Judicial Watch: Newly Released Documents Confirm White House Officials Set Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Response

NATO Summit Lisbon 2010 - Day 1Judicial Watch, June 29, 2015:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released new State Department documents showing that Hillary Clinton and the State Department’s response to the Benghazi attack was immediately determined by top Obama White House officials, particularly Ben Rhodes, then-White House deputy strategic communications adviser, and Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for the National Security Council.  The new documents were forced from the U.S. State Department under court order in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01511)).

Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request on June 13, 2014, and subsequently a lawsuit on September 4, 2014, seeking:

Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to notes, updates, or reports created in response to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. This request includes, but is not limited to, notes taken by then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or employees of the Office of the Secretary of State during the attack and its immediate aftermath.

A September 11, 2012, email sent at 6:21 p.m. by State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland to Meehan, Under Secretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, and Clinton’s personal aide Jacob Sullivan shows that the State Department deferred to the White House on the official response to the Benghazi attack.  Referencing pending press statements by Barack Obama and Clinton, Nuland wrote: “We are holding for Rhodes clearance. BMM, pls advise asap.”

Meehan responded three minutes later, at 6:24 p.m.: “Ben is good with these and is on with Jake now too.”

Rhodes sent an email at 9:48 p.m. to senior White House and State officials on the issue: “We should let the State Department statement be our comment for the night.”

An email from Meehan, sent at 10:15 p.m. on September 11 to Rhodes, Nuland, Sullivan, Kennedy and Clinton aide Philippe Reines, further confirms the White House approval of Hillary Clinton’s statement tying the Benghazi terrorist attack to an Internet video: “All, the Department of State just released the following statement. Per Ben [Rhodes’] email below, this should be the USG comment for the night.”

The “USG comment” turned out to be Clinton’s notorious public statement, made hours after the initial terrorist attack, falsely suggesting that the Benghazi assault was a “response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”

Rhodes emailed Meehan, Sullivan and Reines at 11:45 p.m. on September 11, writing, “Fyi – we are considering releasing this tonight.”  The next line is redacted.  The email also included a “Readout of President’s Call to Secretary Clinton,” the contents of which are also completely redacted.

On September 12, the day after the attack, Meehan sent an email to Obama administration officials announcing that “to ensure we are all in sync on messaging for the rest of the day, Ben Rhodes will host a conference call for USG communicators on this chain at 9:15AM ET today.”

The new documents show that the Obama administration engaged domestic and foreign Islamist groups and foreign nationals to push the Internet video narrative. The day after the attack, Rashad Hussain, the Obama administration’s special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), sent an email to Ambassador Ufuk Gokcen, the OIC’s ambassador to the United Nations, and Cenk Uraz, an official with the OIC, pushing the video as the cause of the Benghazi attack.  The email has the subject line:  “Urgent: Anti-Islamic Film and Violence” and reads in part:

I am sure you are considering putting a statement on the film and the related violence.  In addition to the condemnation of the disgusting depictions, it will be important to emphasize the need to respond in a way that is consistent with Islamic principles, i.e. not engaging in violence and taking innocent life …

The resulting OIC statement, sent to Hussain by the OIC’s Uraz, linked the film, as requested by the Obama administration, to the Benghazi attack and suggested that the United States restrict free speech in response.  The official OIC statement called the film “incitement” and stated that the attack in Benghazi and a demonstration in Cairo “emanated from emotions aroused by a production of a film had hurt [sic] the religious sentiments of Muslims.  The two incidents demonstrated serious repercussions of abuse of freedom of expression.”  The OIC’s statement referenced its own efforts to criminalize criticism of Islam. Hussain sent the OIC statement immediately to other Obama administration officials, including then-Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills, who thanks Hussain for the email.

The State Department withheld communications on September 12, 2012, between Hillary Clinton’s senior aide Huma Abedin and Rashad Hussain about an article passed by him about how “American Muslim leaders” were tying the video to the Benghazi attack.  At the time of the Benghazi attack, Abedin had been double-dipping, working as a consultant to outside clients while continuing as a top adviser at State. Abedin’s outside clients included Teneo, a strategic consulting firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton counselor Doug Band. According to Fox News, Abedin earned $355,000 as a consultant for Teneo, in addition to her $135,000 “special government employee” compensation.

The State Department also disclosed a document, dated September 13, 2012, entitled “USG Outreach and Engagement Post Benghazi Attack.”  This record details how the Obama administration reached out to domestic groups, foreign groups and governments in a full-court press to tie the video to the Benghazi attack.  The document “captures USG efforts to engage outside voices to encourage public statements that denounce the attack make it clear that the anti-Muslim film does not reflect American [sic].”  The document highlights the use of Hillary Clinton’s statement tying the terrorist attack to an Internet video.  The “outreach” document also highlights “Special Envoy’s engagement” with the OIC and the “Saudi Ambassador.”

The documents show that the Internet video was raised in a September 15 discussion between Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.  The “eyes only” “secret” document was partially declassified.  Davutoglu “called the controversial anti-Islam video a ‘clear provocation,’ but added that wise people should not be provoked by it.”  The next line is blacked out and the markings show that it will not be declassified until 2027, more than twelve years from now.

Another email, evidently from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), sent to Meehan and other top White House and administration officials, shows that the administration took no action to deploy military assets almost five hours after the attack begun:

OSD has received queries asking if military assets are being sent to either location [Libya and Egypt].  Have responded “not to our knowledge.”

The State Department referred Judicial Watch to documents in the batch of 55,000 emails allegedly turned over by Hillary Clinton and searched in response to the court order in this lawsuit.  These emails were published on the State Department’s web site, but are also available here.  In addition, the State Department produced new documents containing Hillary Clinton emails.  In one such email (September 11, 2012 at 11:40 p.m.) from Clinton to Nuland, Sullivan and top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, with the subject line “Chris Smith,” Clinton writes: “Cheryl told me the Libyans confirmed his death. Should we announce tonight or wait until morning?”

Nuland responds: “We need to ck family’s druthers. If they are OK, we should put something out from you tonight.” Mills then replies to Nuland, “Taking S [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] off.” (Sean Smith, not “Chris Smith” was one of four Americans killed at Benghazi.)

