IPT Exclusive: Records Prove MB Delegates Skipped Airport Inspections

Finally: U.S. Names Boko Haram as Foreign Terrorist Organization

victims of boko haram1

Why did the U.S. resist designating the group for so long, even though it fits every definition of a foreign terrorist org. and threatens the West?

BY RYAN MAURO:

The U.S. government has finally designated Boko Haram, an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Nigeria, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. In July, the Clarion Project started a petition to label the group as such. The State Department also designated Ansaru, a Boko Haram offshoot, as foreign terrorists.

“Boko Haram is a Nigeria-based militant group with links to al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that is responsible for thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria over the last several years including targeted killings of civilians,” the State Department said, making the announcement.

Notice the timeframe mentioned by the State Department: “Several years.” For “several years” — during both the Bush and Obama Administrations — the U.S. government resisted designating Boko Haram as a terrorist group, even though it fits every definition of one and threatens the West.

Three top Boko Haram officials were blacklisted as terrorists by the U.S. government in June 2012, but the Obama Administration dragged its feet in designating the group entirely. This was due to a complete misreading of Boko Haram’s ideology and an apparently desire to keep the “War on Terror” as narrow as possible.

In May, President Obama gave a speech where he emphasized that “not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al-Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States.

Read more at Clarion Project

TIMMERMAN: The real questions about Benghazi

SHROUDED: Nearly a year after the remains of the four Americans were repatriated, little is known about the Benghazi terrorist attack that killed them. Survivors have said little publicly, "talking points" have proved false and the White House has called it a "phony scandal." (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

SHROUDED: Nearly a year after the remains of the four Americans were repatriated, little is known about the Benghazi terrorist attack that killed them. Survivors have said little publicly, “talking points” have proved false and the White House has called it a “phony scandal.” (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

By Kenneth R. Timmerman:

Secrets about how the tragedy happened still remain hidden

A year has gone by since the catastrophic attacks on U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, and the Obama administration has yet to provide any answers to the families of the four Americans who were killed, or to the American people.

What really happened in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012? More importantly, why?

We know one thing for sure: The initial story put out by the administration — that it began as a demonstration over an Internet video — is simply not true.

Far more astonishing is the fact that everyone in the chain of command — from President Obama on down to the duty officers at the Department of State and the Pentagon who were following video and audio feeds from Benghazi as the attacks unfolded — knew that the cover story provided to the ambassador to the U.N.Susan E. Rice, for talk shows the following Sunday was an utter fabrication. Even the State Department’s own Accountability Review Board admitted last December, “there was no protest prior to the attacks.”

Why did the administration take the risk of putting out a fabricated cover story? What does it tell us about what really happened, and why?

These are questions that Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, needs to ask the members of the review board when they testify at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing he will chair on Thursday.

The White House cover-up first sought to disguise the identity of the attackers. They wanted us to think the attackers were just a flash mob, not an organized terrorist group.

What did that hide? For starters, that an Iranian-backed brigade, run by a former Gitmo detainee who knew Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens personally, claimed responsibility for the attack. This came at a time when the administration was deep in discussions with the Iranian regime over a “grand bargain” to bring Iran back into the concert of nations.

Also missing was any mention of Muslim Brotherhood operatives from Egypt whose presence during the attack has been documented in YouTube videos and subsequently by a Libyan government investigation.

Why was that embarrassing? Because the Muslim Brotherhood, and specifically Egypt’s president, Mohammad Morsi, were supposed to be our friends. Instead, Mr. Morsi’s agents apparently took part in the killing of four Americans.

Second, the cover-up sought to disguise the motivation of the attackers. The administration wanted us to believe that the attack was a spontaneous response to an Internet video that Muslims found offensive — in other words, that it was our fault.

We still don’t know for sure the motivation of the attackers, other than they were well-organized terrorists hell-bent on killing Americans. However, sources I have interviewed in this country and abroad with firsthand knowledge of the events in Libya have raised several theories I continue to investigate:

• The attackers were retaliating for the targeted killing of Islamists by a CIA-Joint Special Operations Command teams working out of the Benghazi CIA annex.

