Phares on Benghazi hearings: “Did Washington consider the Salafi militias allies or foes?”

By Walid Phares
Zawahiri and Benghazi

Commenting on the US Congressional hearings on Benghazi, particularly the hearing sessions with Secretary Hilary Clinton, Dr Walid Phares said the central question that would determine the answers to most important issues in this hearing was and will continue to be ‘how did the Administration perceive the Salafi militias operating in Benghazi, and in Libya in general.”
Phares, a congressional advisor and the author of ‘The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East’ told ‘Mideast Newswire’ “If Washington considered the Salafist militias, and Ansar al Sharia was one of them, as partners in the fight against Gaddafi, then the readiness US missions had towards these militias would have been low. But if the Administration considered these militias, many of which had ties to al Qaeda, as a threat to the US, then the level of readiness was poor.” Phares, who advised Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney on the Middle East, said “tactical and local security considerations can be understood and analyzed only in the context of a larger threat situation.
There is a disconnect that has not been addressed still: The Administration worked with these Jihadi militias in one form or another. These forces were not on the map as a threat to US national security because of a political determination that they were on the right side of history, and they were perceived as in transition to integration. I think Congress and special investigation committees ought to focus on this central issue first. Once this stance is explained, then one can understand the rest of the questions.”

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