Pro-Iran Shadow Lobby Launches Bid to Kill Iran Sanctions

Hasan RouhaniBy :

A network of pro-Iran advocates are uniting behind a new campaign aimed at killing bipartisan legislation meant to increase sanctions on Tehran should it cheat on a recently inked nuclear accord.

The latest bid to kill sanctions in Congress is being led by the Iran Project, a little known group that is deeply tied to, and funded by, some of Tehran’s top U.S. advocates.

The Iran Project went live on Monday with an anti-sanctions letter signed by a who’s who of liberal former U.S. officials, many of whom have long advocated to roll back sanctions on Iran and increase diplomacy with the rogue regime.

The letter, which quickly gained traction in some foreign policy circles, urged Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.)—one of the chief architects of the new Iran sanctions bill—to back off his bid and let the bill die.

Liberal outlets such as the Huffington Post and others have also gone after Menendez in a bid to force him to abandon the bill, which is hotly opposed by the White House but supported by 48 senators.

The Iran Project claims that the new sanctions bill would “move the U.S. closer to war” with Iran.

The missive is signed by former ambassadors Thomas Pickering and Ryan Crocker as well as by former National Intelligence Officer Paul Pillar and several other foreign policy experts known for taking a soft line on Iran.

Read more at Free Beacon

CBS’ 60 Minutes avoids Egyptian Connection to Benghazi

Logan: Well done report but missing something very important.

Logan: Well done report but missing something very important.

Walid Shoebat:

The 60 Minutes piece by Lara Logan on the Benghazi attacks was well done. It included excerpts of interviews with State Department whistleblower Gregory Hicks, Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, and a British security official who was in charge of the Libyans who were hired to provide security, Libyans he didn’t seem impressed by.

Here’s the report via 60 Minutes; commentary to follow:

 

 

Well done, yes but also a bit incomplete and possibly misleading in some respects.

First, here we are more than one year later and Logan reports it’s now “well established” that the compound was attacked by al-Qaeda. When was this established? It would seem that this is a bit of a bombshell, would it not? Initially, the attack was about a video; then it was a group called Ansar Al-Sharia. Now, a “well established” fact that al-Qaeda was involved. This is a bit of news if for no other reason than it is officially acknowledged.

Earlier this week, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reported that the attack had connections to “Al-Qaeda Core” in Pakistan. Again, huge bombshell because it leads to Ayman al-Zawahiri, whose first cousin was Mohammed Mursi’s chief of staff.

The 60 Minutes piece went in a curious direction when it seemed to imply that the guy who could take the fall for the attack is Abu Anas al Libi, who was apprehended by U.S. Special Forces in Tripoli earlier this month. Al Libi is wanted for his role in the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. He was not a suspect in the Benghazi attack but Logan reported he is being questioned to find out what he knew about it.

Completely absent from the report was any reference to Egypt’s involvement. For example, the Jamal Network’s involvement in the Benghazi attacks is far more established than any connection al Libi may have. The network’s founder Muhammad Jamal Abdo Al-Kashif is currently sitting in an Egyptian jail and has even been identified by the U.N. Security Council as a lead suspect in the attack with connections to Ayman al-Zawahiri (yes, that Ayman al-Zawahiri).

Let’s also not forget that Thomas Pickering inadvertently divulged information from his Accountability Review Board’s “classified” report when he mentioned an Egyptian connection. He was almost undoubtedly referring to the Jamal Network. A few weeks after doing so, the U.S. State Department identified Al-Kashif and his network as terrorists. Unlike the U.N., State did not identify Al-Kashif or his network as suspects in the Benghazi attack but it did acknowledge his connection to and correspondence with Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Publicly acknowledging that al Libi was involved in the Benghazi attacks is far more preferable to the Obama administration than putting the spotlight on the Jamal Network for several reasons. Among them is that Al-Kashif was released from prison after the fall of Mubarak and subsequently founded his network. There are multiple Arabic reports that say Mursi pardoned him. This would mean that the President of a nation state pardoned the guy whose network was responsible for the murder of a U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans.

We also know that Al-Kashif is connected to Al-Zawahiri. Making this even more potentially explosive are reports that Mursi and al-Zawahiri collaborated to release jihadists and open terror camps in the Sinai and along Egypt’s border with Libya.

