Michael Ingmire’s Year of Focus: The Benghazi Attack and the 2016 Election

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Politichicks, by Michael Ingmire, Sept. 13, 2016:

“I got dreams, dreams to remember”-Otis Redding

Yes, I have dreams, talents, and aspirations that I work hard on everyday to fulfill. However, at this juncture, I hope that I am remembered for my efforts to help establish an atmosphere of credible accountability regarding the deaths of my nephew Sean Smith, Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. They were murdered in the September 11/12th, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.

But current history is a flexible and facile beast. Given to the whims of the truth or the illusions of the moment. I have my own perceptions concerning real accountability. There is a lack of justice in this world. I do wish and hope for accountability in the next. To paraphrase the parable in Matthew 25:31-46 while on this earth I am just trying to inform the sheep, not entertain the goats.

Considering the diminishment of the education system, I wonder if the history books will correctly identify the culprits and criminals behind the Benghazi attack. Since September 2013, I have written extensively on the subject of the September 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.

I continue to learn new facts. I continue to comprehend and understand the full face of evil and how far one may go to cover the truth to further their power. That one may blatantly lie to win a some-to-be former President’s election and continue to lie to attempt to win a current election.

I continue to call our sitting, when not golfing, President and a former Secretary of State, war criminals, gun runners, and liars. Soulless wonders, who know no shame and embrace no honor. In retrospect, the past 12 months have been an eventful and amazing year in the discovery of new information about the Benghazi attack. But confirmation of the truth provides me with no joy, only a minor satisfaction of suspicions confirmed. I want some accountability. The Obama Administration can barely spell accountability, much less practice it. Here are a few of the more important moments of the past year concerning the Benghazi attack:

  • October 22, 2015, Hillary Clinton obfuscated and lied for 11 hours before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Despite being caught in several lies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi she was not held accountable for her failed Libyan policy, her lack of action during the attack, and the resulting cover-up. At the very least, Hillary Clinton should have been charged with perjury. The vaunted prosecutorial zeal of House Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy was missing in action and continues to be so.
  • January 15, 2016, the film “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” was released. Michael Bay’s masterful film, based on the book “13 Hours” by Mitchell Zuckoff and the Annex Security Team, brought the story of Benghazi to the big screen. “13 Hours,” was an exceptional book and the Michael Bay film revealed how horrific that night truly was for the viewing public and for those on the ground that night. Watching the film with my wife and another beloved nephew was one of the harder moments of the year for me. I have seen the film four times now and I garner new information with each viewing. A truly Oscar worthy film.
  • June 28, 2016, the House Select Committee on Benghazi releases it’s final report on the September 2012 attack. The House Select Committee on Benghazi failed the family members of the Benghazi murder victims with their lengthy 800 page report as they did not cover any aspect of pre-Benghazi attack. Nor did they truly hold President Obama, Secretary Clinton, or any member of the Obama administration accountable for their criminal behavior or dereliction of duty. With the exception of a few facts clarified, their efforts were a failure.
  • June 29, 2016, The Citizens Commission on Benghazi releases their report, “Betrayal in Benghazi: A Dereliction of Duty.” If you want to know about the before, during, and aftermath of the Benghazi attack, this is the report to read. It is 75 pages and truly nails why Benghazi is the worst cover-up in the history of the United States. It illustrates why President Obama and members of his administration are criminals that should be jailed for war crimes. The mainstream American media, including FOX news, failed to do any real news stories on this report. They continue to practice their own version of a dereliction of duty. They continue to neglect to report any news deemed harmful to the globalist, New World Order principles of the Obama administration.
  • July 5, 2016, FBI Director James B. Comey gives Hillary Clinton, in essence, a pass on her use of several private e-mail servers as Secretary of State. I will keep this bullet point simple: Director Comey is a coward for failing to recommend criminal charges against Mrs. Clinton for obvious criminal behavior. He should be removed from his office as should Attorney General Loretta Lynch, his partner in crime.
  • July 18, 2016, Gold Star Mother of Benghazi murder victim Sean Smith gives keynote address at RNC Convention. One of the finest moments of the RNC convention. Her sterling speech ended with the appropriate question concerning the nightmare of Hillary Clinton becoming President, “If Hillary Clinton can’t give us the truth, why should we give her the presidency?”
  • August 8, 2016, Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch files wrongful death and defamation lawsuit on the behalf of Pat Smith and Charles Woods. The lawsuit contends that “the deaths of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods were directly and proximately caused by the negligent and reckless actions” of Hillary Clinton. The suit addresses Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server that revealed the locations of Ambassador Stevens and thus the locations of Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. In addition, Mrs. Clinton defamed the character and integrity of Pat Smith and Charles Woods when she said that the family members were not telling the truth regarding her continued statements about “an awful internet video” being responsible for the attack.

Navigating Washington since Sean’s death has been an exhausting and frustrating process. Hundreds of phone calls to Congressional and Senatorial offices, thousands of hours of research, e-mails, articles written, interviews given. But when faced with the death of a relative due to governmental criminality, there is no other choice. At least, if you have a soul.

But walking the halls of Congress can be a spooky proposition when dealing with representatives that look and act dazed. Of course, except when they are figuring out ways to become rich via “public service.” They are a Congress that could count themselves as extras in the Walking Dead.

I remember walking the Halls of Congress in September 2014. This was the day after the first House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing. A stanza from an epic work by one of my favorite poets came to mind:

I think we are in rats alley. Where the dead men lost their bones.”
-T.S. Elliot, “The Wasteland”

With only a few exceptions, Washington D.C. has become a rats alley of greed, avarice, carpet baggers, criminal weasels and insider traders. Hucksters in the nightmare carnival that has become our political discourse and the process of government. Washington has demonstrated no bones and little courage when dealing with the current outlaw administration.

So where does the subject of Benghazi lie within the upcoming debates and campaign leading up to November 2016?  

First, we need to get our country back. We have an exceptional opportunity with the upcoming election. 88% of Congress is up for re-election. Someone not doing their job and acting like a thief trying to avoid a Calvary cross? Vote them out. Especially, if they enriched themselves with back room deals on the backs of the American people. Put them in jail when crimes are committed. Demand a Special Prosecutor when necessary. Get involved in your government and don’t suffer fools at face value.

Stop trolling blogs and read some books. Do your homework. That has been the lesson of Benghazi for me.

There is an ambivalence among a portion of the American public that I cannot fathom. When faced with the bad behavior of a politician they merely say “Well what do you expect? They are a politician.”

An inappropriate response to an even more inappropriate behavior.

I will make it clear, there is no possibility that America can survive Hillary Rodham Clinton as our 45th President. Everything we hold dear will be up for sale. Our liberties will be diminished and taken away. Electing Hillary Clinton leaves us even less safe than we are now. Open borders? Imagine metaphoric welcome signs at both ends of the country letting in terrorists and folks that do not respect us or follow our laws. A general decay will continue to prevail in this country until we resemble a rat’s alley.

The Supreme Court? The focus and process of the court will change over to a judicial social club under a Hillary Clinton administration. To a large degree, it already has. But it is not too late to stand up to the madmen and women of government and bring the Supreme Court back to a rational focus.

Donald Trump is the only choice for our 45th President in 2016. He will preserve our Constitutional rights and protect this country. He knows how to make money and America needs an enriched business structure. We need something other then the failed Social Service system currently disguised as government.

We need to eliminate or control terrorism in this lifetime. Mr. Trump states he wants to start with the elimination of ISIS. Recently, Hillary Clinton stated that ISIS is “rooting for Donald Trump.” Don’t make me laugh. The sons of ISIS will always worship their true Islamic mother and that is you Hillary. The last person ISIS wants to see as President is Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump has stated he will hold those responsible for Benghazi accountable. In my reality, the revelations of the past year about Benghazi and the other sordid scandals plaguing the Obama administration should have already placed President Obama and members of his administration, especially Hillary, in jail. In addition, why have none of the Benghazi terrorists, save one, been arrested? More empty promises from President Obama.

I believe Mr. Trump is serious about finding that justice for the family members of the Benghazi victims. I will support his efforts to do so. But to paraphrase Jamaican singer-songwriter Jimmy Cliff, there are “Many rivers to cross.” There is a lot of distance to travel to find some real truth and accountability within one’s self and to face the injustices of this existence.

To institute real change, it is up to you and me. It is our responsibility and our obligation. Donald Trump has been accused of being “politically incorrect.”

Mr. Trump has stated, in so many words, that America does not have the time to be politically correct. I agree. Continued political correctness may soon be the death of America. These are dangerous times. A failure to address evil is a failure of the human soul.

It is time for the U.S. Government to become responsible. To behave like a successful corporation that follows some ethical standards and that answers to it’s Board of Directors: The American people.

