committee to investigate the Benghazi attack. Further, please pass this request on to everyone you know.

Click HERE to obtain contact information for your House Representative.

Click HERE for a list of House Members, by state, who still have NOT cosponsored Rep. Wolf’s bill. Is your legislator on that list? If so, he or she needs to hear from you.

There is no excuse for a Member of Congress not to support a special Benghazi committee at this time. We’ve had months and months of hearings and political theatre on this issue and the important questions remain unanswered.

Please let your Representative know that this is a very important issue to you and that you are aconstituent and a voter. Let him/her know that you will be tracking how the U.S. Congress handles the Benghazi issue. As always, please be respectful at all times.

(NOTE: H. Res. 36, Rep. Wolf’s Benghazi bill, is NOT the same as H. R. 36. Please be sure to accurately identify the legislation we are supporting, to avoid confusion.)

 

Thank you for all that you do. Together we ARE making a difference.

 

BREITBART EXCLUSIVE–ALLEN WEST QUESTIONS IF BOEHNER, CANTOR HELPING COVER UP BENGHAZI

boehner-cantor-profiles-reutersBreitbart, by Matthew Boyle:

Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL), a leader in the conservative movement and retired Lt. Colonel of the United States Army, told Breitbart News that he thinks House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) might be trying to help the Obama administration cover up the Benghazi scandal.

West is a signer of the letter from a coalition of conservative and military leaders, along with three family members of the victims in the Benghazi terrorist attack, that demanded Boehner create a select committee to investigate the Benghazi terrorist attack. Boehner has been blocking the House Resolution from Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) that would create such a committee, even though H. Res. 36 has 178 cosponsors in addition to Wolf.

“There is widespread support for a select committee to get to the bottom of disturbing questions surrounding the attack, as H.Res. 36 has 178 cosponsors,” West said in an email to Breitbart News. “Yet Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor refuse to bring it to the House floor for a vote. You have to wonder, is there something they know that they prefer not come to light?”

The letter delivered to Boehner on Monday similarly questioned whether Boehner is helping President Barack Obama’s administration cover up the Benghazi scandal. Specifically, because Boehner is a member of the “Super 8”—congressional leaders who are briefed on national security matters—the coalition wondered if he knew something that a full investigation into Benghazi would reveal.

“Some analysts believe your inaction and passivity towards getting to the truth concerning Benghazi is because you were briefed on the intelligence and special operations activities in Libya as a member of the ‘Super 8,’” the group wrote. “You may possess ‘guilty knowledge.’ We recall how then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi developed a form of ‘amnesia’ concerning a documented briefing she received on so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ – later termed ‘torture’ for political purposes.”

See also:

Wolf Renews Call For Select Committee On Benghazi

images (100)Washington, D.C. (October 30, 2013) – In a 30-minute speech today on the House floor, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) again called on House leadership to create a Select Committee on Benghazi, saying the threshold for creating the special panel has been reached in terms of the number of cosponsors and endorsements of the measure, as well as several revelations about the attack that have been covered in the press in recent weeks.

Wolf said that in the nearly 11 months since he first introduced the measure, the broad support that has been built “makes it clear we have more than passed the threshold for a Select Committee now … Let’s get to the truth once and for all so we can find out what happened and restore the American people’s confidence in congressional oversight.”

Just last week, a bipartisan national poll revealed that 63 percent of Americans think the Obama Administration is covering up the facts about the Benghazi attack, and just 29 percent of registered voters believe the administration has been honest.  Further, 83 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of Independents support the idea, and notably, nearly half of Democrats said it was important to create a bipartisan committee to learn the truth.

“Bottom line: Americans from across the political spectrum recognize that not only are they not being told the truth [about Benghazi], but they feel Congress needs to change its approach to the investigation by creating a special committee,” Wolf said.

Wolf also pointed to several recent developments that confirm the individuals involved in the Benghazi attack were senior al Qaeda associates with ties to the group going back decades, and that the plot appears to have been weeks, if not months, in the making.

Wolf said that according to Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, “sources said one of the suspects was believed to be a courier for the Al Qaeda network, and the other a bodyguard in Afghanistan prior to the 2001 terror attacks,” noting that “the direct ties to the Al Qaeda senior leadership undercut early characterizations by the Obama administration that the attackers in Benghazi were isolated “extremists” – not Al Qaeda terrorists – with no organizational structure or affiliation.”

Further, Wolf described a 60 Minutes piece that aired this past Sunday in which CBS’ sources confirmed what Wolf had detailed on the House floor this past July: “a quick reaction force from the CIA Annex ignored orders to wait and raced to the compound, at time running and shooting their way through the streets just to get there.”  Alarmingly, the piece also included information saying that when the terrorists stormed the consulate property, they said “We’re here to kill Americans, not Libyans” and spared the lives of the Libyan guards, Wolf said.

CBS’ Lara Logan also addressed the pressure on witnesses she encountered during the 60 Minutes investigation, saying “An extraordinary amount of pressure on anyone in the government – the military side, the political side – not to say anything outside of official channels.”

“This is consistence with the concerns I have repeatedly raised on the House floor about efforts by this administration to silence survivors and witnesses to the Benghazi attack and response,” Wolf said.  “What are they afraid of these witnesses sharing with the American people?  And how can the Congress stand by and allow this to happen, knowing full well it is taking place?”

Wolf pointed out numerous intelligence failures that occurred prior to and following the attack.