• They were seeking to loot surface-to-air missiles gathered up by the CIA and State Department contractors that were being stockpiled at the annex, or to prevent the transfer of those weapons to Syrian rebels;

• They were seeking to acquire the classified communications codes used by the intelligence teams at the annex and the diplomatic cipher used at the Special Mission Compound.

• They initially planned to kidnap the ambassador and exchange him for convicted Egyptian terrorist Omar Abdul Rahman, the so-called “blind sheik” imprisoned in the United States since 1994 for plotting to blow up the Lincoln and Holland tunnels in New York. In this theory, the attack got out of hand and the ambassador died.

The simplest explanation for the cover-up is the most familiar: President Obama was determined to cling to the fiction that he had defeated al Qaeda, in the hopes this would pull the rug out from under his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, in November. If the cover-up unraveled after the elections, so be it.

However, from what I have uncovered so far, I think this story goes much deeper, and gets much darker.

Read more at Washington Times

Kenneth R. Timmerman is the author of “Shadow Warriors: Traitors, Saboteurs and the Party of Surrender” (Three Rivers Press, 2008).

Kennedy: Libya Is Not Allowing U.S. Law Enforcement to Enter Country and Arrest People

BY: 
September 18, 2013 2:11 pm

 

 

Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy said the government of Libya is not allowing U.S. law enforcement into the country to arrest individuals connected with the Benghazi attack because the Libyan government “is not in control to that degree” Wednesday in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

Kennedy explained ever since the events of September 11, 2012 the country has taken a “serious turn for the worse.”

Journalists, according to Kennedy, still have access to the country but the Libyan government’s authority is so diminished it is incapable of allowing the United States in to arrest people:

REP. TED POE: But at the end of the day, here we are. Nobody has been taken out. Nobody is in custody. Nobody is in jail. Either on the side of the State Department, nobody is in jail, accountable for the murder. So whether it’s the people who were responsible for the killing or the people who may have made mistakes about the administration of this, nobody’s in custody.

[...]

REP. LOIS FRANKEL: Mr. Kennedy, Ambassador, thank you for your service. And, please, if you want to answer.

MR. PATRICK KENNEDY: I just — in response to the last question, Congressman, I believe that individuals of the State Department were held responsible. Being a deputy assistant secretary of state or an assistant secretary of state is not — is not, I humbly submit, sir, being a junior employee. Those are senior positions in the State Department. And for — one of those individuals resigned as the assistant secretary, and then all of them be relieved of their responsibilities is a serious act of accountability to be relieved at that level. And secondly, Benghazi has taken, even since the events of 9/11, has taken a serious turn for the worse. Yes, they will let journalists in, but they are not letting U.S. law enforcement in to arrest people there because the government of Libya is not — is not in control to that degree.

Also see:

The White House’s Visas-for-Terrorists Program

hani-nour-eddinBy :

A new Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) report raises more questions than answers regarding the circumstances behind the approval of a visa for a known member of a group identified by the State Department as being a member of a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

In June 2012, Egyptian Hani Nour Eldin visited the United States as a member of an Egyptian parliamentary delegation to meet with U.S. government officials and business leaders. During the course of those meetings, Eldin raised with then Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough the issue of the release of Omar Abdel Rahman, the Blind Sheikh, from federal prison for humanitarian reasons.

Eldin’s presence at all these meetings is peculiar because in 1993 he admitted to being a member of Gama’a al-Islamiyya. Gama’a al-Islamiyya is an Egyptian Islamist group first designated by the State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997. Gama’a al-Islamiyya has been linked, though indirectly,to the assassination of Anwar Sadat. In the 1990s, the group was linked to a string of terrorist acts, including the murder of Egypt’s speaker of parliament and a 1995 attempted assassination of Hosni Mubarrak.

In 1993, Eldin was arrested after members of Gama’a al-Islamiyya got into a shoot-out with Egyptian security officials at a mosque. In a 1993 article that accompanied the arrest, Eldin denied his involvement in the shoot-out but proclaimed he was a member of Gama’a al-Islamiyya.