Michael Ingmire is a musician, writer, and activist based in North Carolina. As a musician he has opened for and shared stages with musicians/performers as varied as Albert King, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Copeland, Allen Ginsberg, Wilson Pickett, Mac Arnold, Bob Margolin, among many. You can access his music at http://www.reverbnation.com/michaelwolfingmire and on youtube as Michael Wolf Ingmire. After the death of his nephew, by marriage, Sean Smith in the 2012 Benghazi attack his writing took on a political tone and he has written for The Daily Caller, Fox News.com, and The Daily Signal. He is an active voice in the search for accountability about Benghazi.

Hillary Clinton Keeps Insisting No Americans Died in Benghazi

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Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Sept. 8, 2016:

Hillary Clinton has been telling this lie for a while and it’s staggering in its shamelessness.

Glossing over the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi that claimed the lives of four U.S. diplomats, Hillary Clinton on Wednesday night claimed that “we did not lose a single American” due to military intervention in Libya.

Speaking at a veterans’ forum hosted by NBC News, the former secretary of state said she stands by the 2011 decision to take action in Libya and that America suffered no casualties.

“When Gadhafi was threatening to massacre his population, I put together a coalition that included NATO, included the Arab League, and we were able to save lives. We did not lose a single American in that action,” she said. “And I think taking action was the right decision. Not taking it and permitting there to be an ongoing civil war in Libya would’ve been as dangerous and threatening as what we are now seeing in Syria.”

1. The Gaddafi massacre was itself a lie that was disproven a while back. Far more Libyans ended up dying in Hillary’s war. So lives were not saved. The Islamist rebels in Benghazi were saved and they repaid us well.

2. Libya is still in the midst of a civil war

3. The ongoing civil war touched off by Hillary helped lead to the murder of Americans in Benghazi

The American Military and the Specter of an Untrustworthy Commander-In-Chief

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Front Page Magazine, by Ari Leiberman, Sept. 8, 2016:

In August 1993, Hillary Clinton’s husband Bill dispatched a force of U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force commandos to war-torn Somalia in an effort to seize the Somali warlord, Mohammed Farrah Aidid. Military commanders had assessed the need for armor and air cover to carry out the dangerous mission. They requested M-1 Abrams tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, as well as AC-130 gunships but the Clinton administration obscenely denied the request placing U.S. forces in a very vulnerable situation.

On October 3, a taskforce of lightly armed U.S. forces seized a good portion of Aidid’s political and military echelon in Mogadishu as they assembled for a meeting in the capital but the operation stirred a hornet’s nest and the troops began engaging Somali militiamen in urban combat. Two Black Hawk helicopters were subsequently shot down with rocket propelled grenades. The nature and dynamic of the mission rapidly changed from a lightening operation involving quick seizure and extraction to one of protracted urban combat pitting outnumbered and outgunned U.S. forces against thousands of Somali militiamen armed to the teeth with machine guns, RPGs, mortars and recoilless rifles.

Though the Rangers and Delta Force commandos ultimately prevailed, 18 soldiers were killed (some of the bodies were mutilated), 73 were wounded and a helicopter pilot was captured. Had the request for armor and air cover been granted, there is no question that the outcome of the Battle of Mogadishu would have been vastly different and U.S. casualties would have been minimal. Adding insult to injury, Aidid’s aides, captured at great cost and sacrifice, were quickly released on orders from the political echelon.

Bill Clinton should have resigned but instead passed the buck to his loyal secretary of defense, Les Aspin, who resigned in disgrace a few months later. Bill Clinton never served in the military, never went to military school and had no concept of what it means to be a soldier and send men to battle to fight and die. Clinton was and still is a power hungry, political opportunist and nothing more. His inexcusable actions, in denying our service members the best equipment, cost lives.

Fast forward 23 years. With her husband’s backing, Hillary Clinton now seeks the same office previously occupied by her husband. Like her husband, Hillary is a political opportunist with an insatiable lust for power. Her only foreign policy “achievement” was to transform Libya into an ISIS/al-Qaida haven through short-sighted and irresponsible interventionist policies.

Hillary also shares a more ominous resemblance to her husband. Her complacency and sheer incompetence on the days leading up to September 11, 2012, needlessly cost the lives of four American heroes, including J. Christopher Stevens, the first U.S. Ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979.

The Islamist assault on the U.S. consulate office in Benghazi on the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks was meticulously planned and well-coordinated. Requests for beefing up security at the site were either ignored or denied by Hillary’s State Department. An additional contingent of U.S. military personnel or private military contractors could have meant the difference between life and death.

Despite Clinton’s best efforts to stage-manage the Benghazi hearings (as emails from the Clinton camp suggest), the Select Committee on Benghazi released a damning report that reflected poorly on the former secretary of state’s actions before, during and after the September 11, attack. Poor intelligence and needless bureaucratic bungling prevented rapid deployment of forces to the theater.

But it was Clinton’s web of lies, spun after the Benghazi assault, that truly highlight the wretchedness of this person. As countless emails reveal, Clinton was well aware that the consulate attack was premeditated and the work of trained Muslim terrorists. But that did not reconcile well with the narrative her boss was attempting to peddle to the American people – chiefly that al-Qaida was on the run and America was winning the war on terror. So instead, she along with Ben Rhodes and Susan Rice concocted a story about how an obscure YouTube video about Mohammed was responsible for the cold-blooded murder of four Americans. Clinton though, went one step further than the other Obama stooges. She told this lie not only to the American people but also directly to the family members of the victims of the attack.

Clinton is a serial fabricator who maintains a sociopathic-like lack of empathy for anyone or anything that stands in her way. That includes the families of the victims of Benghazi.  Like her husband, Hillary Clinton’s fateful decisions cost American lives and like her husband, she shirked responsibility and failed to own up to her faults.

A recent NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll suggests that Trump leads Clinton by a whopping 19 points among current and former members of the U.S. military. That group understands what it means to be Commander-in-Chief. It requires character, honesty and a proven track record of getting the job done. These traits and characteristics are sorely lacking in Hillary Clinton.

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.

Multiple Outrages in Clinton-Obama Benghazi Obstruction

obama-hillary-benghazi-casketsNational Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Aug. 30, 2016:

As Ian reports, it has now come to light that Hillary Clinton attempted to destroy about 30 emails related to the 2012 Benghazi massacre. They were recovered by the FBI, notwithstanding the use by Mrs. “Like With a Cloth or Something” of an advanced software program – “BleachBit” – in a willful effort to erase the contents of her servers so thoroughly that no one would be able to recover her emails (many of which were government records, which it is a felony to hoard and destroy).

Obviously, these emails were kept from the congressional committees that investigated the Benghazi massacre. Mrs. Clinton was also clearly trying to shield them from discovery by defense lawyers in the prosecution of the lone terrorist the Obama administration has thus far charged (in connection with an attack that involved scores ofjihadists whom Obama promised to “bring to justice”).

The depth of Mrs. Clinton’s misconduct regarding the unlawful e-mail system and the obstruction of investigations into a terrorist attack in which four Americans were killed is breathtaking – as is the media’s indifference to it. As I’ve repeatedly argued, Clinton ought to be impeached. How much more contempt for Congress does she need to exhibit before some dim memory of self-respect moves lawmakers to take some action?

Nearly as reprehensible, however, is the Obama administration at large. Evidently, it has just today gotten around to telling a United States court that these 30 emails have never been disclosed, even though they have been sought for years, the Justice Department has known the FBI had them for months, and the State Department, too, has to have known they were in the possession of the administration as it litigated Freedom of Information Act claims yet said nothing.

Just as astounding: In making their grudging disclosure today, administration lawyers claimed that they needed another month (until the end of September) to review the emails so that classified information could be redacted before they are disclosed.

Mind you: Mrs. Clinton told us there were no government-business related emails on her servers and certainly no classified information. It turned out there were tens of thousands of government-related emails, with thousands containing classified information. Clinton lawlessly withheld these emails for years, and the executive branch has known about them for months. Indeed, the FBI director told Congress and the public that the FBI went through a painstaking process with intelligence agencies to determine which of the recovered emails had classified information in them. And yet, despite all that, the State Department has the audacity to tell a federal judge that it needs another 30 days to review less than three dozen emails?

Seriously?

When I was a federal prosecutor, neither I nor any of the government lawyers I worked with would have had the nerve to look a federal judge in the eye and make such a mind-blowing request. We’d have been too worried about what we’d say when the judge inevitably asked, “Why am I just hearing about this now?” – and ordered us to produce affidavits from every government official potentially involved in the delay while all these investigations and FOIA requests regarding Benghazi were underway.

The judge, in this instance, is Amit P. Mehta. Judge Mehta has stellar academic qualifications. But he is also a 45-year-old Obama appointee who has been on the bench for less than two years. This is a political case, and the most politicized administration in history has just essentially asked a judge to play ball. So far, Mehta is putting up some resistance, telling the administration it has a week to explain why the review and disclosure of so few emails should take so long. But let’s be real: A week is considerably more time than he should have given the administration to produce the long overdue emails, not to rationalize why more time is needed to produce them.

