LATEST BENGHAZI FOIA LAWSUIT MAY REVEAL WHAT CONGRESS KNEW BEFORE ATTACK

imagescaoeryuz (1)by KERRY PICKET:

Judicial Watch, a Washington D.C based watchdog organization, announced last week, that it filed on May 15, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Departments of Defense and State to get records relating to briefings that any members of Congress’ “Super 8” may have received about “the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.”

Breitbart News previously reported how the Benghazi issue is interwoven with U.S. law regarding White House briefings on covert CIA actions the executive branch wishes to authorize.

This general protocol to notify Congress of such covert actions has been the law since the passage of the 1947 National Security Act.  By 1980, legislation was passed and signed into law to give the president the authority to limit prior notification of extremely sensitive covert actions to eight members of Congress.

From their FOIA, Judicial Watch has requested:

a) Any and all records detailing the dates on which any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] briefed any of the following members of Congress on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.

    • Rep. John Boehner [Speaker of the House]
    • Rep. Mike Rogers [Chairman, House Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence]
    • Rep. Charles “Dutch” Ruppersberger [Ranking Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence]
    • Rep. Nancy Pelosi [Minority Leader of the House]
    • Sen. Dianne Feinstein [Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence]
    • Sen. Saxby Chambliss [Vice Chairman, Senate Select Committee in Intelligence]
    • Sen. Harry Reid [Senate Majority Leader]
    • Sen. Mitch McConnell [Senate Minority Leader]

b) Any and all records produced by any official of the[ Departments of Defense and State] in preparation for, use during, and/or pursuant to any of the aforementioned briefings (including, but is not limited to, any and all reports, analyses, presentation slides, and/or notes).

c) Any and all records of communication between any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] and any of the aforementioned members of Congress and/or any of their respective staff members regarding, concerning, or related to activities or operations of any agency of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or the classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.

CNN and the UK Telegraph both reported in August of 2013 that a complex arms operation was happening in Benghazi prior to and during the attack and the White House and the State Department have never confirmed why the CIA annex was in Benghazi to begin with.

Since 2013, Breitbart News has spoken to different members of the Super 8 and each have denied knowing anything about an arms running operation in Libya, but while only one has confirmed that he was aware of the existence of the CIA annex in Benghazi, others were either unaware of the CIA facility or were not willing to say either way.

Some members may try to publicly deny the classified information they are briefed about. Pelosi, a Super 8 member, was snagged in 2009, when it came to light  she was briefed in 2003 by the Bush White House about the administration’s tactic to water-board terrorism suspects during interrogations. Pelosi previously denied she was aware of this fact and attacked the Bush administration for it.

Radio host Laura Ingraham asked Speaker John Boehner on January 24, 2013 about Senator Rand Paul’s gun running in Libya questioning to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Paul asked if the secretary was aware of U.S. involvement in the procuring of weapons that were transferred, bought or sold to Turkey out of Libya. Clinton, seemingly confused, told Paul “nobody [had] ever raised” the issue with her before.

Boehner replied to Ingraham, “I’m somewhat familiar with the chatter about this and the fact that these arms were moving towards Turkey, but most of what I know about this came from a classified source and I really can’t elaborate on it.”

Congressman Rogers (R-MI), though, told Breitbart News in June of 2013, “I get to see all of that stuff. I have seen nothing that would allow me to conclude that the U.S. government was in any way shape or form involved in gun running in Libya. I looked at it all.”

Senator Chambliss (R-GA), when asked in February of 2013 if he knew anything about the gun running issue Senator Rand Paul asked Clinton about a month earlier replied , “I’m not familiar with that.”

Senator Feinstein (D-CA) told Breitbart News in March of 2013 she “didn’t know what” Senator Paul was talking about in regards to his questioning of Clinton and the Secretary’s knowledge about the gunrunning issue in Benghazi.

Congressman Ruppersberger (D-MD) also did not appear to know anything about a gunrunning operation in Libya either, telling Breitbart News in May of 2013, “I don’t know anything about that. The only thing I know is that even before he was ambassador, he knew very much about Libya and he had a lot of good relationships and contacts, trying to resolve issues, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

The existence of the CIA annex in Benghazi prior the attack also seemed to not be on some of the Super 8’s radar. In fact, according to the Senate’s Intelligence Committee report (p.27-28) on Benghazi, General Carter Ham– the second Commander, U.S. Africa Command, was not aware of the annex either before the attack happened.

Read more at Breitbart

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Judicial Watch Sues Departments of Defense and State for Records about Benghazi Briefings of Congressional Leaders

jw(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that on May 15, 2014, it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Departments of Defense and State to obtain records regarding briefings given to top congressional leaders regarding “the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya” (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-00812)).

The Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit, filed in accordance with the March 6, 2014, FOIA requests sent to the two agencies, specifically seeks the following information from January 1, 2011, to the present:

a)  Any and all records detailing the dates on which any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] briefed any of the following members of Congress on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya:

    • Rep. John Boehner [Speaker of the House]
    • Rep. Mike Rogers [Chairman, House Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence]
    • Rep. Charles “Dutch” Ruppersberger [Ranking Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence]
    • Rep. Nancy Pelosi [Minority Leader of the House]
    • Sen. Dianne Feinstein [Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence]
    • Sen. Saxby Chambliss [Vice Chairman, Senate Select Committee in Intelligence]
    • Sen. Harry Reid [Senate Majority Leader]
    • Sen. Mitch McConnell [Senate Minority Leader]

b) Any and all records produced by any official of the[ Departments of Defense and State] in preparation for, use during, and/or pursuant to any of the aforementioned briefings (including, but is not limited to, any and all reports, analyses, presentation slides, and/or notes).

c) Any and all records of communication between any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] and any of the aforementioned members of Congress and/or any of their respective staff members regarding, concerning, or related to activities or operations of any agency of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or the classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.

“It has now been nearly two years since the deadly terrorist attack on the mission compound at Benghazi, and there are still more questions than answers,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “In fact, we still don’t even know what information was provided by the Obama administration to the members of the Senate and House leadership and the leadership of the intelligence committees – or whether certain members of Congress were in on the ‘cover-up.’ The American people deserve to know that information in order to decide for themselves whether the upcoming investigation by the House Select Committee is focusing on the issues that matter most.”

On April 29, 2014, Judicial Watch released 41 new Benghazi-related State Department documents that created a firestorm in the nation’s capital, resulting in the appointment by House Speaker Boehner of a Special Select Committee to investigate the terrorist attack on Benghazi. The new documents included an email showing then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other Obama administration public relations officials attempting to orchestrate a campaign to “reinforce” President Obama and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.” Other documents showed that State Department officials initially described the incident as an “attack” and a possible kidnap attempt.

Among the top administration PR personnel who received the Rhodes memo were White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, then-White House Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, then-National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Pelton, Special Assistant to the Press Secretary Howli Ledbetter, and then-White House Senior Advisor and political strategist David Plouffe.

Since the attack in Benghazi, serious questions have been raised as to why Ambassador Stevens was at the Special Mission Compound. In August 2013, CNN reported, “Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels.” Earlier, Gregory Hicks, the State Department’s Deputy Chief of Mission in Tripoli at the time of the attack, told the House Oversight Committee that one of the reasons Stevens was in Benghazi was that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “wanted Benghazi converted into a permanent constituent post.” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, has said he will investigate why U.S. State Department remained in Benghazi when other international entities pulled out due to militant activities.

Benghazi Smoking Gun Exposed

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The idea that the Obama administration willfully orchestrated a disinformation campaign with regard to the attacks in Benghazi has now been confirmed.

An email written by then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and obtained by Judicial Watch contained four bullet-point “Goals” outlined as part of the strategy to contain the political damage engendered by the murder of four Americans on September 11, 2012 at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. One bullet-point in particular revealed the Obama administration’s deliberate crafting of a deceitful narrative following the incident.  According to the Judicial Watch emails, the objective of the Obama administration was to “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

The email was part of a series of 41 new Benghazi-related documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed June 21, 2013. That effort was aimed at gaining access to the documents used by then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice for her September 16 appearance on five different  Sunday TV news programs. Rhodes’ email was sent on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 8:09 PM. It contained the following subject line: “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.”

“Now we know the Obama White House’s chief concern about the Benghazi attack was making sure that President Obama looked good,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And these documents undermine the Obama administration’s narrative that it thought the Benghazi attack had something to do with protests or an Internet video. Given the explosive material in these documents, it is no surprise that we had to go to federal court to pry them loose from the Obama State Department.”

Rhodes’ email was sent to several members of the administration’s inner circle. They included White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest, then-White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, then-White House Deputy Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, then-National Security Council Director of Communications Erin Pelton, Special Assistant to the Press Secretary Howli Ledbetter, and then-White House Senior Advisor and political strategist David Plouffe.

Another critical email contained in the documents was written by former Deputy Spokesman at U.S. Mission to the United Nations Payton Knopf. It was addressed to Susan Rice and sent on Sept. 12, 2012, at 5:42 PM. It provided a brief summary of the attack, and further revealed that State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland had characterized the compound assault as “clearly a complex attack.” This characterization undermined Rice’s contention that the attacks were “spontaneous.”

Nonetheless when Rice appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and CNN she insisted, as she specifically stated on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” that “based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy–sparked by this hateful video.”

Sen. John McCain, who immediately followed Rice’s appearance, revealed the utter nonsense of her assertion. “Most people don’t bring rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons to a demonstration,” he explained. “That was an act of terror, and for anyone to disagree with that fundamental fact I think is really ignoring the facts.”

Not ignoring the facts. Making them up.

Read more at Front Page

Benghazi emails suggest White House aide involved in prepping Rice for ‘video’ explanation

 

Sept. 13, 2012: A Libyan man investigates the inside of the U.S. Consulate after the attack that killed four Americans.AP

Sept. 13, 2012: A Libyan man investigates the inside of the U.S. Consulate after the attack that killed four Americans.AP


Fox News, April 29, 2014 By 
:

Newly released emails on the Benghazi terror attack suggest a senior White House aide played a central role in preparing former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for her controversial Sunday show appearances — where she wrongly blamed protests over an Internet video.