As such, the strictest reading of State Department protocols means that Eldin should have been denied a visa. After hearing complaints from New York Republican Congressman Peter King, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General did an audit of DHS efforts to screen members of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

Read more at Front Page

Security Closures of US Embassies Across Middle East Coincide With Ramadan ‘Night of Power’

download (24)(CNSNews.com) – Many U.S. embassies across the Middle East will be closed on Sunday – usually a working day in the Arab world – in what the State Department says is a precautionary measure based on “security considerations.”

The State Department has not released a list of the missions ordered to close, but a review of official websites shows that they include the embassies in most Arab capitals from Cairo to Baghdad, as well as those in Israel, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Exceptions are the embassies in Beirut and Islamabad, but neither is usually open on a Sunday anyway.

“The Department has been apprised of information that, out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations, indicates we should institute these precautionary steps,” says a notice posted on many of the affected embassies’ websites.

“It is possible we may have additional days of closings as well, depending on our analysis,” it adds. As of early Friday all specified closures were for Sunday only except for the embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, which will be closed on Sunday and Monday.

“The Department, when conditions warrant, takes steps like this to balance our continued operations with security and safety,” the notice says. “However, beyond this announcement we do not discuss specific threat information, security considerations or measures, or other steps we may be taking.”

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said she would not “go into any more detail about specific threat information,” or any particular significance attached to the August 4 date.

August 4 this year marks the 27th night of Ramadan, which according to most but not all Muslim scholars is Laylat al-Qadr (“night of power” or “night of destiny”), when Muslims believe the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to Mohammed in the 7th century.

Laylatul-Qadr

The Qur’an describes the night as “better than a thousand months,” and many devout Muslims stay up through the night.

In its entry for August 4, the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center’s 2013 calendar notes: “Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power; the night of revelation of Qur’an to Mohammed, begins this evening.)”

The 2013 NTCT calendar does not offer any further detail about the night, but in earlier editions up until 2010 (archived copy) it commented, “Islamic extremists might consider Laylat al-Qadr (“Night of Power”) especially auspicious for a terrorist attack. Islamic tradition holds that on this night rewards for deeds pleasing to Allah are magnified a thousandfold; extremists, in particular, believe that the gates of heaven are opened then for those who wage ‘jihad’ in defense of Islam to enter paradise.”

Since the Islamic calendar is lunar, dates of holidays change each year. Major Islamist terror attacks that have taken place around Laylat-al-Qadr in the years since 9/11 include: an attack on the Indian parliament, 13 killed (Dec. 2011); suicide bombings at the British consulate-general in Istanbul, 30 killed (Nov. 2003); a suicide car bombing in Kirkuk, Iraq, five killed (Nov. 2003); bombings in New Delhi, 62 killed (Oct. 2005); and a Boko Haram suicide bombing at the United Nations headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, 25 killed (Aug. 2011).

Read more

 

Cyber Jihadists, State Department Now In Full-Blown Twitter War

 fsgfdsdf118900428FP, By Will McCants:

Since 2011, the State Department has sponsored a Digital Outreach Team tasked with countering al Qaeda propaganda on the Internet. In its brief existence, it’s difficult to quantify the team’s progress (and easy to laugh at its failures), but there’s one thing it is doing successfully: Making the right enemies.

The Digital Outreach Team (DOT) is part of the larger Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, an interagency center housed at the State Department with a presidential mandate to subvert al Qaeda’s online outreach efforts (full disclosure: I helped set up the DOT’s current operations while at the State Department). The Center and the DOT venture on Twitter is relatively new and until now elicited little more than scorn from jihadi tweeters. But this month, it started to make some serious waves.

On July 17, a prominent jihadi on Twitter, Mu`awiya al-Qahtani (M_Al_Saqr), established a new Twitter account @Al_Bttaar whose mission is a mirror image of the Digital Outreach Team’s. Whereas the DOT aims to counter jihadi propaganda and discredit its promulgators using social media, @Al_Bttaar aims to spread that propaganda and silence its detractors. Now, there is reason to believe the @Al_Bttaar initiative is a direct response to the DOT’s activities: not only is it patterned after the DOT, its opening salvo was directed against one of the DOT’s tweeters, Tariq Ramzi (@dsdotar).