Does anybody care how outrageous this is?

Also see:

More than incompetence in Benghazi

Illustration on the real factors behind the Benghazi facilities attack by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Illustration on the real factors behind the Benghazi facilities attack by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Washington Times, , August 8, 2016:

Trey Gowdy’s recently released Special Committee on Benghazi report, followed by the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi report, provide new insights into the tragedy that cost the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. This catastrophe goes much deeper than our failure to respond to multiple, well-coordinated attacks on our Benghazi facilities on the night of Sept. 11, 2012. The genesis for the attack was actually the “Outreach to Muslims” speech by President Obama on June 4, 2009, in Cairo with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood leadership prominently seated in the front row. When he declared that it was part of his responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam, wherever they appear — that said it all.

Therefore, when al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled militias launched their revolt against the Moammar Gadhafi regime in February 2011, the Obama administration showed where its true sympathies lay. It switched sides in the global war on terror and allied with the Islamic jihadists. This dramatic change in U.S. policy can most likely be attributed to the fact that Mr. Obama made an ideological commitment to support the expansion of Muslim Brotherhood power throughout the Middle East and North Africa. This commitment is substantiated by the 2010 Presidential Study Directive 11, which solicited proposals and instructed key government agencies to collaborate on the formation and execution of a plan for enabling Muslim Brotherhood expansion by way of regime change in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and other Middle East countries.

Based on newly released emails, there is no question that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama knew they would be supporting Islamic jihadists — our sworn enemy — with funding, training and weapons, as well as facilitating the flow of arms to rebels in Syria, including those that morphed into the Islamic State.

 Mrs. Clinton then ignored all military advice not to intervene militarily in the Libyan civil war. The decision turned out to be a catastrophic disaster that transformed Libya into an Islamic jihadi safe haven. When Gadhafi entered into truce negotiations with Gen. Carter Ham of United States Africa Command, and sent signals that he was willing to abdicate, the indications are that it was Mrs. Clinton who terminated those negotiations. Her political aide Jake Sullivan said it all when he wrote in August 2011 that Mrs. Clinton had “leadership/ownership/stewardship of [Libya] policy from start to finish.” This alone should raise serious questions about her judgment and leadership qualifications.

According to the Gowdy Select Committee report and new evidence, there was never a humanitarian crisis in Benghazi, which was the stated reason for the intervention. It appears Mrs. Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and unscrupulous individuals’ real motivation for intervention was money. Incredible.

After the fall of Gadhafi in October 2011, chaos reigned in Benghazi. In Egypt, Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government was firmly in control. With the Brotherhood penetration of U.S. government agencies and carte blanche entry into the White House, Egypt enjoyed unprecedented relations with America. Mr. Morsi’s No. 1 objective was to attain the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman (the Blind Sheikh).

Repeated requests by Ambassador Stevens for increased security were either denied or unanswered. Security forces that were in country were deliberately withdrawn, e.g., Lt. Col. Andy Woods’ 16-man team stationed in Tripoli was removed. On Aug. 11, Stevens called the security situation unpredictable. On Aug. 16, he sent a cable stating that the Special Mission Compound could not withstand a coordinated attack.

On Aug. 29, the Libyan government placed Benghazi under a “state of maximum alert” due to attacks on foreigners and other acts of violence. According to the CIA annex security team, there were multiple warnings of an impending attack against our facilities in Benghazi. For reasons that remain unanswered, these warnings were ignored.

Read more

James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

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Parents of 2 Benghazi victims sue Hillary Clinton for wrongful death, defamation

694940094001_5076926488001_72daa2cb-4018-46d3-9bd2-94341d80a146Fox News, Aug. 9, 2016:

The parents of two of the four Americans who died in the Benghazi attack in 2012 filed a lawsuit Monday against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, alleging her “reckless handling” of classified information contributed to their deaths.

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch USA on behalf of Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, and Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, for allegedly wrongfully causing the death of their sons as well as for defamation and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit suggests that Clinton’s use of a private email server contributed to the deaths of Smith and Woods, adding that terrorists were able to “obtain the whereabouts of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and thus the U.S. State Department and covert and other government operations in Benghazi, Libya and subsequently orchestrate, plan, and execute the now infamous September 11, 2012 attack.”

“Having used a secret private email server that we now know was used to communicate with Ambassador Christopher Stevens with confidential and classified government information, and which we also now know was likely hacked by hostile adversaries such as Iran, Russia, China and North Korea aligning with terrorist groups, it is clear that Hillary Clinton allegedly negligently and recklessly gave up the classified location of the plaintiffs’ sons, resulting in a deadly terrorist attack that took their lives,” Klayman said in a statement announcing the suit.

In addition to the wrongful death and negligence charges named in the suit, the parents also claim that Clinton defamed them in statements to the media, according to court documents.

“During her campaign for President, Defendant Clinton has negligently, recklessly, and/or maliciously defamed Plaintiffs by either directly calling them liars, or by strongly implying that they are liars, in order to protect and enhance her public image and intimidate and emotionally harm and silence them to not speak up about the Benghazi attack on at least four separate occasions,” Klayman wrote in his complaint.

Patricia Smith has previously spoken out against Clinton, most recently at the Republican National Convention in July.

Clinton’s campaign pushed back Tuesday on the latest allegations.

“While no one can imagine the pain of the families of the brave Americans we lost at Benghazi, there have been nine different investigations into this attack and none found any evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton,” spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement.

In an interview last week on “Fox News Sunday,” Clinton denied telling family members of those killed that the attack was sparked by an anti-Islam video, and was not terrorism.

She instead suggested the family members misunderstood her because they were overwhelmed by grief.

“I understand the grief and the incredible sense of loss that can motivate that,” Clinton said. “As other members of families who’ve lost loved ones have said, that’s not what they heard. I don’t hold any ill feeling for someone who, in that moment, may not fully recall everything that was or wasn’t said.”

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Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Debacle: Arming Jihadists in Libya . . . and Syria

hillary-clinton-benghazi-scandal-arm-syrian-rebels-isis_0National Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy — August 2, 2016

As U.S. armed forces attack ISIS in Libya, WikiLeaks is poised to remind us that ISIS is in Libya — indeed, that ISIS is ISIS — thanks to disastrous policies championed by Hillary Clinton as President Obama’s secretary of state. Also raised, yet again, is the specter of Mrs. Clinton’s lying to Congress and the American people — this time regarding a matter some of us have been trying for years to get answers about: What mission was so important the United States kept personnel in the jihadist hellhole of Benghazi in 2012?

Specifically, did that mission involve arming the Syrian “rebels” — including al-Qaeda and forces that became ISIS — just as, at Mrs. Clinton’s urging, our government had armed Libyan “rebels” (again, jihadists) to catastrophic effect?

It has been less than two weeks since WikiLeaks rocked the Clinton campaign on the eve of the Democratic convention by leaking hacked e-mails illuminating DNC efforts to rig the nomination chase in Clinton’s favor. Now the organization’s founder, Julian Assange, has announced that WikiLeaks is soon to publish highly sensitive government e-mails that demonstrate Hillary Clinton’s key participation in efforts to arm jihadists in Syria. Just as in Libya, where Mrs. Clinton championed the strategy of arming Islamist “rebels,” the Syrian “rebels” who ultimately received weapons included the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and ISIS.

The Daily Wire and other outlets are reporting on Assange’s comments, published by Democracy Now. Clearly, we should not take Assange’s word for what is to be gleaned from the hacked records, which he says include some 17,000 e-mails “about Libya alone.” Let’s see if he has what he says he has. But it is worth setting the stage, because what is known is outrageous and has not been given nearly enough attention — largely because Beltway Republicans were complicit in the Obama-Clinton policy of allying with Islamists, and thus have shown no interest in probing the inevitably disastrous fallout.

As I have been pointing out for years, for example, we have never gotten to the bottom of why the State Department, under Mrs. Clinton’s direction, had an installation in Benghazi, one of the world’s most dangerous places for Americans.

The Obama administration, like the Bush administration, had touted Qaddafi as a key counterterrorism ally against rabidly anti-American jihadists in eastern Libya. Nevertheless, Secretary Clinton led the policy shift in which our government changed sides in Libya — shifting support to the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies, just as Mrs. Clinton had urged shifting U.S. support to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. In Libya, this included arming “rebels,” who naturally included a heavy concentration of jihadists.

EDITORIAL: What We Know about the Benghazi Attack Demands a Reckoning 

As I’ve recounted, to topple Qaddafi on behalf of the Islamists, the Obama administration — which did not seek congressional authorization for its offensive war (and preposterously maintained that bombing another country’s government was not really “war” anyway) — had to flout a United Nations resolution. The U.N. had agreed only to military operations for the purpose of protecting civilians, not offensive operations against the regime. Besides arming jihadists, the administration took no meaningful steps to make sure that Qaddafi’s military arsenals did not fall into terrorist hands. The regime was toppled and Qaddafi was brutally murdered — prompting Secretary Clinton’s bizarrely giddy quip, “We came, we saw, he died.” As some of us not-so-giddy types had warned would happen, Libya then became a safe haven for terrorists who turned on the American and Western forces that had cleared the path for them.