“The administration’s response to the Benghazi attack over the last year has been nothing short of shameful – and that also merits a full investigation by a Select Committee,” Wolf said.  “From the first hours of the attack, when it became apparent that no help was coming to assist those under attack – either from U.S. forces or our allies in the region – to the failure of the FBI to gain access to key suspects in Tunisia and Egypt over the last year, this administration has sent a signal to terrorists that the U.S. will not strongly respond to an attack on Americans abroad.”

Wolf’s measure to create a House Select Committee on Benghazi currently has 178 cosponsors – more than a supermajority in the House.  It has been endorsed by the family members of the victims, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Special Operations community and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents the Diplomatic Security agents who were at the consulate in Benghazi.

For a full list of endorsements, click here.

For more on Wolf’s work on Benghazi, click here.

The full text of Wolf’s floor speech.

Excerpt:

We need a public hearing with the principals involved in the decision making process in Washington on September 11, 2012, including former Secretary Panetta, former Secretary Clinton, former CIA Director Petraeus, former White House advisor and current CIA director John Brennan and former AFRICOM commander General Ham, as well as the White House.

We also need a similar hearing with each of their deputies and others who were witness to the calls for help and the decisions surrounding the response.

Unless we hear from these people publicly, the American people will never learn the truth about whether there were warnings prior to the attack, what calls for help were made that night, whether the CIA security team was in fact delayed in leaving to respond to the initial attack at the consulate and what the response was from Washington, among many other questions.

Until these key individuals are sitting side-by-side answering questions under oath, we will never get a clear picture of who made decisions that night and why.  Failure to get those answers means there will never be any accountability, which further erodes public confidence in government.

Absent a Select Committee, the Congress will fail to learn the truth about what happened that night because the administration will continue to use the jurisdictional barriers between each committee to continue to slow walk or deny information.

There are a number of new developments in recent weeks that make a Select Committee more timely than ever.

First, our colleague Mike Rogers, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, confirmed earlier reports telling Fox News that the plot against the consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi appears to have been weeks, if not months, in the making and that at least two of the plot’s leaders had close connections to senior al Qaeda leadership.

Nearly a year ago, I circulated a memo to all Members prepared by respected terrorism analyst Thomas Joscelyn detailing the apparent connections and likely coordination between al-Qaeda affiliates in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen that resulted in threats and attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in those countries the week of September 11, 2012.  Unfortunately the committees have not held public hearings looking at the connection between these threats.

Last week, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge first reported that: “At least two of the key suspects in the Benghazi terror attack were at one point working with Al Qaeda senior leadership, sources familiar with the investigation tell Fox News. The sources said one of the suspects was believed to be a courier for the Al Qaeda network, and the other a bodyguard in Afghanistan prior to the 2001 terror attacks.”

Herridge noted that, “The direct ties to the Al Qaeda senior leadership undercut early characterizations by the Obama administration that the attackers in Benghazi were isolated “extremists” — not Al Qaeda terrorists — with no organizational structure or affiliation.”

Then, on Sunday, CBS’ 60 Minutes aired a segment by Lara Logan further explaining what happened that night and the increasingly clear connection to al-Qaeda.  Logan reported that “Just a few weeks ago, Abu Anas al-Libi was captured for his role in the Africa bombings and the U.S. is still investigating what part he may have played in Benghazi.  We’ve learned that this man, Sufian bin Qumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee and long-time al Qaeda operative, was one of the lead planners along with Faraj al-Chalabi, whose ties to Osama bin Laden go back more than 15 years.  He’s believed to have carried documents from the compound to the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan.”

It is particularly notable that al-Chalabi reportedly delivered documents from U.S. facilities in Benghazi to “the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan,” establishing a direct link between the Benghazi attacks and most senior leadership of al Qaeda.

Among the other revelations in the 60 Minutes segment:

•    Al-Qaeda stated its intent to attack Americans in Benghazi, along with the Red Cross and the British mission well in advance of September 11.  Lt. Col. Andy Wood, the top American security official in Libya in the months leading up to the attack told CBS that both the State Department and Defense Department were well aware of the threat and the attacks on the Red Cross and British mission and it was “obvious” to the Americans in Libya that it was only a matter of time until an attack on the U.S. facilities.

•    When the terrorists stormed the consulate property, they said: “We’re here to kill Americans, not Libyans” and spared the lives of the Libyan guards.

•    Confirmation of information I detailed on the House floor in July noting that “a quick reaction force from the CIA Annex ignored orders to wait and raced to the compound, at times running and shooting their way through the streets just to get there.”

•    The Americans faced a “professional enemy” as they encountered waves of intense fighting on the CIA annex in Benghazi during the early morning of September 12.   Mortars fired during the final wave of the assault hit the roof of the annex three times in the dark.  Lt. Col. Wood described hitting a target like that as “getting the basketball through the hoop over your shoulder” and that it took “coordination, planning training, experienced personnel” to pull off such a “well executed attack.”

•    Two Delta Force operators who fought at the CIA annex, apparently as part of the impromptu team that flew in from Tripoli with Glen Doherty during the attack without permission from Washington, have “been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cross – two of the military’s highest honors.”

•    The U.S. already knew that senior al Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Libi was in Libya and was “tasked by the head of al Qaeda to establish a clandestine terrorist network inside the country.  Al-Libi was already wanted for his role in bombing two U.S. embassies in Africa.”  Notably, the administration made no mention of his connection to the Benghazi attacks in its announcement of his capture last month.

