Here’s What Ex-CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkison Noticed During Wednesday’s Benghazi Hearing

Screen-Shot-2014-04-03-at-11.22.46-AM-300x151The Blaze, By :

Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, who recently resigned from CBS News, dissected former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell’s Wednesday testimony on the infamous Benghazi talking points. She not only outlined his claims in detail on Twitter, but she also produced a new article on her website,

She noted that it’s still unclear “why federal officials seemed so confused and provided so much contradictory info about how the talking points evolved.”

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Evidence casts doubt on ex-CIA leaders’ claims on Benghazi mortar attack

benghazi 8By :

If former CIA Director David Petraeus and his ex-deputy Michael Morell are recalled to testify on Benghazi, they can expect hard questions about the mortar attack on the CIA annex which killed two former Navy SEALs.

Republican Mike Rogers, chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee, is weighing whether to recall one or both of those officials over their Benghazi congressional testimony.

Rogers said the evidence suggests a highly skilled team carried out the mortar strike. Fox News has confirmed five rounds were fired in under a minute, with three hitting the annex roof — a target roughly the size of two convenience stores.

“This was exceptionally good shooting. It was clearly accurate. They adjusted their fire, which is a term a mortar crew might use, so they went a little long and a little short and they fired for effect,” Rogers said. “When you fire for effect and you have three rounds hit exactly where they were intended that ended up taking the lives of our American heroes there, that tells me that they knew exactly what they were doing. So that was either significantly preplanned, or it was a mortar crew that was exceptionally good.”

In addition to Rogers’ assessment, military experts say the mortar strike on the CIA base was evidence of a planned terror attack, and because it forced the evacuation of the annex, it must have been known immediately in Washington. But in a letter to the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in January 2013,Morell said “the nature of the attacks suggested they did not involve significant pre-planning.”

Mortar crews have specialized training to prepare rounds for launch which includes calculations for distance, direction and altitude. Mortars are called “indirect fire” because in most cases, especially urban environments like Benghazi, the crew can’t see the target.

A U.S. official familiar with the investigation said an early lead on the mortar site, a field a half -mile southeast of the annex, did not pan out in part because a forensic review showed the mortars were fired from a greater distance.

Given the accuracy, and the fact the rounds were fired in darkness, five military officers, including retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, concluded the terrorists pre-set the location.

“For this mortar crew to put three rounds of the first five — right on target — means to me that even in the day of GPS … the site for the mortar had to be pre-selected,”Peters explained.”That would be a good score for a U.S. infantry, well-trained mortar crew.”

Retired Army Gen. Bob Scales, who has written extensively on artillery fire, concurred. “This took an enormous amount of planning, an enormous amount of training. It required preparation at a firing point, not only the mortar but also the ammunition, and something like this can’t be done overnight. This is something that probably took weeks in preparation in order to pull it off.”

Separately, Morell is accused by Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee of misleading lawmakers over the White House’s role in the so-called Benghazi talking points by stating the text was provided to the administration for their awareness, not for their input. Emails later released by the administration showed otherwise. Morell, who excised half of the talking points text, previously told Fox News that “neither the Agency, the analysts, nor I cooked the books in any way.”

Read more at Fox News

Also see:

The Gitmo Detainee the Times Just Denied Was in Benghazi . . . Was in Benghazi

Sufyan bin Qumu  (Image from

Sufyan bin Qumu (Image from

By Patrick Brennan:

U.S. officials have told the Washington Post that they believe that former Guantanamo Bay detainee and al-Qaeda-linked militant Abu Sufian bin Qumu was involved in the September 11 terrorist attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya — a claim specifically denied in the New York Times’ report last week about the tragedy. Rumors have flown about bin Qumu’s involvement in the attack for a long time: Fox News reported the connection just a week after the attack in 2012, and 60 Minutes’ ridiculously thinly sourced report this winter about the attacks repeated the claim, though without any evidence of further sourcing. Back at the time of Fox’s original report, the Obama administration denied the connection, and this was reasonable enough — it honestly seemed like a few too many connections a little too quickly.

The group that we knew at the time had played a large part in the attack on the diplomatic facility is called Ansar al Sharia in Benghazi, and as the Times reported last week, it’s led by a man named Abu Khattala, who’s been indicted for the attack, and who professes a great deal of admiration for al-Qaeda but denies that he’s connected to the group. Meanwhile, there is a group of the same name, Ansar al Sharia, in Derna, a relatively nearby town, and that’s the militia led by bin Qumu.

So it’s understandable how the connection may have been made erroneously — but now we know it’s about as reliable as can be: Bin Qumu’s group is about to be listed as a terrorist organization by the United States for their role in the Benghazi attack. There’s a semi-understandable reason why Fox’s report seemed like a stretch back then, but doesn’t now: At the time, the consensus of observers was that the two Ansar al Sharias in eastern Libya were actually pretty much separate organizations, so one group’s involvement in the Benghazi attack didn’t imply the other’s. But as the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies’ Tom Joscelyn explained to me last week, over the last year, it’s become increasingly clear this distinction was a false one, and the two probably are pretty much part of the same organization (he explains more about the issue at The Weekly Standard). It’s therefore unsurprising now to find out that the two groups were both somehow involved in perpetrating the attack — and that the al-Qaeda connections are undeniable.