In small compass, this is the story of J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador killed in the Benghazi massacre. As Business Insider’s Michael B. Kelley recounts, before becoming ambassador, Stevens was the Obama administration’s official liaison to Qaddafi’s Islamist opposition in Libya, including its al-Qaeda-linked groups. The latter included the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). Stevens worked directly with a top LIFG leader, Abdelhakim Belhadj.

When the Qaddafi regime was ousted, Belhadj took control of the Tripoli Military Council. In 2011, Belhadj met with anti-Assad “rebels” in Turkey to plan weapons shipments from Libya to Syria. As Mr. Kelley explains, in September 2012 the Times of London reported that “a Libyan ship ‘carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria . . . has docked in Turkey.’” According to that report:

The shipment reportedly weighed 400 tons and included SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades. Those heavy weapons are most likely from Muammar Gaddafi’s stock of about 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles — the bulk of them SA-7s — that the Libyan leader obtained from the former Eastern bloc. Reuters reports that Syrian rebels have been using those heavy weapons to shoot down Syrian helicopters and fighter jets. The ship’s captain was “a Libyan from Benghazi and the head of an organization called the Libyan National Council for Relief and Support,” which was presumably established by the new government.

Fox News subsequently reported that the ship, a Libyan-flagged vessel, Al-Entisar (The Victory), docked in the Turkish port of Iskenderun, only 35 miles from the Syrian border, on September 6, 2012. That was just five days before jihadists conducted the patently coordinated terrorist attack on the mysterious State Department and CIA compounds in Benghazi, killing four Americans including Stevens — who had been promoted to ambassador in May.

It is incontestable that the Obama administration has worked closely with the Islamist government of Turkey in efforts to arm and train “rebels” in Syria. Stevens’s last meeting on the night of September 11, 2012, right before the State Department’s Benghazi compound was attacked, was with Turkey’s consul general, Ali Sait Akin.

RELATED: Why Doesn’t the Buck Stop with Hillary?

In the months leading up to the attack on the State Department facility, and on the even more shadowy CIA outpost a little over a mile away, jihadists in eastern Libyaconducted a series of attacks against Western targets — including, on June 6, 2012, a bomb detonated just outside the State Department compound. The British government and the International Red Cross pulled their personnel out; yet the Obama administration left U.S. government personnel in, despite grossly inadequate security precautions.

Why? I believe that one significant mission was the coordination of weapons transfers from Libya to Syrian jihadists.

Remember the state of play in mid 2012. Obama was locked in a tight reelection race. He was falsely claiming that he had “decimated” al-Qaeda (which was actually thriving); that he was ending American wars (which were actually intensifying as he drew troops down despite ground conditions); and that his pro-Islamist policies were helping forge democracy in places like Egypt (then under Muslim Brotherhood rule) and Libya (which had disintegrated into a failed state under domination by Islamist militias). Prior to the November election, if Obama had openly announced that his administration was arming Syrian Islamists, it would have been highly controversial. It would have spotlighted how that same policy had failed in Libya, a fact to which neither the media nor Republicans had called public attention. This, no doubt, is why reports that Obama was “launching a covert operation to send weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time” (as the Times of London’s Christina Lamb put it) did not appear untilimmediately after Obama had won a second term.

Were Obama, Clinton, and others in the administration steering arms to Syrian jihadists before that time?

RELATED: The Benghazi Debacle Should Have Ended Hillary Clinton’s Career

Recall that in mid 2012, Obama was also feeling heat — from the Islamist regimes he was appeasing, from Beltway Republicans, and even from some in his own administration, apparently including Secretary Clinton — for not doing enough to help the “rebels” drive Assad from power in Syria. There was a good explanation for this reluctance: Our government knew that the Syrian “rebels,” like the Libyan “rebels,” teemed with jihadists. Not only has this fact long been notorious; Judicial Watch managed to wangle from the government an August 2012 Defense Department memo that flatly states, “The Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e., al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The memo elaborates that its reference to AQI incorporates both Jaish al-Nusra (which is al-Qaeda’s main affiliate in Syria) and the Islamic State (the breakaway “caliphate” spawned by AQI).

There was no defensible security arrangement or diplomatic need for the State Department facility in Benghazi (U.S. diplomatic functions were handled in Tripoli). Was its real purpose to give diplomatic cover to covert intelligence operations (such as those at the nearby CIA compound)? If so, did those operations include aiding and abetting the arming of the Syrian rebels?

Unnamed U.S. government sources furtively described the CIA facility as, according to Reuters, “a base for, among other things, collecting information on the proliferation of weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, including surface-to-air missiles” (my italics). Putting aside the administration’s recklessness in failing to keep Qaddafi’s arsenals out of jihadist hands, what are the “other things” that the State Department and the CIA were up to?

We know, as detailed above, that Ambassador Stevens’s jihadist contact, Belhadj, moved an enormous shipment of weapons from Benghazi to the Syrian “rebels” in Turkey. And we know that, while claiming not to be directly arming those “rebels,” the Obama administration was working with Turkey, the Saudis, and other Islamist governments to determine which Syrian “rebels” should be armed. As the New York Times reported in June 2012, some three months before the Benghazi massacre:

A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.

The Times elaborated that “the Obama administration has said it is not providing arms to the rebels, but it has also acknowledged that Syria’s neighbors would do so.” To repeat, however: Soon after Obama’s reelection, the Times was explaining that “with help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment.” And by June 2013, the Times reported that the administration had begundirectly supplying the Syrian “rebels” with “small arms and ammunition.”

Right after Stevens and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi, the U.K.’s Telegraph reported that the CIA’s facility there was an operation “to supply missiles from Libyan armouries to Syrian rebels.” Simultaneously, CNN’s Jake Tapper reported that enormous pressure was being brought to bear on CIA operatives not to reveal what the agency had been doing in Benghazi.

When Mrs. Clinton testified about the Benghazi massacre before a Senate committee in early 2013, she claimed to have no knowledge of any transfers of weapons from Libya to Turkey, Syria, or any other countries. As the The Daily Signal report details, Clinton was pointedly asked by Senator Rand Paul (R., Ken.) whether the U.S. had been “involved in any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya.” She initially tried to deflect the question, claiming that “nobody’s ever raised that with me.” But Senator Paul kept pressing:

It’s been in news reports that ships have been leaving from Libya and that they may have weapons. And what Id’ like to know is, that [CIA] annex that was close by [the State Department facility], were they involved with procuring, buying, selling, obtaining weapons, and were any of these weapons being transferred to other countries? Any countries, Turkey included?

When Mrs. Clinton again tried to deflect, suggesting that he instead put the question “to the agency that ran the annex” — as if the State Department had had no knowledge of what the CIA was doing next door — Senator Paul countered that he was asking about what Clinton herself knew. Mrs. Clinton answered, “I don’t know. I don’t have any information on that.”

Was she telling the truth? Were U.S. personnel stationed as sitting ducks in Benghazi in order to help supply weapons to Syria, where it was inevitable they would fall into the hands of America’s enemies? Perhaps we’ll soon find out.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is as senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

DNC Speech: Hillary Clinton Deletes Foreign Policy Disasters as Secretary of State

Getty Images

Getty Images

Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, July 29, 2016:

PHILADELPHIA – Notoriously missing from Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech here at the Democratic National Convention was a list of any significant accomplishments from her time as Secretary of State.

The words “secretary of state” only appeared twice in her speech.

One of those times she stated, “I have to tell you, as your Secretary of State, I went to 112 countries, and when people hear those words – they hear America.”

Here, she seems to be brandishing her foreign travel as a signature achievement while she was one of the nation’s highest serving diplomats.

The second and final direct mention of her former State position came when she exclaimed, “As you know, I’m not one of those people. I’ve been your First Lady. Served 8 years as a Senator from the great State of New York. Then I represented all of you as Secretary of State.”

When she did briefly mention her record, Clinton mostly spoke in generalities and she seemed to be combining her time as  a Senator and Secretary of State.

She stated:

Look at my record.  I’ve worked across the aisle to pass laws and treaties and to launch new programs that help millions of people.  And if you give me the chance, that’s what I’ll do as President.

I’m proud that we put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot – now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel’s security.

I’m proud that we shaped a global climate agreement – now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves.

I’m proud to stand by our allies in NATO against any threat they face, including from Russia.

While she didn’t outline her role in the talks with Iran that led to the nuclear agreement with Tehran, Clinton did tangentially mention the Iran deal. “I’m proud that we put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot – now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel’s security.”