More than 100 pages of documents were released to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Among them was a Sept. 14, 2012, email from Ben Rhodes, an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

The Rhodes email, with the subject line: “RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET,” was sent to a dozen members of the administration’s inner circle, including key members of the White House communications team such as Press Secretary Jay Carney.

In the email, Rhodes specifically draws attention to the anti-Islam Internet video, without distinguishing whether the Benghazi attack was different from protests elsewhere.

The email lists the following two goals, among others:

“To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

“To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

The email goes on to state that the U.S. government rejected the message of the Internet video. “We find it disgusting and reprehensible. But there is absolutely no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence,” the email stated.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the documents read like a PR strategy, not an effort to provide the best available intelligence to the American people.

“The goal of the White House was to do one thing primarily, which was to make the president look good. Blame it on the video and not [the] president’s policies,” he said.

The Rhodes email was not part of the 100 pages of emails released by the administration last May — after Republicans refused to move forward with the confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director until the so-called “talking points” emails were made public.

The email is also significant because in congressional testimony in early April, former deputy CIA director Michael Morell told lawmakers it was Rice, in her Sunday show appearances, who linked the video to the Benghazi attack. Morell said the video was not part of the CIA analysis.

“My reaction was two-fold,” Morell told members of the House Intelligence Committee, regarding her appearances. “One was that what she said about the attacks evolving spontaneously from a protest was exactly what the talking points said, and it was exactly what the intelligence community analysts believed. When she talked about the video, my reaction was, that’s not something that the analysts have attributed this attack to.”

Incidentally, three leading Republicans on Monday night sent letters to the House and Senate foreign affairs committees asking them to compel the administration to explain who briefed Rice in advance of the Sunday talk shows and whether State Department or White House personnel were involved.

“How could former Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, during the five Sunday talk shows on September 16, 2012, claim that the attacks on our compounds were caused by a hateful video when Mr. Morell testified that the CIA never mentioned the video as a causal factor,” said the letter, from Sens. Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina; Kelly Ayotte, of New Hampshire; and John McCain, of Arizona.

The Sept. 14 Rhodes email does not indicate whether there was a “prep call” for Rice, as it suggests. If the call went ahead, it does not indicate who briefed her. Fox News has asked the White House if Rhodes prepped Rice for the Sunday shows, and, if he didn’t, who did — as well as what intelligence Rhodes relied upon.

The newly released emails also show that on Sept. 27, 2012 a Fox News report — titled “US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm” — was circulated at the most senior levels of the administration. This included going to then-deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough; then-White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan; Morell; and Rhodes, among others, but the comments were redacted, citing “personal privacy information.”

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Uncovered by JW: Top Pentagon Leader Ordered Destruction of bin Laden Death Photos

lie(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that on January 31, 2014, it received documents from the Department of Defense (Pentagon) revealing that within hours of its filing a May 13, 2011, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking photos of the deceased Osama bin Laden, U.S. Special Operations Commander, Admiral William McRaven ordered his subordinates to “destroy” any photos they may have had “immediately.” Judicial Watch had filed a FOIA request for the photos 11 days earlier.

The McRaven email, addressed to “Gentlemen,” instructs:

One particular item that I want to emphasize is photos; particularly UBLs remains. At this point – all photos should have been turned over to the CIA; if you still have them destroy them immediately or get them to the [redacted].

According to the Pentagon documents, McRaven sent his email on “Friday, May 13, 2011 5:09 PM.”  The documents do not detail what documents, if any, were destroyed in response to the McRaven directive. The Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit seeking the documents was filed in the United States Court for the District of Columbia only hours earlier. Judicial Watch also announced the filing at a morning press conference.

On May 2, Judicial Watch had filed a FOIA request with the Defense Department seeking “all photographs and/or video recordings of Usama (Osama) Bin Laden taken during and/or after the U.S. military operation in Pakistan on or about May 1, 2011.”  Federal law contains broad prohibitions against the “concealment, removal, or mutilation generally” of government records.

The records containing the McRaven “destroy them immediately” email were produced as a result of a June 7, 2013, FOIA request and a subsequent lawsuit against the Defense Department for records relating to reports of the 2011 McRaven purge directive. McRaven’s order was first mentioned at the end of a 2011 draft reportby the Pentagon’s inspector general (IG) examining whether the Obama administration gave special access to Hollywood executives planning the film “Zero Dark Thirty.”  According the draft report, “ADM McRaven also directed that the names and photographs associated with the raid not be released. This effort included purging the combatant command’s system of all records related to the operation and providing these records to another Government Agency.”  The reference to the document purge did not appear in the final IG report.