•    Some of the key questions that remain unanswered are why the CIA security team was ordered not to respond to the attack at the consulate and “why no larger military response ever crossed the border into Libya – something [U.S. deputy chief of mission] Greg Hicks realized wasn’t going to happen just an hour into the attack.”

It’s particularly noteworthy that Logan addressed the pressure on witnesses she encountered during her investigation, saying: “An extraordinary amount of pressure on the people involved not to talk.  And an extraordinary amount of pressure on anyone in the government – the military side, the political side – not to say anything outside of official channels.”
This is consistent with the concerns I have repeatedly raised on the House floor about efforts by this administration to silence survivors and witnesses to the Benghazi attack and response.

What are they afraid of these witnesses sharing with the American people?    And how can the Congress stand by and allow this to happen, knowing full well it is taking place?
CNN in July reported that: “Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings. The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.”

Fox News, in a separate piece in July, reported: “At least five CIA employees were forced to sign additional nondisclosure agreements this past spring in the wake of the Benghazi attack.”

As someone who represents thousands of federal employees and contractors, including many who work for the CIA, FBI, State Department and the Defense Department, I know from years of firsthand experience how agencies can sometimes use various forms of pressure and intimidation to keep employees from sharing information of concern with Congress.
I know the Benghazi survivors and other witnesses that night from those agencies need the protection of a “friendly subpoena” to compel their testimony before Congress, particularly on a matter as sensitive as this.

So far, the committees have failed to provide this protection to allow survivors and other witnesses to allow them to share their story publicly.

Based on disclosures in recent news reports, I now believe that the Benghazi plot represents a significant intelligence failure by the U.S. at several levels.  Understanding these failures – as well as the government’s inexplicable response during and after the attack – is critical to preventing future attacks.

I want to outline a number of the apparent intelligence failures leading up to the attack, which I believe a Select Committee investigation would confirm:

First, the State Department and CIA apparently failed in their assessment of the militia groups working for the Americans in Benghazi, including the February 17 Martyrs Brigade responsible for guarding the consulate property, which abandoned the Americans and may have even facilitated access to the compound for the terrorists.  According to a May 21 article by Eli Lake on The Daily Beast, CIA “officers were responsible for vetting the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, the militia that was supposed to be the first responder on the night of the attack, but melted away when the diplomatic mission was attacked.”

Second, the State Department, Defense Department and CIA apparently failed to adjust their security posture to support the Americans in Benghazi based on the growing number of attacks on Western targets in Benghazi during the summer of 2012.  To date, no one has explained or been held accountable for why the U.S. mission was so poorly secured, despite pleas for assistances from the Embassy staff in Tripoli to Washington.  No one has adequately explained why the Defense Department’s emergency response team was on a routine training mission in Croatia during the week of September 11, when it should have been on alert to respond – especially given the threats to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt earlier in the day before the Benghazi attacks.

Third, the intelligence community apparently failed to understand the size and scope of the attack brewing in Benghazi in the months leading up to September 11.  As Chairman Rogers acknowledged to Fox News’ Catherine Herridge last week, this was a well-coordinated attack that was many weeks, if not months in the making.  Earlier this year, CNN reported on the number of foreign fighters that arrived in Benghazi to participate in the attack in the days leading up to September 11.

A witness in the 60 Minutes report noted how black al-Qaeda flags were openly flying in the months before the attack, and also noted the announced threat against U.S., British and Red Cross facilities.  How did the government miss these warnings?  Or were they simply ignored?

Fourth, the intelligence community seems to have more broadly failed to understand and anticipate how al-Qaeda was metastasizing in North Africa.

This administration has been quick to take credit for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011 and declared throughout the 2012 presidential campaign that as a result of its efforts that “core al-Qaeda” had been decimated.

However, the facts don’t support the administration’s narrative.

As CNN reported on Monday, terrorist attacks hit a record high in 2012 and, “More than 8,500 terrorist attacks killed more than 15,500 people last year as violence tore through Africa, Asia and the Middle East.”  Increasingly, this includes North African countries, like Libya.

CNN also said that “Despite the death of Osama bin Laden and capture of other key al Qaeda leaders, the group has exported its brand of terrorism to other militant Muslims.”  These groups include affiliates like Ansar al Sharia in Libya.

Additionally, CBS’ Lara Logan noted earlier this week following her report on Benghazi that, “it became evident to us during the course of our research that very little is known publicly about the true nature of al Qaeda’s network in Libya.  And that has consequences beyond Benghazi and beyond Libya. It has consequences that speak to the national security interests of the United States of America.”

Most of these affiliate terrorist groups have sworn an allegiance to al-Qaeda and appear to closely coordinate their activities and plots with the “core al-Qaeda” leadership, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s successor.  To dismiss or minimize their relationship with al-Qaeda’s senior leadership is misguided and dangerous, as we have seen over the last several years.

I fear that this administration’s insistence in treating “core al-Qaeda” in Afghanistan and Pakistan differently than groups like Ansar al Sharia in Libya has led to a dangerous mischaracterization of the threat – and has apparently resulted in a failure to anticipate attacks like the one that occurred in Benghazi.