Absent from her DNC speech was Clinton’s central role in the U.S.-NATO intervention in Libya in 2011, a military campaign that directly resulted in the destabilization of that country and its subsequent descent into chaos. Islamic extremists have since taken over large swaths of Libya, and have used the country as a staging ground to attempt to infiltrate Europe.

Islamic terrorists infamously carried out deadly attacks on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Clinton did not bring up her State Department’s role in denying security requests to the woefully unsecure U.S. facility.

Clinton further failed to mention her strong support for the so-called Arab Spring, including the toppling of the regime of Hosni Mubarak, a staunch U.S. ally, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s resultant rise to power there until a military coup in 2013.

Clinton referenced the threat of the Islamic State without explaining that the global jihadist group has taken up sanctuary in countries that were destabilized during her tenure as Secretary of State.

She stated:

I’ve laid out my strategy for defeating ISIS. We will strike their sanctuaries from the air, and support local forces taking them out on the ground. We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen. We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country. It won’t be easy or quick, but make no mistake – we will prevail.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Hillary’s Libya Debacle

hillary_clinton_testimony_to_house_select_committee_on_benghazi_1

Front Page Magazine, by Joseph Klein, July 13, 2016:

Colin Powell’s famous words, “You break it, you own it,” are coming back to haunt Hillary Clinton. Powell said those words in cautioning President George W. Bush about the harsh unintended consequences that could result from the military action to oust Saddam Hussein in Iraq, which Hillary voted to support while in the Senate. As Secretary of State, Hillary forgot all about Colin Powell’s prescient warning. She became the prime mover within the Obama administration for military action to forcibly remove Libya’s President Muammar Gaddafi. In fact, upon learning of his death at the hands of a mob, Hillary Clinton exulted. Paraphrasing Julius Caesar, Hillary proclaimed on Oct. 20, 2011:  “We came, we saw, he died.”

What followed the toppling of Gaddafi’s regime, however, was utter chaos, not the smooth transition to a pluralistic democracy that Hillary had naively envisioned. Indeed, the anarchy that ensued has created a dire strategic threat to the United States and its Western and Arab allies that had not existed during the last years of Gaddafi’s reign. Especially after Gaddafi announced the end of his nuclear weapons program in December 2003 and followed through with allowing the removal of nuclear materials thereafter, his regime posed no strategic threat to U.S. national security.

No doubt Gaddafi was a brutal dictator, who sought to ruthlessly put down the rebellion that threatened his rule. However, his death and the end of his regime, which Hillary celebrated, fixed nothing.

Robert Gates, Obama’s Defense Secretary at the time, along with other senior leaders in the Obama administration such as Vice President Joseph Biden and Tom Donilon, the national security adviser, foresaw the dangers of an ill-planned U.S. military intervention without a realistic plan for a peaceful transition. They warned against it. But Hillary’s call for intervention won out.  She persuaded a reluctant President Obama to enter the fray in support of our European and Arab allies on humanitarian grounds.

Hillary spent countless hours shuttling among foreign capitals to shore up what became a NATO-led coalition against Gaddafi’s regime.  She engineered the passage of a UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of military force in Libya to protect the vulnerable civilian population, which she apparently interpreted to authorize outright regime change. Hillary had personally met with the chairman of the Libyan Transitional National Council, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and other Libyans who might become a part of a successor regime. Her top aide Jake Sullivan explained Hillary’s confidence in these leaders’ ability to bring the various factions in the country together to form a relatively stable, democratic and inclusive post-Gaddafi transitional government. He said Hillary had received written pledges to bring about just such a transition from the Transitional National Council.

In a succession of e-mails, Hillary’s senior aides at the State Department, and her informal outside confidante Sidney Blumenthal, sang her praises for leading the implementation of the Libyan strategy she had pushed Obama to accept.

“First, brava! This is a historic moment and you will be credited for realizing it,” Blumenthal wrote on Aug. 22, 2011. “When Qaddafi himself is finally removed, you should of course make a public statement before the cameras wherever you are, even in the driveway of your vacation home. You must go on camera. You must establish yourself in the historical record at this moment. The most important phrase is: ‘successful strategy.’”

Hillary chomped at the bit to take credit for what she initially regarded as a great success in Libya when things seemed to be going well. She sent an e-mail to her top aide at the State Department, Jake Sullivan, forwarding Blumenthal’s recommendation. “Pls read below,” Hillary wrote. “Sid makes a good case for what I should say, but it’s premised on being said after Q[addafi] goes, which will make it more dramatic.”

Sycophant Sullivan wrote back, “it might make sense for you to do an op-ed to run right after he falls, making this point. You can reinforce the op-ed in all your appearances, but it makes sense to lay down something definitive, almost like the Clinton Doctrine.”

Sullivan had already written an e-mail to two other high level State Department officials, Cheryl Mills and Victoria Nuland, just a day before the above-mentioned Blumenthal e-mail, effusively praising his boss for her leadership role in steering Obama administration policy on Libya. “HRC has been a critical voice on Libya in administration deliberations, at NATO, and in contact group meetings — as well as the public face of the U.S. effort in Libya. She was instrumental in securing the authorization, building the coalition, and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime.”

Sullivan then laid out a detailed chronology of all the actions Hillary had taken to accomplish her mission.

However, Hillary’s mission turned into a strategic disaster.  Weapons in the hands of non-state actors, including jihadists, were spreading from Libya across national borders to help further inflame conflicts in Mali, Syria, and elsewhere. Migrants were using Libya as a disembarkation point to try and reach Europe across the Mediterranean Sea in overwhelming numbers. Armed militias fought each other within Libya, while rival governments were formed. Anti-American jihadists, who benefitted from the outcome of the ‘Clinton Doctrine” in Libya, filled the power vacuum. The tragic result was the terrorist attack in Benghazi that took four Americans’ lives on September 11, 2012, including the life of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Just as Hillary was, in the words of FBI Director James Comey, “extremely careless” in the handling of classified information on her private e-mail system, she was reckless in ignoring clear warning signals leading up to the deadly September 11th Benghazi terrorist attack. Indeed, in addition to threats, there were previous terrorist attacks, including one in June 2012 against the U.S. consulate compound itself and another the same month hitting a convoy carrying the British ambassador. The British decided to evacuate from Benghazi. Yet Hillary pressed on to establish a permanent U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi. Ambassador Chris Stevens took his fateful trip to Benghazi in September 2012 in part to advance Hillary’s plan. “At least one of the reasons he was in Benghazi was to further the secretary’s wish that that post become a permanent constituent post and also there because we understood the secretary intended to visit Tripoli later in the year,” Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks testified to a Congressional committee in 2013.

Multiple requests from people on the ground in Libya for more security, including some from Ambassador Stevens himself, were sent to the State Department prior to the September 11, 2012 attack.  Stevens’ last diary entry was “never ending security threats.”  Somehow the security concerns never reached Hillary’s desk. She told the House Benghazi Committee that “I was not responsible for specific security requests.”  But Hillary’s attempt to wash her hands of any responsibility raises more questions than it answers.

Hillary said that Stevens was a friend. She had, in her words, “hand-picked” Stevens for what she knew was a highly dangerous post even as her so-called Clinton Doctrine unraveled. By her own account, there was “lawlessness” in Benghazi, which she said Stevens had been aware of. Yet she never bothered to reach out to him directly to ask whether there was sufficient security for the mission she had hand-picked her friend to carry out.  She simply said that Stevens knew the risks and “felt comfortable” with conditions on the ground. One phone call or e-mail directly to her personal friend would have informed her of Stevens’ concerns over the “never ending security threats.” Hillary had not even provided Stevens with her cell phone number, fax number or personal e-mail address in case he needed to reach her. Apparently, Hillary had less compunctions about giving out that contact information to Blumenthal.

Through her reckless indifference to the security needs of Stevens and other Americans who became caught in the terrorist attack at the Benghazi facility that she wanted to make permanent, Hillary Clinton for all intents and purposes left them there unprotected to face the deadly consequences. She then lied to the families of the victims of the attack, telling them that an obscure anti-Muslim video was the cause of the attack when she knew at the time that the attack was a coordinated, pre-meditated act of jihadist terrorism. And she doubled down on her reckless indifference – literally – a year later at a Senate hearing with her infamous remark: “What difference at this point does it make?”

As she runs to become the next president and commander-in-chief, Hillary Clinton is trying to disown what she broke in Libya. Her recklessness and indifference to the consequences of her actions, as well as her lies to cover up her mistakes, follow the same pattern as her e-mail debacle and should disqualify her from the presidency.

Also see:

Bad Ideas Created Benghazi

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Front Page Magazine, Bruce Thornton, July 5, 2016

The House Select Committee on Benghazi report confirms what we pretty much already knew. The Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton completely politicized this country’s foreign policy in order to ensure the reelection of Obama and to serve the future presidential ambitions of Hillary Clinton. Along the way Obama, Clinton et al. made dangerous decisions, such as establishing the consular outpost in Benghazi, and ignoring the consul’s pleas for more security. They also ignored the many warning signs of incipient attacks, bungled the response to the attack on September 11, 2012, and then obfuscated, spun, and outright lied in the aftermath. The House report adds new details that flesh out the story, but enough had already been leaked to confirm Clinton’s despicable sacrifice of American lives on the altar of her obsessive ambition.