The move by McRaven to purge the photos appears to have come, at least in part, in response to aggressive efforts by Judicial Watch to obtain images of the deceased bin Laden that President Obama, in a rewrite of federal open records law, had refused to disclose. In addition to its May 2, 2011, FOIA request with the Pentagon Judicial Watch filed an identical request on May 3, 2011, with the CIA. When neither the Defense Department nor the CIA complied with the FOIA requests, Judicial Watch, in June 2011, filed FOIA lawsuits against both agencies.  In the course of the litigation, the Pentagon claimed that it had “no records responsive to plaintiff’s request.”

On April 26, 2012, District Court Judge James Boasberg accepted the Obama DOD and CIA arguments, ruling that the images could remain secret while conceding: “Indeed, it makes sense that the more significant an event is to our nation – and the end of bin Laden’s reign of terror certainly ranks high – the more need the public has for full disclosure.” On May 21, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the District Court decision while conceding that the documents may not have been properly classified. The Supreme Court of the United States subsequently denied Judicial Watch’s petition for a writ of certiorari seeking a review of the issue.

“The McRaven ‘destroy them immediately’ email is a smoking gun, revealing both contempt for the rule of law and the American’s people right to know,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama administration has tried to cover this scandal up – and our lawsuit exposed it.  We demand further investigation of the effort to destroy documents about the bin Laden raid.”

Obama Administration Withholds Key Benghazi Emails

1606997_10202980423374549_41669270_n (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the Obama administration was seeking to withhold key emails about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, indicating what it terms “a continued cover-up of the deadly scandal.” The documents, released in December, include multiple emails, which are heavily redacted, about the controversial Benghazi talking points that falsely portray the attack as being the result of a spontaneous protest.

On October 18, 2012, JW filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request with the Department of State seeking information about talking points used to discuss the Benghazi attack that were given  then UN Ambassador Rice and others in the Obama administration.  After waiting months for a response, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the State Department on June 21, 2013, captioned (Judicial Watch, Inc., v. U.S. Department of State, (Civil Action No. 13-cv-00951 (EGS)) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and requested that the State Department be compelled to produce all non-exempt responsive documents.

To date, the State Department has produced two sets of documents, each containing little or no information not previously available to the public. The first set of documents consisted of 1192 pages of daily press clips from the United States Mission to the United Nations, dated September 12-28.  The documents contained nothing beyond published news stories.  The second set of documents, provided to Judicial Watch on December 13, 2013 consists of 67 pages of emails.  The majority of the content is redacted, aside from three prepared talking points sent to members of Congress on September 15, 2012, the first containing the administration’s false claim that the attack was “spontaneously inspired:”

  • “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex.  There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
  • “This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.”
  • “The investigation is on-going, and the US Government is working with Libyan authorities to bring justice to those responsible for the deaths of US citizens.”

The Obama administration has withheld the name of the CIA official who distributed these inaccurate talking points, which seemed to have been used to brief Congress.

“Even after a year and a federal lawsuit, the Obama administration is still in full stonewall mode on Benghazi.  Why else would they produce dozens of blanked out emails?” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Our lawyers are considering challenges to latest Obama secrecy gambit.”

In June, 2013, Judicial Watch obtained the first seven photos from the Department of State depicting the aftermath of the September 11 Benghazi attacks, including: a burned and ransacked building, burned vehicles, and Arabic graffiti with militant Islamist slogans. In November, it obtained additional previously withheld photos, depicting: a car on fire; what appears to be the exterior of a burned out building; ransacked rooms within the building with files and office supplies strewn across the floor; and additional militant Islamist slogans.

Judicial Watch currently has four pending FOIA lawsuits against the Obama administration for documents about the attack, 14 FOIA requests and one Mandatory Declassification Review Request. It has published two in-depth special reports on Benghazi, the last one on the first anniversary of the terrorist attack. [The first Special Report can be accessed here , the second here.]

 

Obama, Eric Holder, cartoons and Lady Gaga are among the ‘inappropriate’ images purged from FBI counter-terror training

A photo of President Obama in a turban was among documents purged from FBI counter-terrorism training materials.(AP Image)

A photo of President Obama in a turban was among documents purged from FBI counter-terrorism training materials.(AP Image)

 

 

BY MARK FLATTEN:

A photo of President Obama in a turban and cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that led to terrorist plots against the Danish newspaper that published them are among documents purged from FBI counter-terrorism training materials, new disclosures from the agency show.

The documents deemed unfit for inclusion in FBI classrooms range from slides showing verses in the Quran favored by terrorists to a video called “God Hates Lady Gaga” produced by a fundamentalist church best known for its intrusive anti-gay protests at veterans’ funerals.

Entire sections dealing with Middle Eastern history, Islamic culture and techniques for interviewing Muslims while being mindful of Islamic customs were removed.

So was a reference to Attorney General Eric Holder’s inability to define radicalism in a 2010 congressional hearing. The reason for that deletion was redacted.

The FBI began scrubbing its training materials in October 2011 after media reports that some of the presentations were deemed offensive or inaccurate.

Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller ordered the review under pressure from several Islamic-American groups. It was completed in March 2012.

Critics say the effort was driven by political correctness and made America more vulnerable by limiting the training FBI counter-terror agents receive to avoid offending Muslims.