Read more at Shoebat.com

Report: Yes, Hillary’s Benghazi ‘Investigation’ Was a Whitewash

2013-08-16T090313Z_1_CBRE97F0P5M00_RTROPTP_3_USA-LIBYA-CLINTONBy Guy Benson:

You can file these developments in the “we sort of already knew this” category, but the additional confirmation is welcome.  Remember, the administration-backed probe into the Benghazi massacre led to (since rescinded) sanctions against four mid-level scapegoats — one of whom clearly deserved some blame — while letting higher-level officials off the hook.  Indeed, the “Accountability” Review Board declined to even interview the Secretary of State.  Yet the White House insisted that its report was comprehensive and closed the door on the matter.  In advance of Thursday’s fresh round of hearings, these details indict ARB’s process and conclusions, as well as State’s response:

The State Department’s investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was not independent and failed to hold senior State Department officials accountable for the failures that led to the death of four Americans, according to a new investigative report compiled by the House Oversight Committee.  The Administrative Review Board, chosen by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, unfairly placed the blame for the terrorist attack on four mid-level officials while ignoring the role of very senior officials in Clinton’s State Department for decisions about security in Benghazi, according to the new report led by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). Also, the structure of the ARB and the culture in Clinton’s State Department raised questions about the independence and integrity of the review, according to Issa’s committee.

The Oversight Committee report includes specific names:

Although former Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, the head of the ARB, said that responsibility should be placed at the assistant secretary level, top officials including Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Beth Jones were never disciplined. The new report by Issa’s committee questions why Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy, who admitted to having a role in overseeing the decision to reject requests for more security in Benghazi before the attack, was never blamed or disciplined by the ARB. Moreover, Kennedy played a key role in selecting the members of the ARB and the staff that helped the ARB do its works, Issa’s report revealed.  Several officials told Issa’s committee that Kennedy was deeply involved in security decisions and would have been directly involved in the decision not to approve requests for more security in Benghazi before the attacks. “The ultimate decision maker is Under Secretary Kennedy,” testified Eric Boswell, the Assistant Secretary of Diplomatic Security, who was punished by the ARB…The report also questions Clinton’s personal awareness and role in the mistakes that contributed to the attacks.

Beth Jones is the woman who turned her wrath against whistleblower Gregory Hicks after he began questioning the administration’s counter-factual Benghazi talking points.  As for Clinton, we know that Amb. Chris Stevens was operating out of the egregiously under-protected diplomatic mission in Benghazi at her behest, and that her signature appeared on the memo that ordered security reductions — despite pleas for beefed up measures.

Read more at Town Hall

 

 

Upcoming Benghazi hearings:

Clinton’s Republican Guard

hillary4By Andrew McCarthy:

With each new revelation, what has always been obvious becomes more pronounced: the State Department’s self-proclaimed final word on the Benghazi Massacre, the risibly named “Accountability Review Board” investigation, is a fraud. Yet, like the rest of the Obama administration’s obstructive wagon-circling, the ARB’s report continues serving its intended purpose: to thwart efforts to hold administration officials accountable. Even on Fox News, which has been admirably dogged covering a scandal the Obamedia has done its best to bury, the refrain is heard: How could the ARB report be a whitewash when its investigation was run by such Washington eminences as Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Michael Mullen?

The answer is simple: Pickering and Mullen were not chosen by accident; then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tapped them because, to insulate herself, she needed a pair of Beltway careerists held in high esteem by the progressive-friendly Republican establishment. As night follows day, Pickering and Mullen produced exactly the shoddy, politicized report that was expected of them – bleaching away the malfeasance of Clinton, a central figure in the scandal whom they did not even bother to interview.

Mrs. Clinton is a master of this game.

Recall that her top advisor at State was Huma Abedin, a longtime associate of Omar Abdullah Naseef, a rabid Islamic supremacist and financial backer of al Qaeda. For a dozen years, during most of which she was also working for Mrs. Clinton, Abedin worked at Naseef’s Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs – a building block of the joint Saudi regime and Muslim Brotherhood project to promote sharia enclaves in the West, encouraging Muslims to resist assimilation.