Fifth, it appears that documents were taken from the consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi in the wake of the attacks.  As I said earlier, 60 Minutes reported that terrorist Faraj al-Chalabi, whose ties to bin Laden go back nearly two decades, is “believed to have carried documents from the compound to the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan.”  What was taken from the consulate and annex and given to al Qaeda’s leadership?

Additionally, as Lara Logan noted following her report, “We did not expect that we would find the U.S. compound in the state that we found it.  There was still debris and ammunition boxes and a whiteboard that had the day’s assignment for the security personnel at the compound as of September 11, 2012.”  Clearly in the chaos of the fighting and evacuation that night, information was left behind at the facilities that may have consequences for Americans operating in the region.

I also believe the administration’s response to the Benghazi attack over the last year has been nothing short of shameful – and that also merits a full investigation by a Select Committee.  From the first hours of the attack, when it became apparent that no help was coming to assist those under attack – either from U.S. forces or our allies in the region – to the failure of the FBI to gain access to key suspects in Tunisia and Egypt over the last year, this administration has sent a signal to terrorists that the U.S. will not strongly respond to an attack on Americans abroad.  The failure to either arrest or kill any of the scores of terrorists responsible for the attacks more than a year later is inexcusable and reflects unwillingness by this administration to bring diplomatic pressure to bear on countries harboring these terrorists.

I am increasingly convinced that this administration is more comfortable using the ongoing FBI investigation as an excuse not to answer questions than they are in bringing these terrorists to justice.  As I said on the House floor in July, last year, Tunisia detained the first suspect in the Benghazi terror attacks, Ali Harzi, after he was deported from Turkey in the weeks following the attack.  Tunisia, despite being the beneficiary of more than $300 million in U.S. foreign aid, refused to allow the FBI access to this suspect for nearly five weeks.  It was only after Congressional threats to cut off the aid that the government of Tunisia reconsidered its position.  Ultimately, the FBI interrogation team returned to Tunisia and was allowed just three hours to interview Harzi, with his lawyer and a Tunisian judge present.  Not long after the FBI interview, Harzi was inexplicably released by Tunisian authorities, and his release was celebrated by Ansar al Sharia terrorists.

Last month, it was confirmed that Harzi has been involved in at least one assassination of a Tunisian political leader.

In another equally concerning case in Egypt, the FBI has been denied access to Muhammed Jamal, an al Qaeda-connected terrorist who ran training camps in Egypt and eastern Libya prior to the Benghazi attacks.  Several of Jamal’s associates are believed to have participated in the Benghazi plot, and terrorism analysts believe that Jamal may have communicated directly with Zawahiri and al Qaeda leadership about this and other terrorist attacks.  Although Jamal has been in Egyptian custody for more than a year on other terrorism-related charges, the U.S. has never been provided access to him under both the Morsi government and now the military government.  I personally delivered a letter to former Ambassador Patterson in Cairo asking then-President Morsi to provide the FBI access to Jamal and his documents.  I don’t believe the ambassador ever even delivered my letter, despite her assurances.  Jamal’s connection to the Benghazi attack is particularly noteworthy given that both the U.S. and the United Nations formally designated him as a terrorist earlier this month.  However, in another example of this administration’s aversion to discussing terrorist connections to the Benghazi attack, the UN designation clearly notes Jamal’s connection to the Benghazi attack, whereas the State Department designation omits it.

I believe there has been pressure from the administration to omit this type of information from U.S. intelligence products, sending conflicting signals to both our allies and to countries that may have Benghazi suspects of interest to the FBI.  But if we’re unwilling to identify their involvement in the attacks, it further erodes U.S. credibility in asking for access to these individuals.  This willful blindness is disingenuous and, ultimately, dangerous.

In early January, when I offered an amendment to create a Select Committee in the House Rules package for the 113th Congress, Speaker Boehner told the Republican Conference he didn’t believe that we had “reached the threshold” for a Select Committee.  He suggested that we might get to the threshold, but the committees of jurisdiction just needed a little more time.

That may have been the case in January, but nearly 11 months later, I think the broad support that has built over the last year makes clear we have more than passed the threshold for a Select Committee now.  I believe the “threshold” has clearly been reached in terms of cosponsors, endorsements and new revelations from press reports.

I was particularly struck by comments made by Ambassador Stevens’ deputy Greg Hicks in the 60 Minutes segment on Sunday: “for us, for the people that go out onto the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they’re coming to get us.  That our back is covered.  To hear that it’s not, it’s a terrible, terrible experience.”

It is not enough for the administration to just say there’s nothing more that could have been done, especially given that evidence indicates that they didn’t try much at all to assist the Americans under fire in Benghazi.

Mr. Speaker, it’s time for a unified, bipartisan Select Committee. Let’s get to the truth once and for all so we can find out what happened and restore the American peoples’ confidence in congressional oversight. 

 

 

FBI’s rogue L.A. field office has Muslim mole

FBIseal-286x275WND: The FBI field office that defied clear and direct orders from Washington headquarters to “cease contact” with a terrorist front group at the same time allowed a Muslim agent investigated for compromising a major terrorism case to remain on the squad, WND has learned.

After the FBI banned the Council on American-Islamic Relations from its counterterror outreach programs in response to evidence the group fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian terrorist branch Hamas, the FBI’s Los Angeles field office liaisoned with CAIR in violation of official policy, according to a just-released report by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

Several directives sent from FBI headquarters required all of the bureau’s field offices to “cease contact with CAIR as an organization,” yet the L.A. office refused to comply with the command and even sent out an internal email advising personnel to ignore it.