The DOT first provoked complaints from jihadis after crashing mainstream forums and casting their form of radical Islam in a negative light.  The day after @Al_Bttaar’s inaugural tweets, the group organized its first Twitter “raid,” an effort to take down the State Department’s account. Themethod was pretty simple: Just click the “report” button multiple times until a Twitter administrator removes the account.

Five minutes after passing out the instructions, the administrator posted the address of @dsdotar. Although there was spotty information during the attack on how it was going, @Al_Bttaarannounced the following day that it had failed. The administrator attributed the failure to the lack of participation — only 150 people reported the enemy account, short of the goal of 400 — and to the fact that people had followed the account before reporting it. (In a moment of internal bickering: one of the group’s followers noted that it was the administrator’s themselves who had recommended following the account.)

@Al_Bttaar has since moved on to conduct several attacks against other Twitter users, all of whom are Arabs who have displeased them in one way or the other.Few of them have been successful but that has not dampened the group’s enthusiasm or that of its now 1,570 followers. In one of its latest tweets, it promises even more action in the days to come.

So far, @Al_Bttaar’s efforts on Twitter are pretty small scale, which could also be said of the DOT’s activities. Part of the reason is resources: there are not many jihadis or counter-jihadis. But another reason is that both sides realize that this influence game is not about swaying large numbers of people but rather persuading just a few to join or turn away. Seen in this light, @Al_Bttaar’s antics probably have less to do with actually silencing its enemies than it does with attracting enthusiastic new followers who like its aggressive approach.

Will McCants is an analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses and a former State Department senior advisor for countering violent extremism.

 

Al Qaeda weapons expert: U.S. ambassador to Libya killed by lethal injection

us-libya-attacks_reps_s640x440By Bill Gertz:

An al Qaeda terrorist stated in a recent online posting that U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens was killed by lethal injection after plans to kidnap him during the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi went bad.

The veracity of the claim by Abdallah Dhu-al-Bajadin, who was identified by U.S. officials as a weapons expert for al Qaeda, could not be determined. However, U.S. officials have not dismissed the terrorist’s assertion.

An FBI spokeswoman indicated that the bureau is aware of the claim but declined to comment because of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the Benghazi attacks.

“While there is a great deal of information in the media and on the Internet about the attack in Benghazi, the FBI is not in a position at this time to comment on anything specific with regard to the investigation,” spokeswoman Kathy Wright said.

A State Department spokesman had no comment.

The FBI is investigating the deaths of Stevens, State Department information officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. They were killed in attacks that U.S. officials say was carried out by an al Qaeda-linked group known as Ansar al-Sharia.

A State Department Accountability Review Board report and an interim House Republican report on the attacks gave no cause of death for Stevens, whose body was recovered by Libyans in the early hours of Sept. 12.

The House report, “Interim Progress Report for the House Republican Conference,” said that “Libyan doctors tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Ambassador Stevens upon his arrival at the hospital.”

To date, no official cause of death for Stevens has been made public, although it was reported that a Libyan doctor who examined Stevens said he died from apparent smoke inhalation and related asphyxiation.

Video and photos of Stevens being handled by a mob in Benghazi were posted on the Internet. It is not clear from the images whether he was dead or alive at the time.

According to a March 14 posting on an al Qaeda-linked website, Dhu-al-Bajadin stated that Stevens was given a lethal injection that was overlooked during the autopsy.

The “plan was based on abduction and exchange of high-level prisoners,” the terrorist wrote on the prominent jihadist Web forum Ansar al-Mujahideen Network. “However, the operation took another turn, for a reason God only knows, when one of the members of the jihadist cell improvised and followed Plan B.”

Dhu-al-Bajadin’s claim of assassination also was copied to the Ansar al-Mujahidin website from the al Qaeda-accredited website Shumukh al-Islam. That site is open only to members, and the claim initially was posted for Dhu-al-Bajadin by a member identified as Adnan Shukri.