Abedin had begun working for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton in the nineties, while a member of the executive board of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at George Washington University. Founded in the early sixties, the MSA is first building block of the Brotherhood’s American infrastructure, and its GWU chapter has quite a history: In 2001, its “spriritual guide” was Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda operative who was then ministering to some of the eventual 9/11 suicide-hijackers. As Patrick Poole hasdemonstrated, it was in the MSA that Awlaki first cut his Islamic supremacist teeth – as have a number of prominent Islamists, including (to name just two) Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood stalwart turned Egyptian president, and Abdurrahman Alamoudi, a now convicted al Qaeda financier who was a favorite “moderate” Muslim leader of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.

Abedin continued at Naseef’s journal until moving to the State Department with Secretary Clinton in 2009. Naseef, a wealthy, well-connected Saudi, was Secretary General of the Muslim World League, perhaps the most significant Saudi-Brotherhood collaboration in the world. In addition to founding the journal, Naseef  also started the Rabita Trust, a formally designated international terrorist organization. His partner in that venture was Wael Jalaidan, a founding member of al Qaeda who –whaddya know! – ran the MSA chapter in Arizona. The Rabita Trust that was an important funding source for Osama bin Laden. Ms. Abedin’s close tie to Naseef stems from the fact that he is the patron of her parents – Muslim Brotherhood operatives both. Abedin’s mother, Dr. Saleha Mahmood Abedin, is a close associate not only of Naseef but of top Muslim Brotherhood sharia jurist, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. In fact, Dr. Abedeen runs an organization, the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child, that is part of Qaradawi’s Union of Good. Formally designated as an international terrorist organization, the Union of Good is a major supporter of Hamas.

Five conservative Republican members of the House had the gumption to ask why a person with Ms. Abedin’s alarming connections to prominent Islamic supremacists would be given a high-echelon State Department job, performance of which requires a security clearance granting access to top-secret intelligence. Based on Abedin and other officials with disturbing Islamist ties, the five members asked for inspector-general investigations into Muslim Brotherhood penetration of our government.

In response, Secretary Clinton deftly called out the Washington establishment’s Republican guard. Senator John McCain, House Speaker John Boehner, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, and other top GOP figures obliged, dutifully lambasting the House conservatives. Nothing to see here – just “a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations,” twaddled McCain. Boehner, who conceded that he did “not know Huma” and had not read the House conservatives’ letters, nevertheless assured Americans that Abedin had a “sterling character” and that the accusations  “were pretty dangerous.”

Mind you, while all this was happening, Obama administration policy, led by the State Department, was swinging dramatically in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the Middle East. Obama was even intervening in Libya on behalf of the Brotherhood and al Qaeda elements in Benghazi, toppling a theretofore American-supported regime that had been providing us with critical intelligence against anti-American Islamists. Yet, Secretary Clinton succeeded in burying the story. Thanks to the GOP greybeards, the media meme became purported conservative Islamophobia. The bullet was dodged as the manifest influence of Islamic-supremacists on Obama administration policy was ignored.

Unlike that outrage, the public’s interest has been roused by the killings of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, State Department IT specialist Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and Glen Doherty on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, in virulently anti-American Benghazi – at a U.S. State Department compound of unexplained purpose which, under Clinton’s leadership, stood recklessly unprotected.

Read more at PJ Media

 

See also:

And the biggest lie of 2012 is …

121225pinocchio-340x170by Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM – Information surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks against the U.S. mission in Benghazi has been so distorted by the Obama administration and so misreported by the news media that the issue was selected as WND’s “Biggest Lie of the Year.”

Immediately following the attacks, President Obama and other White House officials notoriously blamed supposed anti-American sentiment leading to the violent events on an obscure anti-Muhammad video on YouTube they claimed was responsible for supposedly popular civilian protests that they said took place outside the U.S. mission in Benghazi – protests, they claimed, that devolved into a jihadist onslaught.

However, vivid accounts provided by the State Department and intelligence officials later made clear no such popular demonstration took place. Instead, video footage from Benghazi reportedly shows an organized group of armed men attacking the compound, the officials said.

‘Consulate’?

Media coverage of the events has been so dismal that even the most basic understanding of what happened is being distorted. The vast majority of all news media coverage worldwide refer to the U.S. facility that was attacked as a “consulate,” even though the government itself has been careful to call it a “mission.”

WND has filed numerous reports quoting Middle East security sources describing the mission in Benghazi as serving as a meeting place to coordinate aid for the rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East.