GOP Rep. Frank Wolf, whose House judiciary subcommittee oversees the FBI’s budget, wants officials there fired.

“This is insubordinate behavior,” Wolf wrote the FBI director. “The findings in this report suggest the FBI may have a systemic problem.”

In fact, that same rogue L.A. field office happens to employ Muslim agents sympathetic to CAIR – including an Egyptian-American agent investigated for allegedly compromising a national counterterror probe that involved cells in Los Angeles, New York and Boston.

The Muslim FBI agent in Los Angeles allegedly tipped off the ringleader of a Pakistani-based terror cell that the local Joint Terrorism Task Force had it under surveillance for more than two years.

According to law enforcement officials attached to the multi-agency JTTF in Los Angeles, the “dirty” agent was a family friend of the counterterrorism target, who trained dozens of young Muslim men for jihad at his mosque in the Los Angeles suburbs while arranging for more advanced training for the jihadists at Taliban-run camps in Pakistan.

Allegedly, the agent not only alerted the suspect to “trash covers” performed outside his home by investigators, but also identified surveillance vehicles for him.

Despite compromising this and other investigations and betraying fellow law enforcement officers, the agent was allowed to stay on the job following a bureau reprimand.

CAIR, whose leaders and founders have been tied to Hamas, have enjoyed untold access to this same Los Angeles office, even as CAIR remains an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror finance case in U.S. history.

The recent Los Angeles scandal, which was first reported in the bestselling book, “Muslim Mafia,” is similar to an internal security breach that took place a few years ago at the Fairfax County, Va., Police Department, which is a key member of the Washington-based JTTF.

Read more at WND

Wolf Demands FBI Punish Agents For CAIR Contact

IPT News:

Congressman: CIA Employee Who Refused to Sign Non-Disclosure on Benghazi Suspended

Libya Consulate AttackBY: :

A CIA employee who refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring him from discussing the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, has been suspended as a result and forced to hire legal counsel, according to a top House lawmaker.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) revealed at an event on Monday that his office was anonymously informed about the CIA employee, who is purportedly facing an internal backlash after refusing to sign a legal document barring him from publicly or privately discussing events surrounding the Benghazi attack.

The revelation comes about a month after several media outlets reported that CIA employees with knowledge of the terror attack had been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA) and submit to regular polygraph tests.

“The reports on the NDA are accurate. We’re getting people who call,” Wolf said Monday during an event marking the launch of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, a panel of former military and intelligence officials who are investigating unanswered questions surrounding the Benghazi incident.

Wolf’s office first received the anonymous call earlier in the summer, soon after CNN and Fox News reported on the NDAs and polygraph tests.

The caller told Wolf’s staff that an unnamed CIA employee has been suspended after refusing to sign a Benghazi-related NDA.

“My office received a call from a man saying that he knew a CIA employee who has retained legal counsel because he has refused to sign an additional NDA regarding the Sept. 11, 2012, events in Benghazi,” Wolf said in Sept. 9 remarks at a panel discussion hosted by Judicial Watch.

Read more at Free Beacon

#BenghaziWatch Frank Wolf Asks if Benghazi Site Was Stockpiling Syrian Weapons

Frank Wolf, Chaka FattahBY: :

A top congressional appropriator suggested on Monday evening that the State Department and CIA might have been stockpiling weapons for Syrian opposition fighters when they came under attack by jihadists in Benghazi, Libya.

“I firmly believe that whatever the State Department and CIA were doing in Benghazi had a direct connection to U.S. policy in Syria—a policy that to date has not been fully revealed to the American people or Congress,” Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) said on Monday evening during a discussion focusing on “unanswered questions” surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed four Americans.

“Were these rebels being armed with weapons collected in Benghazi?” Wolf asked, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. “Again, there is reason to believe this may be the case and a clear explanation is warranted.”

The issue has a direct bearing on Congress’ debate about military intervention in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad stands accused of using chemical weapons.

“Given the pending request for authorization to use military force in Syria, it is more important than ever that the Congress understand U.S. support and assistance to Syrian rebels and whether groups responsible for the American deaths in Benghazi may have been at the same time benefitting from U.S. assistance in Syria,” Wolf said.

Congress cannot “make an informed decision” about Syria before the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi attack are “more fully understood,” said Wolf, who sent apair of letters to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday to reveal whether weapons in Benghazi could have reached Syrian rebels and “jihadist fighters.”

“The two [issues] are intimately related and may [have] a direct bearing on U.S. national security,” Wolf said.

Congress could get more answers by holding a public hearing with former CIA Director David Petraeus and current Director John Brennan, Wolf said.

A public hearing would help “determine what was going on at the CIA annex in Benghazi and what role it played in the collection and disbursement of weapons collected in Libya, specifically with the focus of trying to understand how the annex may have supported CIA efforts to arm and train Syrian rebels,” Wolf explained.

“Is it possible that the president’s intelligence finding included an authorization for the weapons collected in Libya to be transferred to Syrian rebels?” Wolf asked at the event, which was hosted by the advocacy group Judicial Watch.

“Was the CIA annex in Benghazi being used to facilitate these transfers?” Wolf asked. “I believe there is now enough evidence suggesting this that it demands a clear explanation.”