“If you are going to be able to survive an enemy that wants to kill you and destroy your country, then you have got to know and understand your enemy,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, a longtime critic of the FBI document purge.

“When you are in a war to save your country, your way of life, your liberty, then you need to know everything you can about those who are trying to destroy you,” he said.

“For the first time I am aware of in our nation’s history, we are refusing to take a good look at who wants to destroy us,” Gohmert said.

Almost 700 pages that were discarded by the FBI were released to the Washington Examiner in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed in April 2012.

The disclosure provided no accounting of whether all removed materials were released or an explanation of why individual presentations were deemed unacceptable.

The Examiner compared the new documents to records released in May by the nonprofit watchdog group Judicial Watch, which obtained them through FOIA.

Those records included explanations of why individual pages were considered unacceptable, but not the actual pages themselves.

The Judicial Watch records make reference to about 475 separate document numbers that include purged materials. The agency disclosures to the Examiner list only about a third of those files.

However, since many pages are duplicated in multiple presentations, it is not clear how many documents were not released.

Gohmert, who previously reviewed the FBI files, said he believes large numbers of documents were not released to the Examiner.

The FBI refuses to release information about the Subject Matter Experts, or SMEs, who reviewed the training documents and decided which presentations had to be removed.

Read more at the Washington Examiner

Video: The Legacy of FDR’s Normalization of Relations with the USSR

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With (left to right) Stanton Evans, Frank Gaffney, Diana West, Chris Farrell and (not pitcured) Stephen Coughlin

Eightieth Anniversary of Deal That Facilitated Penetration of U.S. Government, Society

Washington, DC — Eighty years ago this Saturday, President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed for the first time to recognize the Communist regime of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. He did so on the basis of formal undertakings by then-Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov that the Kremlin would not engage in subversive actions in America.
The rest, as they say, is history. And a sordid and still unfolding history it is.

“The 16th of November 1933 is a day that truly should live in infamy. This symposium will explore its significance both in terms of much of the most sordid history of the 20th Century — and as the predicate for similar forces at work in the 21st.”

The Center for Security Policy is pleased to convene a symposium to review that history — both that of the immediate post-normalization period, of World War II, of the Cold War and of today — from noon-2:00 p.m. at the headquarters of Judicial Watch in Washington, D.C.

  • Diana West, author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character;
  • M. Stanton Evans, author of Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government Relations;
  • Christopher Farrell, Chief Investigator, Judicial Watch; and
  • Stephen Coughlin, author of the forthcoming book, Catastrophic Failure.
  • Frank Gaffney, President, Center for Security Policy, moderator.

Diana West at 7:09, Stanton Evans at 24:15, Chris Farrell at 47:09, Stephen Coughlin at 57:57 followed by Q&A (which you do not want to miss)

FITTON: Clinton White House ignored 9/11 warnings

116_2013_b1fittonlgosama8201_s640x901By Tom Fitton:

It took 11 years, but Judicial Watch recently received a response to a 2002 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that revealed another major missed opportunity by the Clinton administration to prevent the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, which is part of perhaps the most catastrophic failure in the history of U.S. intelligence.

The new document reads like a Robert Ludlum spy novel, replete with exotic locales and sinister plots. Its pages explode with intricate twists and international intrigue. The villains are palpably evil; their plans, pernicious and deadly. But the good guys seemed largely oblivious to their machinations.

The chilling details come from the Defense Intelligence Agency, which finally handed over an intelligence information report titled “Letters Detailing Osama bin Laden and Terrorists’ Plans to Hijack an Aircraft Flying Out of Frankfurt, Germany, in 2000.” The report is dated Sept. 27, 2001.

In early 2000, the documents informed America’s top intelligence analysts that al Qaeda had devised a sophisticated plan to hijack a commercial airliner departing Frankfurt International Airport between March and August 2000. The terrorist team was to consist of an Arab, a Pakistani and a Chechen, and their targets were U.S. AirlinesLufthansa and Air France. The document pieces together an intricate plot directed by a 40-year-old Saudi, Sheik Dzabir, from a prominent family with ties to the House of Saud. It revealed that al Qaeda had actually penetrated the consular section of the German Embassy in IslamabadPakistan, relying on a contact referred to as “Mrs. Wagner” to provide European Union visas for use in forged Pakistani passports for the terrorists.

These revelations came from an unidentified source that provided U.S. authorities with copies of Arabic letters containing precise information about the al Qaeda plot. It was all laid out in minute detail.

So, how did the Clinton administration respond? In the incriminating words of the intelligence information report, advanced warning of the plot “was disregarded because nobody believed that Osama bin Laden or the Taliban could carry out such an operation.” Perhaps that explains why, for 13 years, the report was classified “secret” and hidden from public view until Judicial Watch forced its release in August of this year.