On September 13, 2012, Politico’s Mike Allen sent then-National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor an Independent.co.uk news article entitled “America was warned of embassy attack but did nothing.”  The story reported that “senior officials are increasingly convinced” the Benghazi attack was “not the result of spontaneous anger.” Vietor forwarded the story to other top White House and State Department officials, but Vietor’s accompanying comments and the comments of other top Obama appointees are completely redacted.  The administration also redacted several emails of top State officials discussing a statement by Romney campaign spokesman criticizing the “security situation in Libya.”

In April 2014, Judicial Watch first obtained smoking gun documents showing that it was the Obama White House’s public relations effort that falsely portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.”

The documents include an email by White House operative Ben Rhodes sent on Friday, September 14, 2012, with the subject line: “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.” This “prep” was for Ambassador Susan Rice in advance of her appearances on Sunday news shows to discuss the Benghazi attack and deflect criticism of the administration’s security failures by blaming the attack on spontaneous protests linked to the video.

The email listed as one of the administration’s key talking points:

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

Documents released by Judicial Watch last month further confirm that the Obama administration, including Hillary Clinton, Rice and Obama immediately knew the attack was an al-Qaeda terrorist attack.

“These documents show the Obama White House was behind the big lie, first promoted by Hillary Clinton, that an Internet video caused the Benghazi terrorist attack,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, “Top White House aide Ben Rhodes, Hillary Clinton, and many key Obama officials pushed others to tie the Internet video to the attacks. It is disturbing that the Obama administration would use Islamist radicals to push the false Benghazi story in a way that would abridge free speech.  It is little wonder that Mrs. Clinton and the entire Obama administration have fought so hard to keep these documents from the American people.  All evidence now points to Hillary Clinton, with the approval of the White House, as being the source of the Internet video lie.”

Muslim Leader Who Said Israel is ‘Enemy of God’ Invited to White House

shFrontpage, May 15, 2015, by Joe Kaufman:

Regardless of the circumstances, when a representative from CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a group with close ties to Hamas, is allowed into the White House, a serious, indeed dangerous, problem exists.

One day after the brutal death of his cousin – a revenge attack following the murder of three Israeli teens – Tariq Abu Khdeir, a 15-year-old boy who had traveled to Israel from Tampa, Florida, found himself arrested and beaten by an Israeli officer. On the day of his being taken into custody, authorities alleged Khdeir was masked, armed and actively participating in rioting against officers. They said, as well, he had resisted arrest.

A video purporting to be of the beating went viral, and an Israeli investigation into the footage commenced.

While Khdeir claimed total innocence in the matter, and to be sure, months later, the charges against him were dropped, his family’s choice of an attorney for his case makes Khdeir’s claim of innocence highly suspicious, if not an outright lie. Throughout the process, the lawyer representing Khdeir was Hassan Shibly, the Executive Director of the Florida chapter of CAIR.

CAIR was established in June 1994 as being part of the American Palestine Committee, an umbrella organization acting as a terrorist enterprise run by then-global Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. Marzook was based in the U.S. at the time and currently operates out of Egypt as a spokesman for Hamas. In 2007 and 2008, amidst two federal trials, the U.S. government named CAIR a co-conspirator in the raising of millions of dollars for Hamas.

Under a graphic of the World Trade Center in flames, CAIR posted to its national website a link to the Hamas charity, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), asking its followers to donate money. The group also asked its followers to donate to the al-Qaeda charity, Global Relief Foundation (GRF).

In November 2014, just six months ago, along with ISIS, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, CAIR was listed as a terrorist organization by United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Hassan Shibly has exhibited his own radical behavior.

Shibly is an admirer of controversial Islamic lecturer Khalid Yasin who, during a 2005 interview, stated the following about non-Muslims and homosexuals: “There’s no such thing as a Muslim having a non-Muslim friend. If you prefer the clothing of the kafirs over the clothing of the Muslims, most of those names that’s on most of those clothings is faggots, homosexuals and lesbians.”

Fox News host Megyn Kelly recently pointed out on her show that, for at least four years, Shibly has referred to himself as a “fan” of Yasin and/or labeled Yasin an “interest” on his personal Facebook page. This, after Shibly had been warned years before about Yasin.

In December 2004, Shibly was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, while crossing over the Canadian border, following a conference he had attended in Toronto. The conference was ‘Reviving the Islamic Spirit,’ and according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, it featured a number of extremist speakers including notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan and neo-Nazi William Baker.

About Shibly’s and others’ detentions, a border spokesman stated, “[W]e have credible, ongoing information that these types of conferences have been used and are being used by terrorist organizations to not only transport fraudulent documents but to mask travel by terrorists.” According to Shibly, he was “led by three armed officers” into a room “for questioning and fingerprinting.” He was told to stand face-first against the wall with legs spread for a pat-down search. He said he was “treated as a suspect.”

In June 2011, the Tampa Tribune reported on previous statements Shibly had made regarding Hezbollah. Shibly had stated that Hezbollah was “basically a resistance movement” and “absolutely not a terrorist organization.”

In August 2014, only nine months ago, Shibly tweeted that “Israel and its supporters are enemies of God.

All of this is disturbing in itself, but what is much more so is the fact that this man was invited to the White House.

On April 15th, National Security Council staff met with Shibly and the Khdeir family at the West Wing of the White House. CNN published a photo of a smiling Shibly and a smiling Tariq Khdeir seated there. Shibly tweeted another with both Tariq and his mother Suha Khdeir.

A White House official is quoted on CNN, stating “The U.S. government has remained closely engaged with Tariq and his family since his return from Jerusalem.”

Question: Was the NSC aware of Shibly and his organization’s backgrounds, prior to him being allowed to enter the premises? Or did the White House CAIR?

This event evokes a similar memory when Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian and his family were given the honor of taking photos with President George W. Bush at the White House. That was an embarrassment and a significant lapse in national security. So is this.