The reference to Shumukh al-Islam has boosted the credibility of the claim among some U.S. intelligence analysts. A Western intelligence official said Dhu-al-Bajadin is a well-known jihadist and a key figure behind a magazine called Al Qaeda Airlines.

According to this official, intelligence analysts believe Dhu-al-Bajadin’s claim of assassination by lethal injection appears aimed, in part, at pressuring the U.S. government on its handling of the Benghazi attacks.

The article did not say what substance was used in the lethal injection. It also stated that the State Department had come under criticism for not providing adequate security in Benghazi before the attacks.

Dhu-al-Bajadin said he had more details about the attacks and the assassination, but would not reveal them in the posting.

Read more at Washington Times

Benghazi Investigation Still Very Much Ongoing

5829917074_8c9c57e0e8_zHeritage Foundation, May 29, 2013

By :

Benghazi is back in the headlines with a vengeance as investigations continue on several congressional fronts:

  • Representative Darrell Issa (R–CA) subpoenaed the State Department to deliver more email threads on the Benghazi talking points;
  • The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee threatened to subpoenaAmbassador Thomas Pickering regarding the Accountability Review Board’s inadequate investigation; and
  • The House Armed Services Committee is probing the absent military response on the night of September 11, 2012.

While many aspects of the Benghazi scandal are troubling, the lack of information on the military front is particularly serious. Getting information out of the Pentagon has been like pulling teeth. The Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in February revealed that former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey had briefed President Obama at 5:00 p.m. on the day of the Benghazi terrorist attack, and unbelievably had had no communication after that.

Dempsey then informed the committee that there were no assets available that could have reached Benghazi in time to assist the American diplomats and CIA personnel under attack there — a statement that was contradicted directly by Gregory Hicks, second in command at the U.S. embassy in Libya, in highly emotional testimony. As Hicks revealed, a military support team was ready to take off from Tripoli to Benghazi on the night of the attack, but was told to stand down. By whom we don’t yet know.

Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon (R–CA), has been vigilant in seeking answers and has told Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that he is “deeply concerned” about the lack of answers, reported The Washington Examiner’s Byron York. Last week, McKeon’s committee received a briefing from Pentagon officials, the content of which unfortunately remains largely classified, as does far too much of the information relating to Benghazi. Among McKeon’s questions are:

What aircraft the U.S. had in the region that might have come to the Americans’ aid; where those planes were; whether they were armed or could have been armed; whether they would have needed refueling; the presence of un-manned aircraft, armed and unarmed; the status of various U.S. emergency response teams; and the decisions commanders at all levels made in deciding to deploy or not deploy those assets.

The congressional committees involved in the investigation are doing yeoman’s work. Their stubborn persistence will eventually unearth the truth about Benghazi. The future safety of U.S. diplomatic and military personnel serving overseas depends on it.

U.S. Administration Wrongly Advocates the Islamist Interpretation of Islamophobia

syriaBy Walid Phares:

The State Department issued a report denouncing what it called “a spike in anti-Islamic sentiment in Europe and Asia.” It said that “Muslims also faced new restrictions in 2012 in countries ranging from Belgium, which banned face-covering religious attire in classrooms, to India[,] where schools in Mangalore restricted headscarves.”

The State Department report confuses religious persecution, which is to be condemned, with politicization of religions, which is a matter of debate and includes strategies of which the U.S. government should not be a part. If countries ban the right to pray, broadcast, and write about theology — any theology — this would be against human rights. But Belgium and India do not ban religions per se. In fact, they are more tolerant regarding diverse religious practice than most of the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The Obama administration is not criticizing secular European and Asian governments for deciding to ban prayer or theologically philosophical dissertations, but rather criticizing these countries for banning the hijab or niqab in public places.

The administration understands the wearing of the hijab as a religious injunction for all Muslims. This is not the case, as senior theologians have decreed, including al Azhar, and the niqab is not a universal Muslim obligation, as one can see in 53 Muslim-majority countries. It is a matter of choice. The organized groups calling for a systematic imposition of the niqab are Islamist forces. This translates politically into an official endorsement on the Obama administration’s part of the Islamist political agenda under the camouflage of religious rights.