Toxic ambition, sheer incompetence, and the self-serving politics of the individuals involved mean they bear the primary responsibility for this disaster. But Benghazi illustrates as well the climate of bad ideas that make such decisions possible. Bad politicians eventually go away, but malignant ideas and received wisdom are deeply rooted in our institutions, transcending individuals. The Benghazi fiasco illustrates two particularly tenacious ones.

The military intervention in Libya, the origin of the Benghazi tragedy, was another act of Western wishful thinking about “democratizing” and “reforming” the Muslim world. Despite the failure of George W. Bush’s efforts to bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, the so-called “Arab Spring” revolutions encouraged the Wilsonian “freedom and democracy” promoters in 2011 to make Libya yet another poster-child for this doomed project. Moreover, intervention seemingly could be done on the cheap. No troops need be deployed, since jets and missiles could topple the psychotic Muammar Gaddafi––an autocrat straight out of central casting, whose genocidal bluster gave the West a pretext for intervention.

For Hillary and Obama, this was the perfect opportunity to show those neocon militarists what “smart power” was all about, and strike a contrast with the “cowboy” Bush’s “unilateralist” bumbling in Iraq. A UN resolution was secured, and a NATO-led coalition of 19 states assembled for enforcing a no-fly zone. The mission soon escalated into bringing about regime change and the death of Gaddafi.

For a while, this was a perfect, low-cost, quick little war that would illustrate the various shibboleths of moralizing internationalism: international diplomatic approval for the use of force, multilateral coalition building, a reliance on air power that minimized casualties among participating militaries, and a smaller role for the US, which would be “leading from behind,” as an Obama advisor said. This last idea reflected Obama’s belief that the US needed to diminish its role in world affairs and avoid the arrogant overreach that stained its history abroad, most recently in Iraq. This notion of America’s global sins is another bad idea reflecting ideology, not historical fact.

For Secretary of State Clinton, the Libya intervention would be the showcase of her tenure at State and proof of her superior foreign policy skills and presidential potential. Of course, we all know that the toppling of Gaddafi has been a disastrous mistake. Gaddafi was a brutal creep, but he kept in check the jihadists from Libya eager to kill Americans in Iraq and foment terror throughout the region. His departure created a vacuum that has been filled with legions of jihadist outfits across North Africa, including ISIS franchises. They are armed in part with weapons plundered from Gaddafi’s arsenals such as surface-to-air missiles, assault rifles, machine guns, mines, grenades, antitank missiles, and rocket-propelled grenades. Yet eager to protect her defining foreign policy achievement, Hillary kept open the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi even as other nations pulled out their personnel because of the increasing danger caused by the new Libyan government’s inability to control and secure its territory.

Four dead Americans were the cost of political ambition and adherence to the bankrupt idea that liberal democracy can be created on the cheap in a culture lacking all of the philosophical and institutional infrastructure necessary for its success: inalienable rights, equality under the law, transparent government, accountability to the people, separation of church and state, fair and honest elections, and the freedom of speech and assembly. The folly of expecting democracy in a culture alien to it became clear in the aftermath of Gaddafi’s downfall, when the Libyan National Transitional Council’s Draft Constitutional Charter proclaimed, “Islam is the religion of the state, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).” The idea of exporting democracy, however, still has a tight hold on many in the West both on the left and the right, which means we have not seen the last of its bloody and costly failures.

Equally bipartisan has been the next bad idea: that al Qaeda, ISIS, et al. are fringe “extremists” who have “hijacked” Islam, and that the vast majority of Muslims are “moderates” grieved by this tarnishing of their noble faith. It was George W. Bush who said in his first address after 9/11 that Islam’s “teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah,” establishing the model for his administration’s policy of “outreach” to Muslims. Obama has taken this delusion to surreal extremes, refusing in the face of mountains of evidence to link the numerous ISIS attacks of the last few years to Islam, and proscribing “jihad” and “radical Islamist” from the government’s communications and training manuals.

It was this imperative to sever Islamic terrorism from its roots in traditional Islamic doctrine that in part accounted for the lies that Hillary, Obama, and their minions like National Security Advisor Susan Rice told in the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks. They peddled the narrative that a spontaneous protest against an obscure Internet video insulting Mohammed had morphed into a violent attack. This lie traded in the delusional belief that despite its 14-century-long record of invasion, murder, slaving, colonization, and occupation­­––all in fulfillment of the divine commands “to slay the idolaters wherever you find them” and “to fight all men until they say there is no god but Allah” –– Islamic doctrine could not possibly justify the actions of modern terrorists. So powerful was the need to protect this belief and, of course, her political future that Clinton lied to the faces of the parents of the four dead Americans, promising to “get” the hapless filmmaker, even as she knew on the very night of the attacks that there was no protest against the video near the consular outpost.

Nor are the various pretexts for this evasion of historical fact convincing. The worst is that making explicit the link between jihadism and Islam will endanger innocent Muslims and stoke “Islamophobia.” There is no evidence that this is the case, and hate crimes against Jews still vastly outnumber those against Muslims. Not much better is the notion that pious Muslims, supposedly offended by “blasphemers” like al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS, will not cooperate with police and the FBI if we state simple facts about their faith and its history.

This idea is psychologically preposterous. It assumes that Muslim pique at infidel statements about their religion trumps their assumed desire to stop the violent “distorters” of their beloved faith. It also assumes that to Muslims, such insults justify keeping quiet about the planned murders of innocents––a damning indictment of the very people whom the “nothing to do with Islam” crowd are so anxious to mollify. Worse, it confirms the unique triumphalism of Islam, whose adherents expect from non-believers deference to their faith, even as Muslims across the globe are slaughtering and torturing people simply because they are non-believers. Such careful monitoring of our discourse about Islam, at the same time Muslim intellectuals routinely attack the West for its alleged historical sins against Islam, is a sign of weakness and fear that encourages our enemies to hit us again.

We’ve been operating by this double standard for decades, and terrorist groups have expanded across the globe, while jihadist violence has murdered Americans in Boston, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, and Orlando, to name just the deadliest attacks. It’s safe to say that the tactic of flattering Muslims and confirming their sense of superiority to infidels has failed to keep us safe.

But if we really want to be honest, we won’t just rely on the weasel-word “Islamist,” which still suggests that the beliefs of the jihadists are somehow a doctrinal aberration. Those of both parties who continually talk about “moderate Muslims” and use the word “Islamist” to distinguish them from jihadists should heed Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan: “The term ‘Moderate Islam’ is ugly and offensive; there is no moderate Islam; Islam is Islam.” Using “Islamic” rather than “Islamist” will recognize the continuity of modern jihadism with traditional Islamic doctrines. Whitewashing that fact has done nothing to stop jihadist violence, and it is an enabler of those ordinary Muslims who refuse to acknowledge Islam’s illiberal and violent doctrines.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton deserve the opprobrium history will inflict on them for sacrificing our security and interests to their personal ambition and ideological obsessions. But bad ideas had a hand in the killing of four Americans in Benghazi, and those bad ideas will continue to cripple us until we discard them and start facing reality.

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RESCUE INTERRUPTED:

What did not happen to save American lives the night of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya? In recent days, the House Benghazi Committee released results of its investigation. Full Measure asks real intelligence officers what should have happened that night.

 

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Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) Press Conference June 29, 2016 – National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
CCB releases new report and comments on release of House Select Committee on Benghazi report.
Participants are as follows:
Roger Aronoff, Clare Lopez, Dennis Haney, Charles Woods, Tom McInerney, Ace Lyons, Chuck Kubic, John Clarke

Also see:

Obama Did Not Ask for an Intel Brief the Day After the Benghazi Attack

 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

And other revelations from the House Select Committee’s report.

Weekly Standard, by Stephen F. Hayes, June 28, 2016:

Among the many revelations that will emerge from the voluminous majority report of the Benghazi Select Committee when it is released Tuesday is this one: Barack Obama skipped his daily intelligence briefing one day after the Benghazi attacks on September 11, 2012. The president’s briefer handed a written copy of the presidential daily briefing to a White House usher and then briefed Jack Lew, who was then serving as White House chief of staff. But Obama, who sometimes avails himself of the oral briefing that is offered along the written intelligence product, did not ask for such a briefing the day after the attacks on U.S. facilities in Libya.

That disclosure came during the Benghazi committee’s transcribed interview with the executive coordinator of Obama’s presidential daily briefing (or PDB, for short), a veteran intelligence officer who rose through the ranks in Army intelligence and then the Defense Intelligence Agency before serving as the president’s top briefer. It is buried deep in the committee’s report, in Appendix H—a 14-page examination of how that briefer came to include an assessment in the PDB that the Benghazi attacks were likely a planned attack and not a protest gone awry. It’s not unusual for Obama to skip his oral briefing, but his decision to pass on the PDB on September 12, 2012, will no doubt generate additional questions.