There was a time when the White House was considered nothing less than sacred in the U.S., a time when Americans knew the difference between friend and enemy. This photo op is an example of how far we have fallen as a nation and how vulnerable we truly are.

Muslim Leader Who Called Israel a ‘Suspect’ After 9/11 Meets with Biden at White House

Vice President Joe Biden at the White House's Countering Violent Extremism summit / AP

Vice President Joe Biden at the White House’s Countering Violent Extremism summit / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb. 18, 2015:

A controversial U.S. Muslim leader who has been highly critical of Israel and said that the Jewish state should be on the “suspect list” in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks participated on Tuesday in a White House summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) that featured Vice President Joe Biden.

Salam Al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), tweeted out a photo of himself at the White House with Biden and bragged, “We joined VP @JoeBiden for a discussion at the @WhiteHouse #CVESummit which kicked off today.”

Al-Marayati has been viewed as a controversial figure due to past statements characterized by his critics as anti-Israel and soft on terrorism.

The White House CVE Summit, a three-day forum focused on countering radical extremism, comes in the wake of multiple anti-Semitic attacks across the globe and pressure for an increased military campaign against the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) released a detailed fact sheet that contained scores of controversial statements attributed to al-Marayati.

One of his more controversial proclamations came in the wake of 9/11, when al-Marayati pointed a finger at Israel.

“If we’re going to look at suspects [for 9/11], we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies,” he said in a radio interview shortly after the attacks in 2001, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Al-Marayati also caused controversy in 2012, when he was selected by the Obama administration to represent the United States government at a human rights conference sponsored by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Despite his past rhetoric, the State Department defended the selection of al-Marayati when contacted by the Free Beacon at the time.

Al-Marayati also has accused Israel of using the Holocaust to justify its security measures against the Palestinians.

“We’re against Holocaust denial, but we’re also against people who exploit that as a way of shoving this kind of war propaganda and dehumanization of the Arab peoples and the Muslim peoples as if they have to pay the price for what Nazi Germany did to the Jews back in the 20th century,” he said in a 2006 radio interview cited by the IPT in its fact sheet.

Following the deadly 2001 attack on a pizza shop in Jerusalem that killed 15 Israelis and wounded many others, al-Marayati’s MPAC group released a statement claiming that the act of terrorism was “the expected bitter result of the reckless policy of Israeli assassination that did not spare children and political figures.”

In 2012, he accused the United States of doing “dirty work” on Israel’s behalf, according to IPT.

“The other point here, which is very important historically, the United States has done a lot of dirty work that has served the interests of Israel,” al-Marayati said during a debate on the Russian-government controlled RT. “It destroyed Iraq. It supported the destruction and crippling of Egypt. It has crippled the Gulf.

“And now, it is looking to Iran as the next target for crippling and destroying,” he continued. “I think this is madness. Who is driving our foreign policy? President Obama or Prime Minister Netanyahu?”

He also has described attacks by the U.S.-designated terror group Hezbollah as a form of legitimate resistance.

“If the Lebanese people are resisting Israeli intransigence on Lebanese soil, then that is the right of resistance and they have the right to target Israeli soldiers in this conflict,” al-Marayati said during a 1999 interview on PBS. “That is not terrorism. That is a legitimate resistance.”

“That could be called liberation movement [sic], that could be called anything, but it’s not terrorism,” he added.

Al-Marayati’s group, MPAC, has been condemned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for spreading blood libels about Israel harvesting the organs of Palestinians, according to past statements.

Spokesmen for the White House’s National Security Council (NSC) did not immediately respond to requests for comment on al-Marayati and why he was included in the CVE Summit.

“Al-Marayati’s presence at the Countering Violent Extremism Summit tells us everything we need to know about the failure of the Obama Administration to devise an effective counter-terrorism strategy,” said Kyle Shideler, director of The Threat Information Office (TIO) at the Center for Security Policy “Here’s a man who just days after 9/11 said we ought to be investigating whether the attack was carried out by Israel, and has a history of apologizing for terror.”

“If this is the kind of outreach partner that President Obama believes cities nationwide should be seeking out, then we’re better off not doing outreach at all, and returning to good old fashion police and intelligence work,” Shideler said.

When contacted for comment about MPAC’s participation in the summit, al-Marayati dismissed his critics and said they are harping on statements from more than a decade ago.

“That was 15 years ago,” he said by email. “Our [MPAC’s] track record is strong on anti terrorism. I work with local Jewish leaders including Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. It’s time to move on and work together to counter ISIS.”

Al-Marayati and MPAC were asked to participate in the summit due to its work with a CVE initiative called Safe Spaces, “which has been lauded by local law enforcement in LA,” he said.

“LAPD first told me and asked that I attend because of the local work in LA,” he said. “I’m also working on preventing young people from becoming foreign fighters on a task force with the Homeland Security Advisory Council.”

Other al-Marayati critics, such as Patrick Poole, a national security reporter and terrorism expert, said that his presence at the summit “speaks to how much of a farce” it is.

“This is exactly why he [al-Marayati] was thrown off the Gore Terrorism Commission back in the late 1990s,” Poole said. “It speaks to how much a farce this White House summit is that in the face of an escalating global jihadist threat they rehabilitate a character like Marayati.”

The Cost to America of an AWOL President

Screen-Shot-2015-02-14-at-9.13.28-AM-640x480Breitbart, by DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA, 14 Feb 2015:

In the recently released, but largely unheralded, National Security Strategy of the United States, the new buzz-word was “strategic patience.” As our unarmed Marines hastily departed Yemen, and ISIS closed in on their fellow devil-dogs in Iraq, the President was more than showing patience: he was making video about taking selfies.
The new National Security Strategy of the United States, which was a year late and strangely dropped on a Friday – a technique usually reserved for documents the administration doesn’t want to be read – opens with a a letter from President Obama. In it, he states that his answer to the threats and challenges that face the nation is “strategic patience.” Instead of tackling the dangers of the word proactively and head-on, America will play a waiting game. This fits neatly into previous approaches from the White House that have emphasized “leading from behind.” Given the geopolitical realties of today’s world, American voters should draw their own report card of what a reactive and “patient” approach has brought the Republic in the last six years:
  • The Global Jihadist Movement: Not only is Al Qaeda not on the ropes, but ISIS /The Islamic State has overtaken it as a fully-fledged insurgency which is so powerful that latest reports have it attacking the base in Iraq where US Marines are deployed to assist the Iraqi army in standing itself back up after being routed last Summer. As media attention focuses again on the Middle East, especially after thegruesome immolation of Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, the Jihadist movement grows ever stronger in Africa, with Boko Haram killing thousands and enslaving hundreds of Christian girls. Back home, we have theunprecedented statement by the director of the FBI that the Bureau is investigating ISIS activity in 49 states of the union. (Every state except Sarah Palin’s Alaska).
  • On the Shia side of this global war, we see that not only is Iran very deftly outmaneuvering the administration when it comes to its nuclear program, its proxies are gaining ground in South Asia and the Middle East, most especially in Yemen, where the Houthis have captured the capital. This despite the fact that Yemen was lauded last year by the President as one of the true success stories of his counterterrorism strategy.
  • The most populous and important Arab Muslim state, Egypt, has not responded well to “strategic patience” – or rather, strategic neglect and rejection of the White House. When the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammad Morsi was deposed by General Sisi, Cairo became the black sheep of the region as far as the administration is considered. This despite the fact that now-president Sisi is the only Muslim leader since 9/11 to openly call for a “religious revolution” in Islam aimed against the violent jihadists that threaten his nation as much as ours.
  • With the “pivot to Asia” declared by then-Secretary Clinton resulting in nominal, if any actual, redirection of our attention to the region, China has proceeded to build up its military and use it to intimidate its neighbors and lay claim to new territories in ways that could very easily lead to a shooting war in the region.
  • And in Europe, Vladimir Putin has managed to break a 60-plus year international taboo by using force to redraw borders and annex the territory of a neighboring state. Clearly, the former KGB colonel believes in being a pro-active leader.
This is just a short version of a disturbing list that could be made much longer. The empirical truth on the ground is that we have enemies at home and abroad, enemies who believe neither in “leading from behind” nor in “strategic patience.” At the same time, the most powerful nation the world has ever seen has a Commander-in-Chief who is Absent With Out Leave.
Sebastian Gorka Ph.D. is the Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University. Follow him at @SebGorka.

Muslim Brotherhood: White House Official Met Us at State Department

White HouseWashington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb. 10, 2015:

A Muslim Brotherhood member who recently was hosted at the State Department along with several of the Islamist group’s key allies now claims that a White House official also was present in that meeting, according to recent remarks.

Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery, a Brotherhood member and former Egyptian parliamentarian, was in the United States late last month along with a delegation of fellow Brotherhood leaders and allies.

The Brotherhood-aligned delegation caused an international stir after the Washington Free Beacon revealed that it had been hosted for a meeting with several State Department officials.

Another member of the group, a Brotherhood-aligned judge in Egypt, posed for a picture while at Foggy Bottom in which he held up the Islamic group’s notorious four-finger Rabia symbol.

While the State Department initially misled reporters about the meeting, it was eventually forced to admit that several Obama administration officials—including a deputy assistant secretary for democracy, human rights, and labor—and State Department officials met with the delegation.

Al-Dardery now claims that in addition to these State Department representatives, a member of the White House also participated in the sit-down.

“The trip started for the [Egyptian] community in New York and New Jersey,” al-Dardery said in a recent interview with the Arabic language pro-Muslim Brotherhood El Sharq TV.  “Then during the trip we undertook to meet with some from the ‘establishment,’ the administration, in the United States.  And we met at the State Department and there was a representative there from the White House.”

A State Department official said that it could not speak to the White House’s involvement in any meetings and referred any questions to it.

In addition to Al-Dardery, the delegation included Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood, and Waleed Sharaby, a secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and a spokesman for Judges for Egypt, a group reported to have close ties to the Brotherhood.

News of the meeting between the Brotherhood allies and the Obama administration caused anger among many in the Egyptian government, which is fighting furiously to crackdown on the Islamist group and its supporters.

“These statements are incomprehensible to me, we do not understand that there will be such a communication with the elements involved in terrorist acts to intimidate the Egyptians,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri was quoted as saying in the regional press following the Free Beacon’s initial report.

“The Brotherhood is not a political party,” but “a terrorist organization,” Shukri said.

The Obama administration found itself in more hot water after questions were raised about its initial statements regarding the meeting.

State Department Spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki initially claimed that the Brotherhood-aligned delegation was sponsored by Georgetown University, a claim that turned out to be false.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have the accurate information on one small piece. The meeting was set up by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, a nonprofit. So the visit was not funded, as you know, by us or the U.S. Government, but it was also not funded by Georgetown,” Psaki said last week, under renewed questioning from reporters about the meeting.

Psaki went on to say that the Obama administration remains comfortable entertaining the Brotherhood.

“Are you—is the building comfortable with continuing to do business with this center, this group?” a reporter asked.

“Yes. Yes,” Psaki responded.

Revealed: Names of Four American Muslim Leaders at White House ‘Anti-Muslim Bigotry’ Meeting

Obama-fist-afp-640x480Breitbart, by JORDAN SCHACHTEL, Feb. 5, 2015:

The White House has still refused to name the “American Muslim leaders” with whom President Obama met to “discuss a range of domestic and foreign policy issues.”

According to a White House statement on the President’s meeting, the domestic issues discussed were the “Affordable Care Act, anti-Muslim violence and discrimination, the 21st Century Policing Task Force, and the upcoming White House Summit on Countering Violence Extremism.” On the foreign policy front, “the President discussed the need to continue countering ISIL and other groups that commit horrific acts of violence, purportedly in the name of Islam,” while also congratulating Muslims on their “remarkable contributions” to America.

Breitbart News has uncovered the names of four of the American Muslim leaders in attendance.

Comedian and left-wing pundit Dean Obeidallah revealed that he was one of the fifteen Muslim-American “leaders” brought to the White House on Wednesday afternoon.