The Obama administration, by using the charge of Islamophobia against countries that oppose the political agenda of an ideological and political faction comprising those known as Salafists and Khomeinists, has become a partner with these factions against secular, liberal, reformist movements who do not abide by the niqab rule. It is one thing to defend religious communities and something else to defend the agenda of ideological factions. The niqab is part and parcel of the ideological agenda advocated by the Islamists, not a tenet held by all Muslims. If the Obama administration is worried about the Islamist agenda not yet met by European and Asian countries, it should claim so, but the administration cannot claim defense of a religious injunction to all Muslims while the latter have no consensus on the matter.

It has been noted over the past few years that U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East, the Arab world, and Muslim-majority countries has come increasingly under the influence of pressure groups, identified also as “lobbies,” implementing the doctrinal and political agendas of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian Khomeinist regime. The State Department has been made to believe that the Islamist agenda and the beliefs and values of all Muslims are one, which is a grave mistake.

Read more: Family Security Matters

 

Report: Jihadist Group Hired to Defend U.S. Benghazi Mission

 

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The Clarion Project:

In an “exclusive” story, a Newsmax.com reporting on Fox News has uncovered that the Libyan militia group that was hired by the State Department to defend its embattled diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, were clearly al-Qaeda sympathizers, and had even prominently displayed the al-Qaeda flag on a Facebook page for months before the deadly attack.

Newsmax.com reports that, “A document recovered from the mission two days after the attack indicated the State Department had arranged for the Martyrs Brigade to act as a “Quick Reaction Force” to protect the mission. The Memorandum of Agreement states that ‘in the event of an attack on the U.S. mission, QRF will request additional support from the 17th February Martyrs Brigade.’ ”

Noteworthy is the fact that on October 30, more than six months ago,The Clarion Project’s Clare Lopez reported:

In August 2012, Stevens reported that the security situation in Benghazi was deteriorating, yet in spite of this, the 16-man Site Security Team assigned to Libya, comprised of Special Forces led by SF LTC Andy Wood, was ordered out of Libya, contrary to the Ambassador’s stated desire that they stay.

“Note that, at any time, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could have ordered the deployment to Benghazi of additional security experts from the Department of Security (DoS) Bureau of Diplomatic Security (or Diplomatic Security Service—DSS), but apparently chose not to do so.

“Instead, DoS hired a British firm, Blue Mountain, to manage its security in Benghazi, and Blue Mountain subcontracted the job to a local jihadist militia called the February 17 Martyrs Brigade who have known Muslim Brotherhood ties.

“Furthermore, Nordstrom testified at the October 11, 2012 Congressional hearings that ‘in deference to sensitivity to Libyan practice, the guards at Benghazi were unarmed’– an inexplicable practice for a place as dangerous as Benghazi.”

The Martyrs Brigade, financed by the Libyan defense ministry, is considered the largest and best armed militia in eastern Libya. It consists of at least 12 battalions and possesses a large collection of light and heavy weapons in addition to training facilities. Its membership is estimated at between 1,500 and 3,500.

The group has carried out various security and law and order tasks in eastern Libya and Kufra in the south. Some of its members are also believed to be fighting the Assad regime in Syria.  They fly the al-Qaeda flag on their Facebook page, and have long been al-Qaeda sympathizers.

The Brigade was paid by the U.S. government to provide security at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. There is no evidence that the Martyrs Brigade fulfilled its commitment to defend the mission on Sept. 11, when it came under attack.

Read more

 

A call to courage over Benghazi

-1156172513Center For Security Policy:

By Adm. James “Ace” Lyons (Ret.)

Five committees of the House of Representatives recently issued an interim report on the Benghazi tragedy, which clearly indicated that the highest levels of the State Department were involved in not only denying security resources but reducing them at our facilities in Libya, including the Benghazi Special Mission Compound. These were not “routine” security requests, as some have claimed. They were made by the Regional Security Office and also by Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens as well.