Read more at Free Beacon

#BenghaziWatch National Security leaders urge Speaker Boehner to establish Select Committee on Benghazi

176822504Washington, D.C.: Today – on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the jihadist attacks on American facilities in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans and the wounding of many more – a group of distinguished national security leaders sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner, urging him to establish a select committee to fully investigate the events surrounding last year’s assault.

The letter, organized by the Center for Security Policy, points out that the American public is losing confidence in the institutions of government to respond appropriately to these attacks, and observes that although existing mechanisms in Congress have been afforded ample time to investigate the events of Benghazi, critical questions remain unanswered.  A select committee, the letter argues, would draw upon existing investigative resources and results to date in order to bring about a comprehensive inquiry, without imposing undue costs or further delay.
The signers of the letter include:
  • Hon. Michael B. Mukasey, former Attorney General of the United States
  • Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, US Navy (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet
  • General Frederick J. Kroesen, US Army (Ret.), former Vice Chief of Staff, US Army
  • Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin, US Army (Ret.), former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence)
  • Lieutenant General Harry Edward Soyster, US Army (Ret.), former Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
  • Ambassador Henry Cooper, former Chief Negotiator, Defense and Space Talks, former Director, Strategic Defense Initiative
  • Major General Paul E. Vallely, US Army (Ret.), former Deputy Commander, US Army Forces Pacific
  • Hon. Tidal McCoy, former Secretary of the Air Force (Acting)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, US Army (Ret.), former Member of Congress
  • Hon. Joseph E. Schmitz, former Inspector General, Department of Defense
  • Hon. Michelle Van Cleave, former National Counterintelligence Executive
  • Vice Adm. Robert Monroe, US Navy (Ret.), former Director, Defense Nuclear Agency
  • Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (Acting)
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, commented:
“Nearly a year after the attacks at Benghazi, the American people are still waiting for a full accounting of what transpired there.  We have a need to know:  What policies contributed to this debacle?  Who was responsible for the lack of response during the attacks that spanned seven-hours? And why has none of those who perpetrated these murderous acts of jihad and those who attempted to mislead us about them been held accountable.
“It is now clear that only a select committee is likely to provide complete, accurate and long-overdue answers to these fundamental questions.  The military, intelligence, and national security leaders who have signed this letter speak for millions of Americans who also seek such answers.  They deserve our gratitude for their leadership in insisting that such a mechanism is established.”
The full text of the letter can be found below.
10 September 2013

Hon. John Boehner
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:
As former military, intelligence and national security officials with extensive experience in security policy and practice, we are concerned about the American people’s apparently serious loss of confidence in the institutions of their government.  One factor contributing to this alienation has been the failure of those institutions to respond appropriately to the murderous jihadist attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.  They rightly expect, at an absolute minimum, that Congress will ensure accountability for those responsible.
As you are well aware, our country is nearing the first anniversary of the assaults on the Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex in Benghazi.  To date, however, the five House committees that share jurisdiction have held only a small number of mostly less-than-illuminating hearings into the policies that led to, and the events that occurred during and after, the murder of four of our countrymen and the wounding of many more.
We appreciate that the chairmen of these committees produced four months ago a joint “interim report.”  Yet, its authors acknowledged that they did not have answers to many crucial national security questions.  Worse, as your colleague, Rep. Frank Wolf, has established in a succession of speeches delivered on the House floor in the interval, we are no closer today to knowing those answers. (Attached please find a list of the illustrative outstanding questions Congressman Wolf has highlighted.)
In addition, no timeframe has been publicly announced for going beyond the interim report or holding additional hearings toward that end. This is particularly troubling in light of press accounts that the survivors of the Benghazi attacks are being intimidated and risk job action should they come forward with their eye-witness accounts.  If Congress does not afford them an opportunity to do so without fear of retaliation by issuing subpoenas for their testimony, it will be complicit in precluding their help in seeing justice served – and in denying the American people the full accounting to which they are entitled.
We believe an ample chance has been afforded for the “regular order” to operate in investigating Benghazigate.  It has failed to do so.  Now is the time for a select committee to be established with a mandate to draw upon the five committee’s existing investigative resources and results to date and to complete – if possible by year’s end – the necessary, thorough and comprehensive inquiry.  This approach can alleviate concerns about undue costs and further delay in convening a select committee.
Mr. Speaker, the survivors want to tell their stories and correct the record.  Two different books based on their stories are reportedly in the works.  If the American people learn what happened from a published account rather than from those charged with congressional oversight, the perception of a cover-up – or at least a serious dereliction of duty – is inevitable.
Our republic is predicated on the trust of the governed in those they choose to represent them.  We must not allow the jihadists who have thus far paid no price for killing Ambassador Stevens, murdering three of his comrades and afflicting the lives of so many others to do violence as well to our people’s confidence in their constitutional form of government.
For all these reasons, we call upon you to establish without further delay a select committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks.
Sincerely,
Hon. Michael B. Mukasey, former Attorney General of the United States
Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, US Navy (Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet
General Frederick J. Kroesen, US Army (Ret.), former Vice Chief of Staff, US Army
Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin, US Army (Ret.), former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence)
Lieutenant General Harry Edward Soyster, US Army (Ret.), former Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
Ambassador Henry Cooper, former Chief Negotiator, Defense and Space Talks, former Director, Strategic Defense Initiative
Major General Paul E. Vallely, US Army (Ret.), former Deputy Commander, US Army Forces Pacific
Hon. Tidal McCoy, former Secretary of the Air Force (Acting)
Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, US Army (Ret.), former Member of Congress
Hon. Joseph E. Schmitz, former Inspector General, Department of Defense
Hon. Michelle Van Cleave, former National Counterintelligence Executive
Vice Adm. Robert Monroe, US Navy (Ret.), former Director, Defense Nuclear Agency
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (Acting)
A Selection of Outstanding Questions Concerning the Attacks in Benghazi as Posed by
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
Question of the Day #1
Where are the Benghazi survivors?
Question of the Day #2
Which agency was responsible for vetting the Libyan security guards at the U.S. consulate?
Question of the Day #3
How many Benghazi survivors were forced to sign Non-Disclosure agreements?
Question of the Day #4
Why haven’t we applied pressure to countries refusing to allow the FBI to access the terrorists responsible for the attack?
Question of the Day #5
Why was the CIA’s security team repeatedly ordered to “stand down” after the attack began?
Question of the Day #6
Why did Gen. [Carter] Ham speak publicly about the military’s response at a forum in Aspen, Colorado – where tickets start at $1,200 – yet his testimony before Congress was behind closed doors?
Question of the Day #7
Ambassador Stevens made several calls for help to nearby consulates. Which foreign consulates did he call? How did those consulates respond?
Question of the Day #8
What happened in Washington on the night of the attack and in the days to follow?
Question of the Day #9
Who are the anonymous senior administration officials who admitted “mistakes” in their handling of the attack to CBS News?
Question of the Day #10
Why was there a facility operated by the CIA in Benghazi?
Question of the Day #11
Who in the White House knew what was going on in the CIA annex in Benghazi?