“The No.1 issue raised: The alarming rise in anti-Muslim bigotry in America,” Obeidallah said of the meeting with the President. Their chief collective concern was not the rise of the Sunni Islamic State, nor the expansion of the Caliphatist Shiite Iranian regime and its messianic drive towards nuclear weapons, but instead, “anti-Muslim bigotry in America.”

Also at the event was Hoda Elshishtawy of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). MPAC was founded by members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The group has written a position paper rejecting the United States’s designation of Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations, and has insisted that the Jewish state of Israel be added as a state sponsor of terrorism. The group’s former president, Salam al-Marayati, has also publicly entertained that Israel should be considered a suspect in the 9/11/01 attacks against America. He has said that Hezbollah’s attacks against Israel should be seen as “legitimate resistance,” according to Ryan Mauro of the Clarion Foundation.

Elshishtawy revealed that Dr. Sherman Jackson, who serves as the King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought at the University of Southern California, was also at the meeting. One lecture Dr. Jackson gave has been described as a “call to battle” between Muslims and the West.

Obeidallah also revealed that Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates, was behind the effort to get Muslim leaders to the White House.

Muslim Advocates reveals on its website that its three main objectives are to “end profiling,” “strengthen [Muslim] charities,” and “counter hate.” Its Press Center section is filled with posts demanding intelligence organizations, such as the New York Police Department and federal agencies, end their “Muslim Suspicionless Spying Program,” while also dictating to the media that it should “Report Accurately on Muslims.” Another post reads, “What You Need to Know About the New Federal Racial Profiling Policy.” Review of Muslim Advocates’ press releases reveals that the only foreign policy issue with which the group has concerned itself over the past year was urging Sec. of State John Kerry to ensureMuslim “Americans are able to safely perform the annual religious Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.”

Obeidallah does point out that Texas state Representative Molly White and others have made concerning remarks regarding the Muslim community. However, Obeidallah conflated anti-Muslim remarks with those criticizing Islam as a whole.

Hate crimes against Muslims remain a very small percentage of those that are religiously motivated. According to the latest FBI statistics, Muslims are victims of only 13.7 percent of religiously motivated hate crimes. American Jews remain almost five times more likelyto be victims of hate crimes than Muslims.

White House Statement Ignores Brotherhood’s Continuing Hamas Support

797IPT News
December 5, 2014

The White House this week issued a statement explaining why it does not view the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. It was in response to an online petition which attracted more than 213,000 signatures in support of designating the Egyptian-based group.

The statement emphasizes a lack of “credible evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced its decades-long commitment to non-violence.”

The Brotherhood has another decades-long commitment, however, one that clearly endorses and supports terrorist attacks against Israel. That support began with Article Two of the Hamas charter, which clearly identifies it as “one of the wings of Muslim Brothers in Palestine.” It continues today with statements inciting and supporting Hamas attacks.

As the war between Israel and Gaza raged in August, a statement on the Brotherhood’s website translated by the Investigative Project on Terrorism praised “the valiant resistance factions [who] gave them [Palestinians] a lesson in heroism, faith, and courage. They decimated their soldiers and their officers…” Violent confrontation, the statement continued, “is the natural position which must be adopted with the heroes of Palestine, who have proven that the defeat of the Zionists as possible, which is closer when the will of the Umma [people] is united, with God’s will.”

President Obama publicly stood by Israel’s “right to defend itself against what I consider to be inexcusable attacks from Hamas,” including its indiscriminate rocket fire at Israeli civilian communities. The Brotherhood, by contrast, called for more attacks and “the defeat of the Zionists.”

That was not enough for the administration to question its “decades-long commitment to non-violence.” Other Brotherhood statements show that this is consistent rhetoric, even in more peaceful times.

A June message called “resistance to the occupier Zionist enemy” – a sterilized reference to terrorism – “a legitimate right and a sacred duty approved by all laws and customs and constitutions, and it is the only viable way to restore rights and reply to aggression.”

An April 2010 statement, marking the 62nd anniversary of Israel’s creation – what Palestinians call the Nakba, or catastrophe – said the only acceptable path is to continue trying to destroy an existing country.

“T]he Zionist destruction will only be by an Islamic, Arab plan which rejects peace begging initiative proposed since 2002; rejects normalization measures with the Zionist entity; reviews peace agreements and diplomatic relations with it; rejects foolish negotiations between Zionists and Palestinians which are like negotiations between the lamb and the wolf pack,” the Brotherhood statement said.

The United States has considered Hamas a terrorist group since 1995, when President Bill Clinton signed an executive order decrying “grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists that disrupt the Middle East peace process” and threaten American national security.

The United States has a record of aggressively pursuing Hamas-support operations within the country. It shut down the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF)’s assets in December 2001, labeling it a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. This action was based on the foundation’s routing of millions of dollars to Hamas-controlled charities in the West Bank and Gaza. Later, the governmentprosecuted and a jury convicted the foundation and five former officials.

Internal records seized by the FBI and entered into evidence in that prosecution showed that HLF operated under the umbrella of a group called the Palestine Committee, which was created by the Muslim Brotherhood and tasked with supporting Hamas politically and financially.

Some might argue that was a long time ago. But a look at Brotherhood actions and rhetoric indicates it continues to be fully supportive of Hamas and its violent attacks against Israelis.

Reports earlier this week indicate that members of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood branch were arrested for trying to smuggle weapons into the West Bank to facilitate terror attacks.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, considered the Brotherhood’s most influential cleric, urged Muslimsto wage “the greatest battle of liberation” against Israel and the Jews in an online posting last month. Qaradawi, who also has a highly-rated program on Al-Jazeera, has an ever-expanding record of endorsing terrorist attacks and has prayed for the chance to “go to the land of Jihad and resistance” and “shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews,” before he dies.

Interpol issued a bulletin Friday indicating that Qaradawi, 88, was wanted by Egyptian authorities for “incitement and assistance to commit intentional murder.”

After Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood official, was forced from office in July 2013 in the wake of massive street protests against his rule, the Brotherhood’s political party posted a memo on Facebook inciting followers to take out their frustrations by burning Coptic churches.