Among the tasks performed inside the building was collaborating with Arab countries on the recruitment of fighters – including jihadists – to target Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, the officials said.

Whether the news media report on what was allegedly transpiring at the mission or not, their calling the building a “consulate” is misleading.

A consulate typically refers to the building that officially houses a consul, who is the official representatives of the government of one state in the territory of another. The U.S. consul in Libya, Jenny Cordell, works out of the embassy in Tripoli.

Consulates at times function as junior embassies, providing services related to visas, passports and citizen information.

On Aug. 26, about two weeks before his was killed, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens attended a ceremony marking the opening of consular services at the Tripoli embassy.

The main role of a consulate is to foster trade with the host and care for its own citizens who are traveling or living in the host nation.

Diplomatic missions, on the other hand, maintain a more generalized role. A diplomatic mission is simply a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organization present in another state to represent matters of the sending state or organization in the receiving state.

However, according to a State Department report released last week, the U.S. facility in Benghazi did not fit the profile of a diplomatic mission, either.

According to the 39-page report released this week by independent investigators probing the attacks at the diplomatic facility, the U.S. mission in Benghazi was set up without the knowledge of the new Libyan government, as WND reported.

“Another key driver behind the weak security platform in Benghazi was the decision to treat Benghazi as a temporary, residential facility, not officially notified to the host government, even though it was also a full-time office facility,” the report states. “This resulted in the Special Mission compound being excepted from office facility standards and accountability under the Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act of 1999 (SECCA) and the Overseas Security Policy Board (OSPB).”

The report, based on a probe led by former U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering, calls the facility a “Special U.S. Mission.”

The report further refers to the attacked facility as a “U.S. Special Mission,” adding yet another qualifier to the title of the building.

Violated international law?

WND also exclusively reported the facility may have violated the terms of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which governs the establishment of overseas missions.

Like most nations, the U.S. is a signatory to the 1961 United Nations convention.

Article 2 of the convention makes clear the host government must be informed about the establishment of any permanent foreign mission on its soil: “The establishment of diplomatic relations between States, and of permanent diplomatic missions, takes place by mutual consent.”

According to the State report, there was a decision “to treat Benghazi as a temporary, residential facility,” likely disqualifying the building from permanent mission status if the mission was indeed temporary.

However, the same sentence in the report notes the host government was not notified about the Benghazi mission “even though it was also a full-time office facility.”

Article 12 of the Vienna Convention dictates, “The sending State may not, without the prior express consent of the receiving State, establish offices forming part of the mission in localities other than those in which the mission itself is established.”

If the Benghazi mission was a “full-time office facility,” it may violate Article 12 in that the mission most likely was considered an arm of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, which served as the main U.S. mission to Libya.

Rice in hot water

Obama was not the only White House official to mislead on Benghazi.

As WND reported, in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice may have deliberately misled the public when she went on television news shows and called the facility that had been targeted a “consulate.”

Much of the media attention and political criticism has been focused on Rice’s other statements immediately after the Benghazi attacks, primarily her blaming an obscure YouTube film vilifying the Islamic figure Muhammad for what she claimed were popular protests outside the U.S. mission.

Video and intelligence evidence has demonstrated there were no popular protests outside the Benghazi facility that day and that the attack was carried out by jihadists.

However, in defending itself against recent claims that the White House scrubbed the CIA’s initial intelligence assessment on the Benghazi attacks of references to al-Qaida, Obama administration officials might have unintentionally implicated themselves in another, largely unnoticed scandal.

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes contended the White House made only small, factual edits to the CIA’s intelligence assessment, referring to one edit in particular.

“We were provided with points by the intelligence community that represented their assessment,” Rhodes said aboard Air Force One en route to Asia. “The only edit made by the White House was the factual edit about how to refer to the facility.”

Rhodes said the White House and State Department changed a reference in the CIA report from “consulate” to “diplomatic facility.”

“Other than that, we were guided by the points that were provided by the intelligence community,” Rhodes said. “So I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made.”

Further, Politico reported Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was adamant that the White House only changed the reference to the Benghazi facility.

“There was only one thing that was changed … and that was, the word ‘consulate’ was changed to ‘mission,’” Feinstein said. “That’s the only change that anyone in the White House made, and I have checked this out.”