The disclosure also sheds some additional light on the president’s engagement during and after the attacks—an area that has remained something of a black hole throughout previous Benghazi investigations. The White House has provided little detail on Obama’s activities throughout the Benghazi attacks and their aftermath, refusing to answer to questions from journalists about the president’s whereabouts and actively working to keep information from investigators with the Select Committee. During the interview with the president’s briefer, a lawyer from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, who sat in on the session, twice ended exchanges between committee staff and the briefer.

The first time, Obama’s briefer was describing in general terms how Obama asks questions during his oral briefings:

Executive Coordinator: If he has questions—usually the only questions he usually asks—

Lawyer: We’re not going to talk about what the President said or your conversations with him.

The second time, a committee staffer asked about what information was briefed to the White House chief of staff from the original situation report prepared by the CIA:

Committee staffer: Okay. And with Mr. Lew, did you talk about this SITREP?

Lawyer: We’re not going to discuss what specific information was provided to any White House staff in any PDB.

The appendix explores a fascinating intra-intelligence community dispute over language that appeared in that PDB, which the Select Committee calls “the very first written piece produced by CIA analysts regarding the Benghazi attacks.”

The dispute centered on this line: “…the presence of armed assailants from the outset suggests this was an intentional assault and not the escalation of a peaceful protest.” That assessment would prove accurate—the Benghazi attack was an intentional, planned assault and was not the escalation of a peaceful protest, because no such protest took place. But that conclusion did not come from the work product prepared by CIA analysts in the early morning hours of September 12, 2012. Rather, it was a line added by the executive coordinator herself.

The executive coordinator testified to the committee that she made the call in part based on her “gut feeling” that the attacks were too sophisticated to have been spontaneous. The executive coordinator told investigators that she spoke to others on the PDB team and they agree with her assessment. She said she would never include such an assessment based solely on intuition and she testified that others on her team spoke with individuals on the ground and that this information helped shape her views. The CIA analyst who prepared the report that the executive coordinator rewrote to include in the PDB, however, “was pretty convinced that this was a spontaneous attack, that it was, you know, as a result of this confluence of events – the 9/11 anniversary, the video being released, the protest in Cairo,” the executive coordinator testified.

CIA officials interviewed by the committee testified that the inclusion of this “bottom line” was highly inappropriate and highly unusual. The executive coordinator, however, told the committee that while the intensity of the dispute with the CIA analysts was unusual, such judgment calls were not uncommon as she and her team prepared PDBs for executive branch officials.

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Gowdy: Obama Administration Was More Worried About Libyans’ Feelings Than Benghazi Consulate

Benghazi Committee Releases Final Report, Slams Clinton

ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/GettyImages

ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/GettyImages

Breitbart, by Joel B. Pollak, June  28, 2016:

The U.S. House Select Committee on Benghazi released its final report on Tuesday morning, comprising some 800 pages of investigations and conclusions that suggest former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration were derelict in their duty to protect American diplomats from the most significant terror attack on the U.S. since Sep. 11, 2001.

The report also details how the Obama administration contrived to misinform the public about the cause of the attack.

The committee had already slammed a separate report Monday by its Democratic members, who had long maintained that the investigation was politically motivated. “Benghazi Committee Democrats’ obsession with the former Secretary of State is on full display. For over two years they refused to participate in the Majority’s serious, fact-centered investigation. The dishonest Democrats on this committee falsely claimed everything had been ‘asked and answered.’ They said the committee had found ‘absolutely nothing new.’ If that’s changed, they should come clean and admit it. If not, everyone can ignore their rehashed, partisan talking points defending their endorsed candidate for president,” an official statement by the committee declared.

For its own part, the committee published a list of facts that it said were new insights revealed by the investigation:

  • Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began. [pg. 141]
  • With Ambassador Stevens missing, the White House convened a roughly two-hour meeting at 7:30 PM, which resulted in action items focused on a YouTube video, and others containing the phrases “[i]f any deployment is made,” and “Libya must agree to any deployment,” and “[w]ill not deploy until order comes to go to either Tripoli or Benghazi.” [pg. 115]
  • The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff typically would have participated in the White House meeting, but did not attend because he went home to host a dinner party for foreign dignitaries. [pg. 107]
  • A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and changed in and out of their uniforms four times. [pg. 154]
  • None of the relevant military forces met their required deployment timelines. [pg. 150]
  • The Libyan forces that evacuated Americans from the CIA Annex to the Benghazi airport was not affiliated with any of the militias the CIA or State Department had developed a relationship with during the prior 18 months. Instead, it was comprised of former Qadhafi loyalists who the U.S. had helped remove from power during the Libyan revolution. [pg. 144]

Part II

  • Five of the 10 action items from the 7:30 PM White House meeting referenced the video, but no direct link or solid evidence existed connecting the attacks in Benghazi and the video at the time the meeting took place. The State Department senior officials at the meeting had access to eyewitness accounts to the attack in real time. The Diplomatic Security Command Center was in direct contact with the Diplomatic Security Agents on the ground in Benghazi and sent out multiple updates about the situation, including a “Terrorism Event Notification.” The State Department Watch Center had also notified Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills that it had set up a direct telephone line to Tripoli. There was no mention of the video from the agents on the ground. Greg Hicks—one of the last people to talk to Chris Stevens before he died—said there was virtually no discussion about the video in Libya leading up to the attacks. [pg. 28]
  • The morning after the attacks, the National Security Council’s Deputy Spokesperson sent an email to nearly two dozen people from the White House, Defense Department, State Department, and intelligence community, stating: “Both the President and Secretary Clinton released statements this morning. … Please refer to those for any comments for the time being. 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 9:15 ET today.” [pg. 39]
  • Minutes before the President delivered his speech in the Rose Garden, Jake Sullivan wrote in an email to Ben Rhodes and others: “There was not really much violence in Egypt. And we are not saying that the violence in Libya erupted ‘over inflammatory videos.’” [pg. 44]
  • According to Susan Rice, both Ben Rhodes and David Plouffe prepared her for her appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows following the attacks. Nobody from the FBI, Department of Defense, or CIA participated in her prep call. While Rhodes testified Plouffe would “normally” appear on the Sunday show prep calls, Rice testified she did not recall Plouffe being on prior calls and did not understand why he was on the call in this instance. [pg.98]
  • On the Sunday shows, Susan Rice stated the FBI had “already begun looking at all sorts of evidence” and “FBI has a lead in this investigation.” But on Monday, the Deputy Director, Office of Maghreb Affairs sent an email stating: “McDonough apparently told the SVTS [Secure Video Teleconference] group today that everyone was required to ‘shut their pieholes’ about the Benghazi attack in light of the FBI investigation, due to start tomorrow.” [pg. 135]
  • After Susan Rice’s Sunday show appearances, Jake Sullivan assured the Secretary of the State that Rice “wasn’t asked about whether we had any intel. But she did make clear our view that this started spontaneously and then evolved.” [pg. 128]
  • Susan Rice’s comments on the Sunday talk shows were met with shock and disbelief by State Department employees in Washington. The Senior Libya Desk Officer, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, wrote: “I think Rice was off the reservation on this one.” The Deputy Director, Office of Press and Public Diplomacy, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, responded: “Off the reservation on five networks!” The Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications, Bureau of Near East Affairs, State Department, wrote: “WH [White House] very worried about the politics. This was all their doing.” [pg. 132]
  • The CIA’s September 13, 2012, intelligence assessment was rife with errors. On the first page, there is a single mention of “the early stages of the protest” buried in one of the bullet points. The article cited to support the mention of a protest in this instance was actually from September 4. In other words, the analysts used an article from a full week before the attacks to support the premise that a protest had occurred just prior to the attack on September 11. [pg. 47]
  • A headline on the following page of the CIA’s September 13 intelligence assessment stated “Extremists Capitalized on Benghazi Protests,” but nothing in the actual text box supports that title. As it turns out, the title of the text box was supposed to be “Extremists Capitalized on Cairo Protests.” That small but vital difference—from Cairo to Benghazi—had major implications in how people in the administration were able to message the attacks. [pg. 52]