Why these legitimate requests were turned down remains an open question. There remains many other unanswered questions that were not addressed by the Accountability Review Board. For example, we still do not know what business was being conducted at the compound. Also, why was it necessary for Stevens to be in Benghazi with its out-of-control security situation on what should have been a high-security-alert day of Sept. 11? Why did the administration continue to lie to the American public for the better part of two weeks that it was a video that caused the attack when they knew it was a terrorist attack from Day One?

The American public — and certainly the families of the four Americans killed — need to know who gave the “stand-down order” and on whose authority. Former CIA Director David H. Petraeus has stated that no such order came from the CIA.

The lack of a military response remains another important unanswered question. Even though our military resources, particularly those of the U.S. Sixth Fleet have been drawn down to the point at which they’re essentially nonexistent, there were in-theater resources that could have responded and, most likely, would have saved America lives. These included F-16 fighter aircraft from Aviano, Italy, which could have been over the compound in about 90 minutes. There was also a 130-man Marine Force Recon Team at Sigonella, Italy, which could have been deployed to arrive at the compound in a matter of a few hours.

These resources would have made a difference, particularly since the attack went on for more than eight hours with no fear of interference or retaliation. Further, no one has yet been able to interview the 30-odd survivors about what actually happened during the attack. Why not?

Why has there been no effort to retaliate against the al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group Ansar al-Shariah, which carried out the attack? Their leaders today sit in outdoor cafes in Benghazi sipping tea.

Our U.S. Sixth Fleet military posture in the Mediterranean is a disgrace. Since World War II up until 2008, we maintained the dominant military force in the Mediterranean, consisting of at least one carrier battle group and an amphibious Ready Group with an embarked Marine battalion, along with logistic support ships and other units. Today, we have one unarmed command ship — my old flagship — the USS Mt. Whitney (LCC-20). This is symptomatic of President Obama’s relentless effort to disarm our military, which is clearly affecting our national security.

Compounding the disarming of our military forces is Mr. Obama’s destabilizing social engineering. The latest example is a directive promulgated by the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff that all flag and general officers will now be evaluated by the subordinates under their commands. Does this make any sense? Is this to make sure that our military leadership is complying with the president’s “diversity” agenda? Will any member of the Joint Chiefs find the courage to stand up and voice objection?

This politically correct directive by the chairman defies all leadership logic. It will destroy unit integrity and morale. It will destroy the fundamental principles of the chain of command concept, which has served this nation honorably for more than 238 years. The integrity of command is not obtained by running a popularity contest. Currying favors with subordinates is alien to military leadership. This nonsense must be stopped.

Our nonresponse to the attack on our Benghazi facilities is in part reflective of our military leadership’s politically correct mentality as well as the administration’s policies to disarm our military forces. The first action that needs to be taken is to get the facts out to the American public on the Benghazi cover-up. Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican, has sponsored a resolution (H. Res. 36) to establish a select committee to investigate and respond on the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. He has been joined by 122 members, at the latest count. The problem has been that House Speaker John A. Boehner has been stonewalling the establishment of such a committee, using the lame excuse that it will cost money and take a lot of time. Nonsense. The systematic causes that brought about the Benghazi debacle need to be unearthed now, as it will affect our national security in the future.

If the president were a Republican and Nancy Pelosi were the speaker, there would have been no hesitation on her part to find the courage to form such a committee. Hopefully, Mr. Boehner can find his.

Benghazigate Congressional Report: Obama Inc. Lied About Video, Hillary Knew About Inadequate Security

hillary-2016-buttonBy :

The response of Obama Inc. and its defenders to the Benghazi attack has generally been some variation of, “Who could have known?”, “We didn’t know” and “How could we have known.”

Their claim that they practiced due diligence only to fall victim to an unexpected set of events never held much water. Benghazi was a danger zone and everyone knew it. The issue wasn’t a movie trailer, but the aftermath of a botched war that left Islamist militias in control of entire cities.