If the White House intentionally changed the reference to the Benghazi facility from a “consulate” to a “mission,” why did Rice repeatedly refer to the facility as a “consulate” when she engaged in a media blitz in the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attack?

In a Sept. 16 interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Rice twice labeled the facility a “consulate”:

In a subsequent interview on CBS’s “This Morning,” she again referred to the facility as a “consulate.”

CBS, Reuters implicated in misleading, hiding info

The news media, meanwhile, may have been complicit in covering up the Benghazi tale.

Two days before last month’s presidential election, CBS posted additional portions of a Sept. 12 “60 Minutes” interview where Obama made statements that contradicted his earlier claims on the attacks.

In the finally released portions of the interview, Obama would not say whether he thought the attack was terrorism. Yet he would later emphasize at a presidential debate that in the Rose Garden the same day, he had declared the attack an act of terror.

Reuters was also directly implicated by WND in possibly false reporting.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Reuters filed a report quoting a purported civilian protester by his first name who described a supposedly popular demonstration against an anti-Muhammad film outside the U.S. building – a popular protest that reportedly didn’t take place and thus could not have been related to the film.

Aid to al-Qaida, other jihadists?

WND has published a series of investigations showing the Benghazi mission was highly involved in the rebel-led Mideast revolutions to which Pickering is tied.

WND was first to report the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi served as a meeting place to coordinate aid for rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East, according to Middle Eastern security officials.

In September, WND also broke the story that the slain ambassador, Christopher Stevens, played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Assad’s regime, according to Egyptian security officials.

Last month, Middle Eastern security sources further described both the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi as the main intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels that was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Many rebel fighters are openly members of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida.

Most news media outlets covering the results of Pickering’s investigation did not note the possible non-diplomatic nature and status of the Benghazi mission.

Read more at WND

See all Counterjihad Report posts on Benghazi

 

 

Benghazi probe really a cover up? Blames State for security lapses but skips over role of U.S. mission

LibyaattackBy Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM – Did an independent panel that just blamed the State Department for major security lapses at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi fail to investigate the main activities transpiring at the facility itself?

Those activities may be relevant in determining why the Benghazi facility was attacked on September 11th.

The panel’s lead investigator into the Benghazi attack, former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, has largely unreported ties to the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa.

Those ties come primarily through his role as a member of the small board of the International Crisis Group, or ICG, one of the main proponents of the international “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine.

The doctrine is the very military protocol used to justify the NATO bombing campaign that brought down Moammar Ghadafi’s regime in Libya.

According to reports, Pickering’s investigation focused on security lapses regarding the protection of the Benghazi mission but not look into the role of the mission itself which could be critical in determining the reasons the facility came under fire.

KleinOnline has published a series of investigations showing the Benghazi mission was highly involved in the rebel-led Mideast revolutions to which Pickering is tied.

WND was first to report the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi actually served as a meeting place to coordinate aid for rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East, according to Middle Eastern security officials.

In September, KleinOnline broke the story that assassinated Ambassador Christopher Stevens himself played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian security officials.

Last month, Middle Eastern security sources further described both the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi as the main intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels that was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Many rebel fighters are openly members of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida.

Pickering’s panel released some of its finds to the media yesterday. The group reportedly concluded that systematic management and leadership failures at the State Department led to “grossly” inadequate security at the mission in Benghazi.

“Systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place,” the panel said.

The report pointed a finger at State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs, charging a lack of coordination and confusion over protecting the Benghazi mission.

Still, the panel concluded that no officials ignored or violated their duties. It recommended no disciplinary action now but did suggest that poor performance by senior managers in the future should be grounds for disciplinary action.

Cover up?

Pickering’s report seems to make no mention of any of the activities that transpired at either the Benghazi mission or the CIA annex.

According to numerous Middle Eastern security officials speaking to KleinOnline, the U.S. diplomatic mission served as a meeting place to coordinate aid for the jihadists fighting insurgencies in the Middle East.

Among the tasks performed inside the building was collaborating with Arab countries on the recruitment of fighters – including jihadists – to target Assad’s regime in Syria.

The distinction may help explain why there was no major public security presence at what has been described as a “consulate.” Such a presence would draw attention to the shabby, nondescript building that was allegedly used for such sensitive purposes.