Read more at Washington Times

 

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

Declassified Docs Reveal FBI Identifying Anwar al-Aulaqi as a Terrorist Day before He Spoke at Pentagon Luncheon

Anwar-al-Awlaki-new-leader-bin-laden_blog_main_horizontalDatabase records on al-Aulaqi include FBI alert: “Warning – approach with caution … Do not alert the individual to the FBI’s interest and contact your local FBI field office at earliest opportunity.”

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealing that the agency had warned agents who spotted U.S.-born al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Aulaqi to “approach with caution” the day before he spoke as an invited guest at a Pentagon luncheon.  The documents also reveal that the FBI proposed prosecuting al-Aulaqi in 2001 and 2002 on charges stemming from the Imam’s spending a total of $2,320 for seven documented encounters with high-priced Washington, D.C., prostitutes.

The documents were obtained by Judicial Watch pursuant to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the FBI and the Department of State seeking records related to the al-Qaeda leader killed in a CIA-led U.S. drone attack.

Specific revelations contained in the newly released documents include the following:

  • The FBI had already identified al-Aulaqi as a dangerous terrorist when he was invited to speak at a Pentagon luncheon.

The documents obtained from the FBI include a computer database record showing that an FBI employee searching for al-Aulaqi’s criminal history on February 4, 2002 – the day before al-Aulaqi spoke as an invited guest at a Pentagon luncheon – retrieved information identifying al-Aulaqi as a “terrorist organization member” and containing the following alert:  “Warning – approach with caution . . . Do not alert the individual to the FBI’s interest and contact your local FBI field office at the earliest opportunity.” [Emphasis added.]

  • Al-Aulaqi spent thousands of dollars patronizing prostitutes on several occasions in 2001 and 2002, and the FBI proposed prosecuting him on charges related to that activity.

The FBI records include a June 4, 2002, memorandum from Assistant FBI Director Pasquale D’Amuro to Office of Intelligence Policy and Review Counsel James A. Baker documenting al-Aulaqi’s use of prostitutes in the Washington, DC area on at least 7 occasions between November 5, 2001 and February 4, 2002 (the day before his speech at the Pentagon). The detailed memorandum seeks Bureau approval for the prosecution of al-Aulaqi for prostitution-related charges and notes that al-Aulaqi spent a total of $2,320 for the encounters[Emphasis added.] In addition, FBI surveillance reports indicate that al-Aulaqi sought and/or engaged the services of a prostitute on at least four more occasions in January 2002.

  • Al-Aulaqi’s doctoral education was financed by the World Bank and supported by the Government of Yemen.

The documents include a July 12, 2000 letter from the Center for International Programs at New Mexico State University (where al-Aulaqi received his Master’s degree) confirming that he was, “sponsored for a Ph.D. degree under the auspices of a World Bank Community College Project in Yemen. This project will pay for Mr. al-Aulaqi’s tuition and fees, books, health insurance, and living costs while he is pursuing a Ph.D. degree program.”

  • The FBI was investigating al-Aulaqi’s links to terrorism as early as 1999.

The records include a previously Secret memorandum dated June 15, 1999 from the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s San Diego office to the FBI Director requesting that the Bureau open a counterterrorism investigation into al-Aulaqi. As part of this investigation, agents conducted surveillance of his home and at the al-Ribat mosque in San Diego where he served as Imam more than two years before the 9/11 attacks.

According to FOIA documents previously obtained from the FBI by Judicial Watch, the FBI was aware as far back as September 27, 2001, that al-Aulaqi may have purchased airplane tickets for three of the 9/11 terrorist hijackers, including mastermind Mohammed Atta. On October 10, 2002, al-Aulaqi was detained at New York’s JFK airport under a warrant for passport fraud, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. However, the FBI ordered al-Aulaqi’s release, even though the arrest warrant was still active at the time of his detention.

Read more

Also see: Exclusive Documents: Was Anwar al-Awlaki a government asset? by Catherine Herridge

Documents Obtained By JW Reveal FBI Training Curricula Purged of Material Deemed “Offensive” to Muslims

130520_fbi_jacket_apBreitbart, By Tom Fitton:

Political correctness is dangerous, even deadly, especially when it is practiced by one of the nation’s most important law enforcement agencies.

Judicial Watch recently released hundreds of pages of FBI memos and other documentsrevealing that, in 2012, the agency purged its anti-terrorism training curricula of material determined by an undisclosed group of “Subject Matter Experts” (SME) to be “offensive” to Muslims. The excised material included references linking the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism, tying al Qaeda to the 1993 World Trade Center and Khobar Towers bombings, and suggesting that “young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance … may fit the terrorist profile best.”

These discoveries all stem from our investigation of a February 8, 2012, meeting between FBI Director Robert Mueller and various Islamic organizations. During the meeting, Mueller reportedly assured the Islamic groups in attendance that the agency had ordered the removal of presentations and curricula on Islam from FBI offices around the country that were deemed “offensive.”

As reported by NPR: “The FBI has completed a review of offensive training material and has purged 876 pages and 392 presentations, according to a briefing provided to lawmakers.”