“The Pope of the Church (Coptic Pope Tawadros II) took part in the ouster of the first elected Islamist president. The Pope of the Church charges Islamic Sharia with underdevelopment [and] stagnation,” the memo from the Freedom and Justice Party’s branch in Egypt’s Helwan Governorate, near Cairo, said.

“And for the Church to adopt a war against Islam and Muslims is the worst crime. For every action is a reaction.”

Before Morsi’s ouster, the White House welcomed a delegation of Muslim Brotherhood officials, even helping clear their path to avoid standard airport inspections as they landed in the United States.

State Department officials had numerous contacts with Brotherhood officials in the years leading up to Egypt’s Arab Spring revolution.

U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson reported in an April 2010 cable that Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie had “reaffirmed the MB was a non-violent” movement.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper similarly described the Muslim Brotherhood in February 2011 as “largely secular” and said that it “eschewed violence.” Four months later, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. planned to expand dialogue with the Brotherhood as part of a commitment “to engage with all parties that are peaceful and committed to nonviolence.”

Read more

Obama Praises Muslim Cleric Who Backed Fatwa on Killing of U.S. Soldiers

President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly / AP

President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo:

President Barack Obama favorably quoted and praised on Wednesday in his speech before the United Nations a controversial Muslim cleric whose organization has reportedly endorsed the terror group Hamas and supported a fatwa condoning the murder of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Obama in his remarks offered praise to controversial cleric Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah and referred to him as a moderate Muslim leader who can help combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL or ISIS) radical ideology.

However, Bin Bayyah himself has long been engulfed in controversy for many of his views, including the reported backing of a 2004 fatwa that advocated violent resistance against Americans fighting in Iraq.

This is not the first time that the Obama administration has extoled Bin Bayyah, who also has served as the vice president of a Muslim scholars group founded by a radical Muslim Brotherhood leader who has called “for the death of Jews and Americans,” according to Fox News and other reports.

The State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau (CT) was forced to issue multiple apologies earlier this year after the Washington Free Beacon reported on its promotion of Bin Bayyah on Twitter.

“This should not have been tweeted and has since been deleted,” the CT Bureau tweeted at the time after many expressed anger over the original endorsement of Bin Bayyah.

However, it appears that Obama and the White House are still supportive of Bin Bayyah, who, despite his past statements, is still hailed by some as a moderate alternative to ISIL and al Qaeda.

“The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed, confronted, and refuted in the light of day,” Obama said before the U.N., according to a White House transcript of his remarks.

“Look at the new Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies—Sheikh bin Bayyah described its purpose: ‘We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace,’” Obama said, quoting the controversial cleric.

Concern over the administration’s relationship with Bin Bayyah started as early as 2013, when outrage ensued after he was reported to have met with Obama’s National Security Council staff at the White House.

While Bin Bayyah has condemned the actions of groups such as Boko Haram and ISIL, he also has taken controversial positions against Israel.

He issued in 2009 a fatwa “barring ‘all forms of normalization’ with Israel,” according to a Fox report on the White House meeting.

Additionally, the notorious 2004 fatwa permitting armed resistance against U.S. military personnel in Iraq reportedly stated that “resisting occupation troops” is a “duty” for all Muslims, according to reports about the edict.

Patrick Poole, a reporter and terrorism analyst who has long tracked Bin Bayyah, expressed shock that the Obama administration would endorse the cleric on the world stage.

“It is simply amazing that just a few months ago the State Department had to publicly apologize for tweeting out it’s support for Bin Bayyah, only to have Barack Obama go before the leaders of the entire world and publicly endorse Bin Bayyah’s efforts,” Poole said.

“It seems that nothing can stop this administration’s determination to rehabilitate Bin Bayyah’s image, transforming him from the Islamic cleric who issued the fatwa to kill Americans in Iraq and calling for the death of Jews to the de facto White House Islamic mufti,” he said.

This type of mentality has contributed to the administration’s foreign policy failures in the region,” Poole said.

“This is a snapshot of why this administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East is a complete catastrophe,” he said. “The keystone of their policy has been that so-called ‘moderate Islamists’ were going to be the great counter to al Qaeda. But if you take less than 30 seconds to do a Google search on any of these ‘moderate Islamists,’ you immediately find they are just a degree or two from the most hardcore jihadis and have little to no difference when it comes to condoning violence.”

A White House official said that the president’s remarks speak for themselves and declined to add anything further.

White House ‘Prepared’ to Let Iran Keep Enriching Uranium

Hassan RouhaniBy Adam Kredo:

The White House confirmed late Tuesday that it is “prepared” to let Iran keep a “limited” uranium enrichment program under any final nuclear accord reached with Tehran in the next months.

Iran’s so-called right to enrich uranium has been a key sticking point in ongoing negotiations between the regime and Western nations.

The Iranians insist that they have an inherent “right” to keep enriching uranium, the main fuel for a nuclear weapon, for peaceful purposes. However, many in the West believe that Tehran would use this technology to clandestinely build a bomb.

The White House first told the Washington Free Beacon that it is currently exploring ways to preserve some of Tehran’s enrichment activities and confirmed that position late Tuesday after multiple media outlets requested clarification.

“We are prepared to negotiate a strictly limited enrichment program in the end state, but only because the Iranians have indicated for the first time in a public document that they are prepared to accept rigorous monitoring and limits on level, scope, capacity, and stockpiles,” the White House said in a statement provided to the Free Beacon.

“If we can reach an understanding on all of these strict constraints, then we could have an arrangement that includes a very modest amount of enrichment that is tied to Iran’s practical needs and that eliminates any near-term breakout capability,” the White House said.

This announcement by the White House came on the same day that Iran announced that it is in talks with the Russians to build two new atomic power plants.

Read more at Free Beacon

!cid_part2_01030100_00070007@earthlink

 

What If Islamists Took Control of the White House?

whBy Howard Rotberg:

Dear me, I worry so much about the future of our freedoms in the West, as so many begin to “submit” to the values and demands of radical Islam, or what is called “Islamism.”

The other day, I began to worry what would happen if the Islamists took over the American government and placed one of their own in the White House.