Part III

  • During deliberations within the State Department about whether and how to intervene in Libya in March 2011, Jake Sullivan listed the first goal as “avoid[ing] a failed state, particularly one in which al-Qaeda and other extremists might take safe haven.” [pg. 9]
  • The administration’s policy of no boots on the ground shaped the type of military assistance provided to State Department personnel in Libya. The Executive Secretariats for both the Defense Department and State Department exchanged communications outlining the diplomatic capacity in which the Defense Department SST security team members would serve, which included wearing civilian clothes so as not to offend the Libyans. [pg. 60]
  • When the State Department’s presence in Benghazi was extended in December 2012, senior officials from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security were excluded from the discussion. [pg. 74]
  • In February 2012, the lead Diplomatic Security Agent at Embassy Tripoli informed his counterpart in Benghazi that more DS agents would not be provided by decision makers, because “substantive reporting” was not Benghazi’s purpose. [pg. 77]
  • Emails indicate senior State Department officials, including Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin were preparing for a trip by the Secretary of State to Libya in October 2012. According to testimony, Chris Stevens wanted to have a “deliverable” for the Secretary for her trip to Libya, and that “deliverable” would be making the Mission in Benghazi a permanent Consulate. [pg. 96]
  • In August 2012—roughly a month before the Benghazi attacks—security on the ground worsened significantly. Ambassador Stevens initially planned to travel to Benghazi in early August, but cancelled the trip “primarily for Ramadan/security reasons.” [pg. 99]
  • Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta bluntly told the committee “an intelligence failure” occurred with respect to Benghazi. Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell also acknowledged multiple times an intelligence failure did in fact occur prior to the Benghazi attacks. [pg. 129]

The report also slams the Obama administration for “intentional failure to cooperate with this and other congressional investigations.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, will be published by Regnery on July 25 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Also see:

House GOP Report: Despite eyewitness accounts, Clinton, administration pushed video explanation for Benghazi

694940094001_4890384526001_165bd5a0-e317-4465-892c-6c99fc40db5dFox News, by Catherine Herridge, Bret Baier, June 28, 2016

The claim that the fatal 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks were sparked by an anti-Muslim video was crafted in Washington by Obama administration appointees and reflected neither eyewitness nor real-time reports from the Americans under siege, according to the final report of the GOP-led Benghazi Select Committee.

The GOP report, released Tuesday, followed by less than a day a report by the Democrats on the panel saying that security at the Benghazi, Libya facility was “woefully inadequate” but former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never personally denied any requests from diplomats for additional protection.

According to portions of the Republican report reviewed by Fox News, one U.S. agent at the American outpost in Benghazi, whose name was withheld for security reasons, told the committee he first heard “some kind of chanting.”

Then that sound was immediately followed by “explosions” and “gunfire, then roughly 70 people rushing into the compound with an assortment of “AK-47s, grenades, RPG’s … a couple of different assault rifles,” the agent said.

In addition, a senior watch officer at the State Department’s diplomatic security command described the Sept. 11, 2012, strikes as “a full on attack against our compound.”

When asked whether he saw or heard a protest prior to the attacks, the officer replied, “zip, nothing, nada,” according to the Republican majority report.

“None of the information coming directly from the agents on the ground in Benghazi during the attacks mentioned anything about a video or a protest. The firsthand accounts made their way to the office of the Secretary through multiple channels quickly …,” the report concluded.

Watch Benghazi Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and committee member Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., Monday at 6 p.m. ET on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier.”  

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, foreign service officer Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Ty Woods and Glen Doherty, were killed in the attacks.

Five days later, then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice went on every national Sunday talk show. She told Fox News Sunday, “What sparked the recent violence was the airing on the Internet of a very hateful, very offensive video that has offended many people around the world.”

The GOP committee report also identified for the first time a White House meeting that was convened roughly three hours into the attack and included deputies to senior Cabinet members and Clinton.

Stevens was missing at the time. But the report found “much of the conversation focused on the video (which) is surprising given no direct link or solid evidence existed connecting the attacks in Benghazi and the video at the time ….”

The report found that “five of the 10 action items from the rough notes of the 7:30pm meeting reference the video.”

Unlike the Usama bin Laden raid in 2011, in which Clinton, President Obama and his national security team watched events unfold from the Situation Room, they never gathered for Benghazi.

Clinton issued the only statement that night from the administration, following the White House meeting. It read in part: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”

However, Clinton said something very different privately.

In an email provided to the Select Committee, Clinton told daughter Chelsea, “Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda-like [sic] group.”

Clinton also told Egypt’s prime minister the following day: “We know that the attacks in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack — not a protest.”

Kansas GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Benghazi committee member, told Fox News in advance of the report’s release that the report is new and significant because it’s the first to include interviews from “everybody on the ground” in Benghazi.

More than 30 people’s lives were at risk that night, and the majority worked at the secret CIA annex in Benghazi.

Pompeo also said the findings show “it’s unambiguous the administration knew immediately it was a terror attack. And the story of fog of war was known to be false immediately by everyone in the administration.”

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has seen her campaign plagued by questions about whether she and the rest of the State Department provided adequate security for Americans before the attacks and about why the administration continued to tell Americans the attacks were inspired by the video.

Committee Republicans say the deputies’ meeting, in which Clinton was involved, on the night of the Benghazi attack shows she’s not ready for the so-called “3 a.m. call.”

The report interviewed more than 80 witnesses previously not called before Congress to testify.

Among them was Ben Rhodes, the president’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, who with political adviser David Plouffe prepped Rice for her national TV appearances claiming the video was responsible for the terrorist attack.

Rice said her statements were based on the best available information, but nobody from the intelligence community such as the CIA director or the Director of National Intelligence briefed Rice. That was done by the political appointees.

In fact, a Sept. 14, 2012 memo from Rhodes included the subject line: “RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.”

The email was sent to a dozen members of the administration’s inner circle, including key members of the White House communications team such as then-Press Secretary Jay Carney, who also pushed the video narrative in the days after the attacks.

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

The Rhodes email, which was a catalyst for the Select Committee, was first obtained by Judicial Watch through a federal court lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act.

The email lists the following two goals, among others: “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video and not a broader failure of policy” and “to reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

Rhodes was the same official who signed off on Clinton’s statement the night of the attack linking the video to Benghazi.

The report found the post attack intelligence analysis had errors, contradicting the eyewitness accounts that night, and it alleges the administration latched onto the faulty analysis to defend and justify their misleading statements to the public.

There were in fact two sets of talking points – the White House version by Rhodes and the one by the CIA.  When editing the CIA’s version, Deputy Director Michael Morell knew his personnel on the ground disputed the protest analysis, but he gave the final say to his analysts in Washington, thousands of miles away.

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

The Benghazi Cover Up

How Obama, Hillary and their media allies won an election by lying to the American people

Front Page Magazine, June 3, 2016:

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Editor’s note: The following video was produced by journalist Lee Stranahan and exposes the coordinated campaign between Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the media to conceal the truth about the Benghazi terrorist attack until after the 2012 presidential election. The video sequence is featured in Stranahan’s film “The Caliphate.” 

No Death Penalty for Benghazi Jihadist Protects “Al Qaeda is Dead” Narrative

Accused Benghazi terrorist Ahmed Abu Khatallah

Accused Benghazi terrorist Ahmed Abu Khatallah

… a death-penalty prosecution would call into question many aspects of Benghazi that the Obama administration has long sought to keep under wraps: how Obama-administration policy empowered the jihadists who carried out the attack; how those jihadists were linked to al-Qaeda, which the president was then ludicrously claiming to have defeated; how those jihadists attacked Western targets in Benghazi several times before September 11, 2012; how, despite that fact, the State Department led by Hillary Clinton reduced security at its Benghazi facility; how there has been no explanation why the State Department had a facility in Benghazi, one of the most dangerous places in the world for Americans; how there were American military assets in place that might have been able to rescue at least some of those killed and wounded in Benghazi, yet they were not used.

No Death Penalty for a Benghazi Jihadist — Is this Law or Politics?

National Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, May 11, 2016:

In a terse submission to the federal district court in Washington, D.C., the Obama Justice Department has announced that it will not seek the death penalty against Ahmed Abu Khatallah. He is the only terrorist charged in the Benghazi massacre of September 11, 2012, in which U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other American officials were killed in an attack carried out by dozens of jihadists.

Government lawyers provided no explanation for this decision. If you are wondering whether politics played a role in it, you have good reason to be suspicious.

On the face of it, Khatallah is a textbook case for capital punishment. The Benghazi indictment alleges that he willfully and maliciously caused the death of Americans in a terrorist attack that he helped coordinate. The facts of his offense check several of the “aggravating factor” boxes in federal death-penalty law. There is, moreover, a national-security component, inherent not only in the Benghazi atrocity itself but in the perverse incentive that the government’s failure to seek an available death sentence would create for others considering mass-murder attacks against American installations overseas.

In addition, terrorists imprisoned by the United States after being prosecuted for successful attacks against America become iconic figures in the jihad. As long as they live, they can and do inspire more attacks, recruitment, and fundraising.

Thus, legal and national-security considerations militate in favor of seeking capital punishment. Remember, Mr. Stevens was the first U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979. An attack on our ambassador and on sovereign American facilities abroad is an act of war against the United States. Since national security is the core responsibility of the federal government, there can be no federal offense more worthy of capital treatment.

We are talking about the Obama administration, though, so there are always political considerations. And when it comes to Benghazi, they always take precedence.

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