The security officials divulged the building was routinely used by Stevens and others to coordinate with the Turkish, Saudi and Qatari governments on supporting the insurgencies in the Middle East, most prominently the rebels opposing Assad’s regime in Syria.

The officials said that Stevens played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian security officials.

Stevens served as a key contact with the Saudis to coordinate the recruitment by Saudi Arabia of Islamic fighters from North Africa and Libya. The jihadists were sent to Syria via Turkey to attack Assad’s forces, said the security officials.

The officials said Stevens also worked with the Saudis to send names of potential jihadi recruits to U.S. security organizations for review. Names found to be directly involved in previous attacks against the U.S., including in Iraq and Afghanistan, were ultimately not recruited by the Saudis to fight in Syria, said the officials.

Questions remain about the nature of U.S. support for the revolutions in Egypt and Libya, including reports the U.S.-aided rebels that toppled Muammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya consisted of al-Qaida and jihad groups. The U.S. provided direct assistance, including weapons and finances, to the Libyan rebels.

Similarly, the Obama administration is currently aiding the rebels fighting Assad’s regime in Syria amid widespread reports that al-Qaida jihadists are included in the ranks of the Free Syrian Army.

Read more on Pickering ties

‘White Out’ on Benghazi: State Dept. Issues Report

Attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Sept. 11, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Sept. 11, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

The real issue — which is what the CIA, the State Department or anyone in the U.S. government has been doing backing regime change operations across the Middle East and North Africa region in the company of and for the benefit of Al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood jihadis — never gets addressed, much less explained by the ARB or anyone else.

by: Clare Lopez

On December 19, 2012, Ambassador Thomas Pickering, Chairman of the State Department (DoS) Accountability Review Board (ARB) delivered the ‘White-Out” report on Benghazi that he’d been selected to provide. “White-Out” is the perfect term for this report, as Diana West notes, because the entire senior national security leadership of the U.S. is completely missing from it. There is simply no mention whatsoever of President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper or the disgraced former CIA Director David Petraeus.

According to Pickering, who was hand-picked by the Obama administration to head the ARB, none of these officials had anything to do with the failure to provide the reliable armed, trained security that the Benghazi Mission asked for repeatedly and was denied, or for the catastrophic outcome of the terror assault on the mission the night of September 11, 2012 that took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith and two former Navy SEAL CIA security contractors, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

Instead, four lower-ranking State Department officials took the fall: Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security; Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security; Raymond Maxwell, the deputy assistant secretary of state for North Africa; and an unidentified official in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security all resigned on  December 19, after the Pickering report cited a “grossly inadequate” security posture at the Benghazi mission.

This is very convenient, of course, because none of those truly responsible for what happened at Benghazi that night is called to account in the Pickering White-Out for establishing the policies in the first place that sent Americans to work with treacherous Al-Qaeda militias in Libya that ultimately turned on their long-time comrade-in-arms, Christopher Stevens, and killed him.

It is strange, though, that the report would mention that there were “known gaps…in the intelligence community’s understanding of extremist militias in Libya and the potential threat they posed to U.S. interests, although some threats were known to exist.”

Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s September 10, 2012 video call for revenge for the June 2012 drone killing of his deputy, the Libyan Abu Yahya al-Libi, doesn’t seem to have made the cut for “immediate, specific tactical warning” and the Pickering White-Out doesn’t even mention the possibility that this message from the commander of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) affiliates just possibly could have been the “green light” for the September 11 attack.

In any case, though, the White House, State Department and Intelligence Community should have been extremely familiar with some of these militia characters, having engaged together with them in the jihad struggle against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi for so many months.

There was Abdelhakim Belhadj, for instance. He was the former self-described jihadist leader of the Al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LFG) who, on behalf of the new, liberated Libyan government, later went on to join forces with the similarly Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian Free Army rebels.

Read more at Radical Islam

Clare Lopez is a senior fellow at RadicalIslam.org and a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on the Middle East, national defense and counterterrorism. Lopez served for 20 years as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The Real Why of Benghazi, part 2

By :

Follow-up to: WEAPONS HUNTING: The Reason for the 9-11 Murders in Libya,” by Denise Simon, covering the topics of MANPAD missile recovery and the operative relationship between the Obama administration and Gitmo-released al Qaeda leader in Libya, Bin Qumu.