Question of the Day #12
Why are these heroes being told not talk? What is the administration afraid of?
What is it protecting?

 

SPECIAL FORCES VETERANS, MEMBERS OF CONGRESS DEMAND SPECIAL #BENGHAZI INVESTIGATION

benghazi_dead_afp (1)by MATTHEW BOYLE:

Several members of Congress joined representatives of the special forces military veterans and grassroots organizations on Tuesday to launch an effort to force the House to have a thorough, public investigation into the terrorist attack at Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has introduced legislation to create a special select committee to investigate both the terrorist attack and subsequent actions by President Barack Obama’s administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department. Wolf’s bill has 161 co-sponsors. House GOP Leadership has not scheduled a vote on the bill.

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) plans to harness the support for Wolf’s bill into a “discharge petition” that would force a floor vote on the bill. The petition would need to be signed by 218 members of the House.

“I’m going to describe what a discharge petition is because a lot of people have asked me questions exactly what it is,” Stockman said at the Tuesday press conference outside the U.S. Capitol building. “It’s to ask our leadership or actually demand from our leadership that we have a vote on Frank Wolf’s bill. [Wolf is] a congressman from Virginia who has a long history of being here and is articulate in demanding that we have an independent investigation.”

Stockman added, while gesturing to blown up photographs behind him of the four Americans murdered in Benghazi, “if Congress is silenced,” then “the blood of these folks behind us is on our hands.”

“We can’t be silent any more,” he said. “It’s been a year going by that we haven’t had justice. These folks demand justice. They cry out for justice. Silence is not an option any more. We’re going to challenge them. We’re going to have a discharge petition. I encourage you to contact your congressman to sign the discharge petition.”

Stockman expects most or all of the 161 members on Wolf’s bill to support the discharge petition, and at the press conference specifically said House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) is supportive of circumventing House Leadership via the discharge petition.

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Dick Brauer, the founder of Special Operations Speaks, said the combination of Wolf’s bill and Stockman’s discharge petition “would be done to fully investigate, something that has not been done to date, the national tragedy in Benghazi, where we lost four great citizens in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.”

“You will hear this from me and others today but we need your help and your friends’ help and everybody else’s to make this happen because it’s our one chance to do something before the anniversary of that tragedy which will occur about seven weeks from now,” Brauer said.

At the press conference, Brauer’s group unrolled an enormous scroll of a petition that includes the signatures of about a thousand special forces veterans joining the call for this investigation. “What you see on my left is a one of a kind. I don’t think it’s ever been done before: a four-foot-by-sixty-foot copy of the Special Operations Speaks petition that we sent to the House of Representatives on the Eighth of April asking for this select committee with subpoena power,” Brauer said. “The scroll is signed by nearly 1,000 special operations veterans, from the rank of Lieutenant General Three Stars down to every other rank you can imagine, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, all of them passionate about what we’re trying to do.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), a congressman who supports the discharge petition, said at the press conference that he was asked by a reporter recently about Benghazi: “Gee, that was so long ago. Do we really want to pursue this now?”

“I told the reporter that when I was a judge handling felony cases, I had defendants ask me that question – ‘that was so long ago, do we really need to get into all this now?’ I can tell you when the blood of American patriots cries out, when the blood of individuals who were sent there into harm’s way, knowing how dangerous it was in Benghazi, and especially two former SEALs who were even told to ‘Stand Down’ but they wouldn’t have it,” Gohmert said. “They went to save lives and that’s exactly what they did. They even recruited another State Department man, a former army ranger, to go up there on the rooftop with them. What they knew from the first moment mortars were fired was that this was an organized, well-prepared attack on our people. We need to get to the bottom of it. Their blood cries out for that.”