I started to think about the agenda that an Islamist president would fulfill.   Here are some of my thoughts:

[1] He would make it clear that the American Constitution and the history of American freedoms were no more exemplary than the history of Islam.   He would argue that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.   Instead, he would say, they overlap and share common principles.  He would be clear in his moral equivalence between America and the totalitarian Islamic regimes.   He might go so far as to say the “common principles” were justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.   And if he got away with comparing the American justice system and the tolerance of most Americans with the totalitarian justice systems of the Islamic states and with comparing American tolerance to the intolerance of peoples who riot and kill if they think political cartoons are offensive, then he would go further:  He would assure everyone that it is Islam that has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibility of religious tolerance and racial equality.   If the American people were too stupid to know about the persecution of Christians and Jews in Muslim countries (including the often-ignored fact of nearly a million Jews being expelled from Arab countries in the ‘40s and ‘50s), then that would just make his task all the easier.

[2] He would as quickly as possible give out important awards, like the Medal of Freedom, to those complicit with the goals of radical Islam, who head NGOs and United Nations bodies that support the notion that the Israelis are the new Nazis and the Palestinians are the new Jews.   And he would announce such awards on a date of symbolic significance to the Jews – Tisha B’Av, the historic day of mourning for the loss of the Jewish temples and the occurrence of other national tragedies, so that the Jews knew that he was putting them in their place, for the sooner they got the message, the better.

[3] He would make a quick symbolic snub to Eastern Europe so as to emphasize that the quid pro quo for Russian support of Islamists (outside the former U.S.S.R only, of course) would be the removal of defensive missiles from Poland.   He would drive home the point by not informing the Poles very much ahead of the announcement and would make the announcement on September 17, 2009, which everyone in Central Europe knew was the 60th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland, followed by the annexation of eastern Poland to the USSR.   This would be another important symbolic act to show how in the future the world would be divided between radical Islam, Russia and China.

[4] To further the goals of Radical Islam, the U.S. must be dramatically weakened from the inside, including its once strong and proud economy.  He would have to create unheard of budget deficits.  He would make a budget that spends more than any other in history, creates the largest deficits in history and imposes the largest tax increases in history.  He would spend over a trillion dollars more each year than he took in, and would project a cumulative deficit within ten years of $14.29 trillion – more than the country’s GNP.  That way, the U.S. would end up being owned by China and other foreign lenders and the American people would be so preoccupied with their economic woes, and his governments lies about the terms of a socialized medical system, there would be little regard paid to the increasing rate of Islamification of its culture and freedoms.

[5] Any captured terrorists would be given civilian trials, with the same constitutional rights as American citizens, rather than giving them military trials like enemy soldiers receive.   This would show that Islamic terrorists are really the same as American citizens and would make it difficult to secure convictions.  It would also make it difficult to keep anti-terrorist measures secret, because they would be subject to pre-trial discovery of civilian trials.

[6] He would change many of the terms that are meant to suggest American values are superior to Islamic values.  He would downplay any sense that America is at war with radical Islam.  In fact, he would avoid using the term “Global War on Terror” [GWOT] and instead use “Overseas Contingency Operation.”

[7] He would refer to any terrorists that kill dozens of Americans on American soil not as “terrorists” or “murderers” or “agents of Islamism” but as mere “extremists” – making such killers no more evil than, say, right-wing Republicans.   He would not do anything to stop Islamists infiltrating the American military.

Read the rest at Front Page

 

Wolf Renews Call For Select Committee On Benghazi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For a full list of endorsements, click here.

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

The full text of Wolf’s floor speech.

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Among the other revelations in the 60 Minutes segment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

White House Considering How to Punish Egypt for Not Being Nice to Muslim Brotherhood

obama-muslim-brotherhood-2By Bridget Johnson:

The White House tried to beat back reports last night that it’s going to financially punish Egypt over the ouster of Mohamed Morsi and actions against the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, the Obama administration has held back about half of the $1.3 billion it would normally pay to Egypt.

“The reports that we are halting all military assistance to Egypt are false. We will announce the future of our assistance relationship with Egypt in the coming days, but as the President made clear at UNGA, that assistance relationship will continue,” National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement last night.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said at yesterday’s press briefing that “no decision” had been made on funding, but “the level of violence that we’ve seen by the interim government since July 3rd, that that’s exactly why this massive policy review has been undertaken, because business can’t continue as usual.”

“What we’re doing right now is taking a look at all of that and determining what makes sense going forward in terms of how we can best support the Egyptian people and help move Egypt towards – back towards a democratic process. That policy decision is going to take into account all of these various things that are going on right now. But I would underscore that that violence is exactly why we’re at this place today where we are talking about what our relationship will look like going forward from a very, sort of, 30,000-foot perspective,” Harf added.

The administration has been putting pressure on Egypt’s interim rulers since the July overthrow to hold snap elections and give the Muslim Brotherhood a place at the table.

Morsi remains in custody as do many of the leaders of the Brotherhood, and the MB has been banned from operating as an NGO by the country’s courts.

A panel amending the MB-drafted constitution to make it inclusive has promised to have the first draft available for review next week.

Morsi’s trial is set to begin Nov. 4. He and seven other Brotherhood leaders faces charge of killing and torturing protesters outside the presidential palace last December. The demonstrators were protesting against a Morsi decree that granted him sweeping new powers.

Egyptian Minister of Defence and army commander Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm that he attempted to resolve the political crisis sparked by the massive June 30 protest against Morsi’s rule, but the Muslim Brotherhood refused to negotiate.

Read more at PJ Media

BENGHAZI WATCH: PUTTING PRESSURE ON THE POLITICAL PLAYERS

BenghaziWatch3-630x286Watchdog Wire:

**Join our Thunderclap!  Sign up for our 9/11 Thunderclap to automatically send a message demanding answers on Benghazi. 


BENGHAZI: Who are the players?