Now the Congressional report on Benghazigate tears apart some of the biggest claims.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

An ongoing Congressional investigation across five House Committees concerning the events surrounding the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya has made several determinations to date, including:

• Reductions of security levels prior to the attacks in Benghazi were approved at the highest levels of the State Department, up to and including Secretary Clinton. This fact contradicts her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, 2013.

• In the days following the attacks, White House and senior State Department officials altered accurate talking points drafted by the Intelligence Community in order to protect the State Department.

• Contrary to Administration rhetoric, the talking points were not edited to protect classified information. Concern for classified information is never mentioned in email traffic among senior Administration officials.

This is, as noted, still preliminary but it finds enough deceptions to justify a more in depth investigation.

Read more at Front Page

 

Hudson Panel: U.S. Ignoring Increasing Christian Persecution

IPT News:
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by John Rossomando

Christian persecution is on the rise throughout the Muslim world, and the United States is leading from behind on the issue, according to a panel that gathered at the Hudson Institute in Washington Wednesday to discuss the book, Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians.

The U.S. State Department and Western governments have been largely silent on the issue of Christian persecution because of political correctness and multiculturalism, panelists said.

“If there is a hiker … abducted in Iran, the State Department has no hesitancy to come out and make a major issue of these cases, but it seems like when Christians are involved, they shy away, ” said panelist Nina Shea. “It is found in both Republican and Democratic administrations.”

Panelists cited the case of Iranian-American pastor Saed Abedini, who was sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran, as an example of the State Department’s failure to take action on its own when Christians are being persecuted. However, the State Department announced Wednesday that Secretary of State John Kerry had called on the Iranians to release Abedini after being pressured to do so by the American Center for Law and Justice and others.

The Obama administration recently refused to send a representative to a hearing by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission two weeks ago to discuss Abedini’s plight.

Commission Chairman Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., slammed the administration in a release on March 20, saying that the State Department’s failure to send a representative showed that religious freedom was not a priority of its foreign policy. Several State Department officials did meet with Abedini’s wife and counsel that same day, however, so claims no one was available to appear at the hearing seem disingenuous, he wrote.

“In short, the Department misled the commission and in doing so sent a dangerous message to rogue regimes the world over – even human rights abuses that compromise the safety and security of American citizens will be met with virtual silence from the U.S. government,” Wolf wrote in his letter to Kerry.

In Egypt, the Obama administration is asserting a moral equivalency between actions by government forces and the Coptic Christian minority, said Shea, director of Hudson’s Center for Religious Freedom. She noted that the State Department failed to forcefully condemn the Egyptian government for sending tanks and bullets after Copts protested the burning of their churches in October 2011.

The massacre left 24 Copts dead and 272 injured.

“The U.S government put out a response condemning it and asking for both sides to refrain from further violence,” Shea said. “Sam Tadros said in NRO at the time that I should tell the military to stand down and tell the Copts to stop dying.”

Moderator Eric Metaxis suggested that the Obama administration chose to throw the issue of religious freedom “under the bus” in the interest of greater peace.

But this situation is just a recent manifestation of an increasing wave of radicalism that has swept the Muslim world over the past 10 to 15 years. Christians have found themselves subject to increasing persecution in places such as Indonesia and Senegal that were previously known for their tolerance of non-Muslims.

“The Arab Spring had made things much worse, and it looks like it’s not going to get any better,” said panelist Lela Gilbert, a co-author of Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians.

Read more at IPT News

Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians

After Choking Up Earlier Clinton Shouts: ‘What Difference … Does It Make?’

225x150_HillaryLashWeekly Standard:

By Daniel Harper

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked about ascertaining whether the Benghazi terror attack was the result of a protest by Senator Ron Johnson. “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Clinton shouted, seemingly losing her cool.

“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”

UPDATE: And earlier Clinton choked up:

“For me, this is not just a matter of policy, it’s personal,” said Clinton, holding back tears. “I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters. It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to lead the men and women of the State Department and USAID. Nearly 70,000 serving here in Washington and at more than 275 posts around the world. They get up and go to work every day — often in difficult and dangerous circumstances thousands of miles from home — because they believe as we believe the United States is the most extraordinary force for peace and progress the earth has ever known.”