Get out the PAM cooking spray so nothing sticks to anyone involved in the murders and failed diplomatic operations in Benghazi. Yet, there is no one more responsible than the handful at the White House and the State Department. Remember that oath, to protect and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. The date sadly was 9-11 but in this case it was 9-11, #11, an anniversary that historically brought out elevated states of alert and a position of readiness was always invoked, globally.

Such was not the case at not only Benghazi, but at all U.S. foreign government locations worldwide. This anniversary witnessed a vastly elevated number of major demonstrations at embassy locations on all continents against the United States and NATO partners however the White House and the State Department were in party mode.

Prior to the 11th anniversary, there was a long trail of detailed threats published for Libya just weeks earlier. In August 2012, intelligence reports spelled out in clear terms, the names and locations of jihadist activities. These came from the counter-terrorism professionals and Intelligence Community (IC) professionals as they provided to critical personnel and decision makers within the Obama administration. What is worse, not one person in this administration asked a pro-active single question framed as, “Is there enough security personnel in any of the diplomatic posts in Libya and should we review the safety of our people there?” This administration has proven a higher concern for a ‘green energy’ agenda, ensuring Chevy Volts were celebrated for the vehicle pool, and yet the U.S. embassy in Barbados even had an SST Marine division on security duty.

In Benghazi, the United States was the “last flag standing” after many months of assassination attempts, bombings, attacks, and protests since the fall of Qaddafi. All other nations had vacated the area earlier. Perhaps it is prudent for our purposes here to count all the attacks on U.S. embassies or those of our allies in the last several years. We should then question the need to have diplomatic posts in areas of such volatile and proven possibilities. If the need is great as determined by foreign policy stances, then shouldn’t we also question the level of security? When posts in safer places have such large Marine contingents and dangerous places do not, does this not place that foreign policy stance into question?

Marines currently serve at 148 US embassies and consulates; however Libya wasn’t one of them. The MSGs’ primary mission is to provide internal security services at designated U.S. Diplomatic and Consular facilities to prevent the compromise of classified information and equipment that is vital to national security of the United States of America. The secondary mission of the MSG is to provide protection for U.S. citizens and U.S. Government property located within designated U.S. Diplomatic and Consular premises/facilities during exigent circumstances that require immediate aid or action. It is important to mention here however, that President Obama has said publicly and mandated throughout this administration that he and all within government will stand on the side of the Muslims.

As a result the clear conclusion is President Obama as well as the Secretaries of State and Defense would rather eliminate all visible deterrents of protection and security that offend Muslim sensibilities and have in fact done so, sadly, even with the approval of the Joint Chief, General Martin Dempsey.

In the case of Benghazi, it is an established hotbed of jihad activity even while Qaddafi ruled the nation and even more so after he was captured and killed. Today, Libya is completely unstable and has no real government in place, certainly not one that can be embraced by any Western culture or leadership, except that of the Obama administration. Since the fall of Qaddafi, the United States had several clandestine objectives underway as posted by SUA here on September 20th. As a follow up to that article, the work by covert contractors and the CIA in Libya, is now wasted and remains not only unfinished but, all of the weapons and terror factions now go unchecked while unknown quantities of Qaddafi’s weapons are making their way to even Syria today.

Yes, all of Libya is dangerous, but it begs the question on how CNN was able to keep journalists safe even in Benghazi as the US FBI was having trouble gaining access. So the examination remains, why the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, an information officer, the two former SEALs, the RSO’s and the FBI were so unprotected and felt unsafe and called many times for more armed security. Could it be that the administration placed its faith in a set of Islamist networks to protect and defend our national security and sovereignty in Libya or other countries where there are continued attacks and killings against the West?

With these questions in mind, let’s look at some of the people in and around Libya that our State Department approved for interaction, security, and partners in country.

This is good…you’re going to want to read it all at Gulag Bound

Denise Simon is Senior Research Analyst on Domestic and Foreign Policy for Stand Up America; also 3rd Officer for Watchmen of America, Public Affairs Officer, and an Intel Officer for Watchmen of Florida. Denise is a member of the International Association of Counterterrorism and Security Professionals and is a First Observer, in addition to an executive career in national and international telecommunications, and non-profit organization.