To get the full story on the FBI’s attempts to placate Muslims, perhaps to the detriment of our national security, we filed a FOIA request on March 7, 2012. Specifically, we sought access to records detailing the meeting as well as “any and all records setting criteria or guidelines for FBI curricula on Islam or records identifying potentially offensive material within the FBI curricula on Islam.” We also asked for records detailing the directives to withdraw FBI presentations and curricula on Islam.

Predictably, the agency stonewalled, forcing JW to file a lawsuit on July 18, 2012. Six months later, January 15, 2013 we received our first batch of documents, followed by a second grouping on April 16, 2013. And here’s what we discovered regarding the reasons given by the FBI’s SME for purging “offensive” training documents:

  • “Article is highly inflammatory and inaccurately argues the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization.”
  • “Page 13 inaccurately states that AQ [al Qaeda] is responsible for the bombing of the Khobar Towers and that AQ is ‘clearly linked’ to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.”
  • The Qur’an is not the teachings of the Prophet, but the revealed word of God.”
  • “Remove sweeping generality of ‘Those who fit the terrorist profile best (for the present at least) are young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance’”
  • “author seems to conflate ‘Islamic militancy’ with ‘terrorism’ and needs to define the difference and use it in their analysis”

In its May 22, 2013, article on some of the Judicial Watch revelations, The Washington Examiner reported, “While the Muslim Brotherhood is not on the U.S. State Department’s official list of international terrorist organizations, some of its offshoots, including the Palestinian group Hamas, are.” Ironically, FBI Director Mueller, who ordered the purge of “offensive” material – including the exoneration of the Muslim Brotherhood – has described the organization as a group that supports terrorism in the US and overseas.

As we recently learned from the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, the country is less safe when we allow radical Muslim organizations to tell the FBI how to train its agents and do its job. The FBI’s purge of so called “offensive” material is political correctness run amok, and it puts the nation at risk. The Obama administration needs to stop putting the tender sensibilities of radical Islamists above the safety of the American people.

Judicial Watch has two major events going on. Today, Monday June 17th, at 8 p.m. ET, Judicial Watch’s hard-hitting documentary District of Corruption will have its national television broadcast premiere on AXS TV. Then on Thursday June 20th, Judicial Watch will host a panel discussion on the continuing Obama IRS scandal. Be sure to catch both of these exciting events!

 

Documents Show FBI Purged Training Materials Deemed ‘Offensive’ to Muslims by the Professionally Offended

MBUSASealsPJ Media, By Brian Preston:

According to Judicial Watch, it has obtained documents that show the Federal Bureau of Investigations intentionally blinding itself.

Judicial Watch has released hundreds of pages of FBI memos and other documents revealing that, in 2012, the agency purged its anti-terrorism training curricula of material determined by an undisclosed group of “Subject Matter Experts” (SME) to be “offensive” to Muslims. The excised material included references linking the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism, tying al Qaeda to the 1993 World Trade Center and Khobar Towers bombings, and suggesting that “young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance … may fit the terrorist profile best.”

Judicial Watch obtained the materials on January 15 and on April 16, 2013, pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on July 18,2013 (Judicial Watch v. Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01183)).

The documents show the specific reasons used to purge the materials:

·        “Article is highly inflammatory and inaccurately argues the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization.”

·        “Page 13 inaccurately states that AQ (al Qaeda) is responsible for the bombing of the Khobar Towers and that AQ is ‘clearly linked’ to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.”

·        “The overall tenor of the presentation is too informal in the current political context.”

·        “The Qur’an is not the teachings of the Prophet, but the revealed word of God.”

·        “Remove references to mosques specifically as a radicalization incubator.”

·        “Remove sweeping generality of ‘Those who fit the terrorist profile best (for the present at least) are young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance’”

·         “author seems to conflate ‘Islamic militancy’ with ‘terrorism’ and needs to define the difference and use it in their analysis”

Judicial Watch sums up what the documents mean:

“The FBI is rewriting history in order to help al Qaeda. This shows that the law enforcement agency is in need of serious top-to-bottom reform. As we recently learned from the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, the country is less safe when we allow radical Muslim organizations to tell the FBI how to train its agents and do its job,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FBI’s purge of so called ‘offensive’ material is political correctness run amok, and it puts the nation at risk. The Obama administration needs to stop putting the tender sensibilities of radical Islamists above the safety of the American people.”

Well, we know who sets the tone.

Checks link 9/11 hijacker to Anwar al-Awlaki

WEB-ONLY-AnwarAlAwlaki001crp_1317412621-600x350Money Jihad:

A newly released FBI report indicates that an unnamed male once received a check from radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki for $280 and gave a check for $175 to Nawaf Al-Hamzi, a hijacker on American Airlines Flight 77 that flew into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.  The transactions suggest that al-Awlaki funded Al-Hamzi through this unnamed intermediary.

This is the third report in the last two months of a U.S.-based imam having helped to finance terrorism.