Former Florida Republican Rep. Allen West concurred with the others there, adding: “If it’s more important to some people in Washington, D.C., to protect President Obama and to protect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I say shame on you. Every single member of the United States House of Representatives should have their name on this discharge petition. If their name is not on that discharge petition, you are complicit in this cover-up of what happened.”

Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy said that if the truth is not uncovered in Benghazi, a terrorist attack like it is likely to happen again. “I believe that this is not likely to be an isolated incident,” Gaffney said at the press conference “If we don’t learn the lessons of what happened in Benghazi, how we got to there, what we did on the occasion and what has happened in the aftermath, you can be sure there will be other Americans who end with the same fate.”

Read more at Breitbart

 

 

Wolf To Boehner: Establish Select Committee On Benghazi Before One-Year Anniversary Of Attacks

Dereliction-of-Duty-FiveH. Res. 36 Has 158 Republican Cosponsors – The Majority of the Majority Party

Washington, D.C. (June 19, 2013) – Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today continued to push for the establishment of a Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks.

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Wolf said that too much of the investigation on Benghazi was being done behind closed doors in classified briefings at a time when congressional approval is at an all-time low and Americans are disappointed with the lack of transparency in their government.

Wolf reiterated that a Select Committee, which currently has 158 Republican cosponsors – the majority of the majority in the House, is the only way to efficiently and openly investigate the attacks.

“Too much has been done in a piecemeal fashion, behind closed doors, thereby robbing the American people of clear answers to important questions surrounding the murder of a sitting U.S. ambassador and three civilian employees, and the grievous injury of untold others,” he wrote.

Wolf noted that even the upcoming hearing before the House Armed Services Committee next week in which Gen. Carter Ham is scheduled to testify will be closed to the public and the press.

“There is no reason Gen. Ham’s testimony shouldn’t be public,” Wolf said.

Wolf pointed out that a number of other scandals involving the Obama Administration will require aggressive oversight by Congress, specifically citing the difficulty in getting answers on the IRS scandal, which only deals with one agency.

“The Benghazi case cuts across multiple national security agencies and the White House involving sensitive information, thereby putting it in a league of its own among the various scandal investigations,” Wolf said.

“This is all the more reason to take the best of the best under a Select Committee to build, at no additional cost, on the work that has already been done through regular order,” he wrote.  “There would be no need to start over, as some have tried to say.  Nor would there be additional costs – the resolution specifically states that we should use existing resources.”

Wolf reminded Boehner that there are just five legislative weeks before the one-year anniversary of the attacks in September.

“We must not wait until the second year of this investigation to commit the focused resources of a Select Committee in pursuit of government accountability and, ultimately, truth,” he wrote.  “Sources are disappearing and leads are drying up.  The Select Committee legislation needs to be swiftly brought to the floor for a vote, so the House can hold public hearings over the summer … and attempt to provide a final public report by the first anniversary of this attack.”

Wolf concluded his letter by quoting from a recent Wall Street Journal editorial: “Let Benghazi’s chips fall.  The House should appoint a Select Committee.”

Wolf’s measure to create a Select Committee has been endorsed by the parents of some of the victims, more than 700 retired Special Operations officials, by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Associations, which represents the State Department security officers who were on the ground in Benghazi, and by the Wall Street Journal, as well asother publications.  For a full list of endorsements, click here.

For more on Wolf’s work on Benghazi, click here.

The full text of the letter is here

images (62)

 

 

Hasan: I Shot Comrades to Defend Taliban

Nidal-Hasan-beard-620x424-450x307 (1)by IPT News:

Wolf Legislation Brings Back 9/11 Commission

Disappearing-CT-language-sm

(Lexicon purge chart by Patrick Poole)

This ought to be interesting. Will we get more hearings with Obama administration officials turning themselves into pretzels trying to avoid the “Forbidden Lexicon”?

IPT, by John Rossomando:

Center Urges Select Committee to Make Real Progress on Benghazigate Scandal

-120030598

Center For Security Policy:

Republican leaders of five House committees with national security jurisdictions have issued today a “progress report” (PDF) on the fruits of their respective efforts to investigate the murderous jihadist attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.  The most important take-away is that, more than seven months after that outrage, these committees still do not know precisely what happened.

More to the point, the report indicates that the five committees intend to continue their investigations.  It seems predictable that months spent on more of the same, business-as-usual inquiries will produce more of the same stonewalling by the executive branch, a host of still-unanswered questions and a continuing lack of accountability for the policies that got us into this fiasco in Libya, for the conduct during the attack and for the cover-up that was perpetrated at the highest levels of the Obama administration.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy, responded to the issuing of this report by renewing the Center’s call for the establishment, instead, of a select committee to get to the bottom of the Benghazigate scandal.

The American people are entitled to know the truth about what happened before, during and following the attack last year in Benghazi on 9/11.  While the existing, standing committees have shed some light on pieces of this sordid affair, it is now evident that that truth simply is unlikely to be forthcoming in the absence of an aggressive investigative effort with real teeth.

We believe this progress report reinforces the request recently made by 700-plus Special Forces veterans urging Congress to establish a select committee pursuant to House Resolution 36, sponsored by Rep. Frank Wolf and a majority of the House Republican caucus.  It is time for real progress and a select committee evidently is necessary to get it.

Concerned citizens can help get this select committee established by urging their representatives to endorse H.Res.36 by going to www.EndtheCoverup.com.