WHITE HOUSE LIST
THE THREE AMIGOS
OTHERS ON THE HILL
MEDIA

On September 11, 2013 it will have been one year since the tragic attack on the US Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi, Libya.  The attack claimed the lives of Ambassador Chris Stephens and three other American citizens – marking the first time an Ambassador has been killed in action since the Carter Administration.   It seems unbelievable that, almost 365 days later, American citizens are still waiting for information, answers, and justice.  Only four people were ever disciplined for their actions surrounding the attack and not a single person lost their job. And Secretary of State John Kerry recently returned all four officials to work, without subjecting them to hearings regarding their role in the attack.  Apparently, answers on Benghazi aren’t at the top of Kerry’s “to-do” list.

Will anyone be held accountable for this giant security failure?  Have we learnedanything from the ongoing investigation of the attack?  The families of the victims deserve answers and American citizens deserve an explanation.

TAKE ACTION

This September, join us in telling the Obama Administration that we haven’t forgotten.  Contact the major players in the Benghazi incident and tell them we’re still watching and waiting  for the TRUTH.  Demand an update in the ongoing investigation!

Go to Watchdog Wire to sign up!

As Citizen Watchdogs, it is our job to hold elected officials accountable.  To help you, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the key players in Benghazi.  We encourage you to reach out to these people with your questions.  If you need any help, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@watchdogwire.com.   It’s time for Washington to come clean about what really happened at Benghazi.

 

Just say no on Syria

1609301503CSP, By Frank Gaffney, Jr.:

Team Obama’s public campaign to embroil the United States in Syria’s civil war has kicked into high gear.  The President’s senior subordinates have been warning incessantly about the costs of inaction, and making preposterous promises about the benefits of conducting a limited attack on Bashir Assad’s regime.

President Obama is throwing himself into the sales pitch, too, with a saturation round of TV appearances Monday night and an address to the nation Tuesday.

Will all this lobbying work?  Will skeptical legislators ignore their constituents – who overwhelmingly recognize the folly of this proposal – and do as the White House and some Republicans demand?  Not if the common sense of most Americans prevails, as common sense tells us our attacking Syria will not make things better.  Rather, it likely will make matters worse, and probably much worse.

Here’s a sanity check on the case being made by the proponents.

The principal argument of advocates of a new authorization for the use of military force principal has two facets:  First, the United States has an international responsibility to act in the face of chemical weapons use.  And second, if we don’t, Assad, Iran and others will employ them with impunity and the mullahs in Tehran will no longer fear our red lines on their nuclear programs.

The United Nations, the Left and others hostile to American power have long sought to subordinate it to the dictates of the so-called “international community.”  The doctrine of a “responsibility to protect” (R2P) was tailor-made for this purpose:  It furthers the notion that the use of force is only legitimate when a UN mandate has been provided or, where that’s not possible (due to Russian and/or Chinese vetoes), where some other grounds can be found for invoking an international authority.

More to the point, R2P ensures that the U.S. military’s finite – and currently seriously overstretched – resources will be put to use punishing those whose barbarism violates “international norms,” the enforcement of which becomes defined as a vital American interest.  Consequently, a vote for Obama’s Syria resolution is a vote to legitimate and authorize the transnationalist grab for control of the only armed forces we have, at the expense of our sovereignty and, inevitably, of our security.

As to the possibility that, absent our attack, we will confront more chemical weapons use, it cannot be ruled out.  On the other hand, no one – no one – has explained how “degrading Assad’s capabilities” and “changing the momentum of the battlefield” (as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee resolution demands) will assure greater control of the Syrian dictator’s vast chemical arsenal.  In fact, Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey has testified that the U.S. strike will target the regime’s weapons used to protect that arsenal.

Even in the absence of such a deliberate purpose, we have to assume that either the designated terrorist group allied with Assad (Hezbollah) or the one dominating the opposition (al Qaeda) will gain access to some of these arms.  Consequently, those voting for the President’s resolution have no claim to a higher moral authority than the opponents when it comes to preventing future examples of the horrific incidents captured in videos of Syrian victims that the administration is shamelessly exploiting to buffalo legislators.

Then, there is the ultimate appeal being made to patriots – in and out of the Congress – found in the assertion that not just the President’s credibility, but the nation’s, is on the line. Some Republican legislators and a number of former officials of GOP administrations have embraced this argument.  They warn that the repercussions of defeating Mr. Obama this time will be to damage confidence in America for the duration of his presidency, with potentially devastating effects.

Unfortunately, inordinate damage has already been done to our leadership in the world as a result of nearly five years of what passes for this president’s security policy-making.  That has been the predictable effect of the Obama Doctrine – which I have reduced down to nine words: emboldening our enemies, undermining our allies, diminishing our country.  And, as Norman Podhoretz trenchantly put it in the Wall Street Journal on Monday: “[Obama’s] foreign policy, far from a dismal failure, is a brilliant success as measured by what he intended all along to accomplish….The fundamental transformation he wished to achieve here was to reduce the country’s power and influence.”

As a result, the question before the Congress this week is not whether the United States credibility will be degraded by its repudiation of what is, in fact, more of a Gulf of Tonkin-style blank-check than a restrictive authorization for only a limited military action.  Rather, it is:  Will we be able to measure the marginal additional harm done to our nation’s prestige, power and influence – all ingredients in its credibility – given the damage Mr. Obama has already done to them?

It was predictable, and predicted, that the whirlwind Barack Obama has sown, would be reaped eventually.  That moment may be at hand.  Thanks in no small measure to the decisions taken to date – including those that have hollowed out our military, reduced our presence and power-projection capabilities and contributed to the metastasizing of, among other threats, the Islamist cancer – there are no good options in Syria.  Unfortunately, the worst of them at the moment appears to be our going to war there, and Congress should decline to do so.

IPT Rebuts Apologist for Radical Cleric’s Column in The Hill Newspaper

Bin Bayyah (2nd L) released this photo on his website, showing the June 13 meeting with Obama administration officials including Gayle Smith (2nd R) and Rashad Hussain (4th L)

Bin Bayyah (2nd L) released this photo on his website, showing the June 13 meeting with Obama administration officials including Gayle Smith (2nd R) and Rashad Hussain (4th L)

by IPT News  •  Aug 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Read more