Hat tip to El Grillo for tweeting this press release from Judicial Watch on Mar. 28:

JW Obtains FBI Records Detailing Banking Activity and Purchases Linking Anwar al-Aulaqi and 9/11 Hijackers

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it received documents on March 4, 2013 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that raise new questions about close ties between Anwar al Aulaqi, the U.S.-born terrorist assassinated by a U.S. drone in Yemen on September 30, 2011, and Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar, two of the five hijackers who attacked the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. In the documents the FBI describes al Aulaqi as “The Spiritual Leader of the Hijackers.”

Judicial Watch received the documents in response to a June, 2012, Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and Federal Bureau of Investigations (No. 1:12-cv-00893). They are part of Judicial Watch’s ongoing investigation of al Qaeda in the United States, including its current operations and support network.

Materials received by Judicial Watch reveal the following information the FBI regarded as worthy of investigation in its probe of ties between al Aulaqi and the 9/11 hijackers:

  • An undated FBI report indicates an individual received a check for $281.50 from al Aulaqi and wrote a check for $175 to al Hazmi on July 7, 2001.  There is no additional information about the transactions. The FBI apparently found the transaction to be of investigative interest because, depending on the identity of the intermediary party, it could indicate direct assistance from al Aulaqi to al Hazmi.
  • On 9/13/2001, FBI agents took possession of and searched the vehicle al Aulaqi rented in San Diego on 9/8/2001 (which he kept for one day and drove only 37 miles).  While there is no report regarding the results of the search, the action highlights the FBI’s interest in al Aulaqi and suspicions about his trip to San Diego, home to both al Hazmi and al Mihdhar leading up to the attacks.
  • An FBI report dated 10/24/2001 indicates that the Bureau became aware three days after the 9/11 attacks (9/14/2001) that al Aulaqi had rented a Mailboxes Etc. mail drop in Falls Church, VA.  The mail box was the subject of a federal grand jury subpoena.

“The more we learn about Anwar al Aulaqi, the more questions arise not only about his activities before and after 9/11, but also about the al Qaeda operational and support network still active in the United States,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is now even more concerning that al Aulaqi was invited to the Pentagon after 9/11 and then let go by the FBI despite warrants for his arrest.”

An earlier release of FBI documents obtained by a Judicial Watch FOIA and reported by Fox News suggest that the FBI was aware on September 27, 2001, that al Aulaqi had purchased airplane tickets for three of the 9/11 terrorist hijackers, including mastermind Mohammed Atta. Subsequent to the FBI’s discovery, al Aulaqi was detained and released by authorities at least twice and had been invited to dine at the Pentagon…

Previous evidence showed that Al-Hamzi and fellow future hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar regarded their San Diego neighbor Al-Awlaki as a spiritual adviser, but the extent of Awlaki’s concrete support for the duo had not been firmly established.

Related articles

Exclusive: Cleric may have booked pre-9/11 flights for hijackers, FBI documents show

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The FBI suspected within days of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that  the American Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki may have purchased tickets for some  of the hijackers for air travel in advance of the attacks, according to newly  released documents reviewed exclusively by Fox News.

The purpose of these flights remains unclear, but the 9/11 Commission report  later noted that the hijackers had used flights in the lead-up to the attacks to  test security and surveillance.

The heavily redacted records – obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom  of information Act request – suggest the FBI held evidence tying the  American-born cleric to the hijackers just 16 days after the attack that killed  nearly 3,000 Americans.

“We have FBI documents showing that the FBI knew that al-Awlaki had bought  three tickets for three of the hijackers to fly into Florida and into Las Vegas,  including the lead hijacker, Mohammad Atta,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial  Watch, told Fox News.

He added that the records show the cleric, killed in September 2011 by a U.S.  drone strike in Yemen, “was a central focus of the FBI’s investigation of 9/11.  They show he wasn’t cooperative. And they show that he was under  surveillance.”

One FBI investigative report known as a 302 summarizes the bureau’s investigation  of Al-Awlaki’s Visa transactions. While heavily redacted, the document  indicates a credit transaction for “Atta, Mohammed — American West Airlines,  08/13/2001, Washington, DC to Las Vegas to Miami,” the document says.

The mid-August flight, according to the Joint Congressional Inquiry into  9/11, which first investigated the attacks, was one of Atta’s numerous and  crucial surveillance flights.

“On August 13, Atta flew a second time across country from Washington to Las  Vegas on a Boeing 757 (seated in first class) returning on August 14 to Fort  Lauderdale,” the 9/11 report reads.

The FBI documents also show a credit card record for a “Suqami, S. —-Southwest Airlines, 07/10/2001, Ft. Lauderdale to Orlando.” Satam al-Suqami  was one of the muscle hijackers on American Airlines Flight 11, which slammed  into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

The third individual, identified in the records is a “W. al-Sheri — National  Airlines, 08/01/2001, San Francisco to Las Vegas to Miami.”  This appears  to be either Waleed al-Shehri or Wail al-Shehri. The two brothers were also  muscle hijackers, according to the 9/11 Commission report.

As part of its ongoing investigation of the cleric, Fox News was first to  report in the special “Fox  News Reporting – The Secrets of 9/11,” broadcast in September 2011, that the  cleric was an overlooked key player in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Read more at Fox News