Why is bin Qumu’s involvement important? Well, superficially, his links go straight to the heart of al-Qaeda — “core al-Qaeda,” the Arabs based in Afghanistan and Pakistan who perpetrated 9/11 and whose organization the Obama administration has repeatedly claimed to have effectively eliminated. Bin Qumu traveled to Afghanistan in the 1990s to train with bin Laden, fought the U.S. there in the 2000s, and then was captured and sent to Guantanamo Bay. When he was released from Guantanamo Bay, he was turned over to the Libyan government, who held him for a while and then released him (Qaddafi wasn’t a bad counterterrorism partner, but he wasn’t the best). And these connections could go further: The Post also reports that Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia will be listed as a terrorist group; some maintain that that group and al-Qaeda’s North African affiliate can all be closely connected to the operations in Libya. It also confirms that they would like to question a man named Faraj al Chalabi, whom they describe as “a Libyan extremist who may have fled the country” — but who may also be a direct connection between Libyan militias and al-Qaeda in Pakistan, as Tom Joscelyn explains this evening. That may suggest the terrorist networks that the Arab Spring has seen thrive in North Africa are stronger and more interconnected than thought.

Read more at National Review

Also see:

New York Times hailed Libyan terror leader behind Benghazi consulate attack as “U.S. ally, of sorts”

P. Poole tweet


boehner-cantor-profiles-reutersBreitbart, by Matthew Boyle:

Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL), a leader in the conservative movement and retired Lt. Colonel of the United States Army, told Breitbart News that he thinks House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) might be trying to help the Obama administration cover up the Benghazi scandal.

West is a signer of the letter from a coalition of conservative and military leaders, along with three family members of the victims in the Benghazi terrorist attack, that demanded Boehner create a select committee to investigate the Benghazi terrorist attack. Boehner has been blocking the House Resolution from Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) that would create such a committee, even though H. Res. 36 has 178 cosponsors in addition to Wolf.

“There is widespread support for a select committee to get to the bottom of disturbing questions surrounding the attack, as H.Res. 36 has 178 cosponsors,” West said in an email to Breitbart News. “Yet Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor refuse to bring it to the House floor for a vote. You have to wonder, is there something they know that they prefer not come to light?”

The letter delivered to Boehner on Monday similarly questioned whether Boehner is helping President Barack Obama’s administration cover up the Benghazi scandal. Specifically, because Boehner is a member of the “Super 8”—congressional leaders who are briefed on national security matters—the coalition wondered if he knew something that a full investigation into Benghazi would reveal.

“Some analysts believe your inaction and passivity towards getting to the truth concerning Benghazi is because you were briefed on the intelligence and special operations activities in Libya as a member of the ‘Super 8,’” the group wrote. “You may possess ‘guilty knowledge.’ We recall how then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi developed a form of ‘amnesia’ concerning a documented briefing she received on so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ – later termed ‘torture’ for political purposes.”

See also:


benghazi_dead_afp (1)by MATTHEW BOYLE:

Several members of Congress joined representatives of the special forces military veterans and grassroots organizations on Tuesday to launch an effort to force the House to have a thorough, public investigation into the terrorist attack at Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has introduced legislation to create a special select committee to investigate both the terrorist attack and subsequent actions by President Barack Obama’s administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department. Wolf’s bill has 161 co-sponsors. House GOP Leadership has not scheduled a vote on the bill.

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) plans to harness the support for Wolf’s bill into a “discharge petition” that would force a floor vote on the bill. The petition would need to be signed by 218 members of the House.

“I’m going to describe what a discharge petition is because a lot of people have asked me questions exactly what it is,” Stockman said at the Tuesday press conference outside the U.S. Capitol building. “It’s to ask our leadership or actually demand from our leadership that we have a vote on Frank Wolf’s bill. [Wolf is] a congressman from Virginia who has a long history of being here and is articulate in demanding that we have an independent investigation.”

Stockman added, while gesturing to blown up photographs behind him of the four Americans murdered in Benghazi, “if Congress is silenced,” then “the blood of these folks behind us is on our hands.”

“We can’t be silent any more,” he said. “It’s been a year going by that we haven’t had justice. These folks demand justice. They cry out for justice. Silence is not an option any more. We’re going to challenge them. We’re going to have a discharge petition. I encourage you to contact your congressman to sign the discharge petition.”

Stockman expects most or all of the 161 members on Wolf’s bill to support the discharge petition, and at the press conference specifically said House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) is supportive of circumventing House Leadership via the discharge petition.

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Dick Brauer, the founder of Special Operations Speaks, said the combination of Wolf’s bill and Stockman’s discharge petition “would be done to fully investigate, something that has not been done to date, the national tragedy in Benghazi, where we lost four great citizens in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.”

“You will hear this from me and others today but we need your help and your friends’ help and everybody else’s to make this happen because it’s our one chance to do something before the anniversary of that tragedy which will occur about seven weeks from now,” Brauer said.

At the press conference, Brauer’s group unrolled an enormous scroll of a petition that includes the signatures of about a thousand special forces veterans joining the call for this investigation. “What you see on my left is a one of a kind. I don’t think it’s ever been done before: a four-foot-by-sixty-foot copy of the Special Operations Speaks petition that we sent to the House of Representatives on the Eighth of April asking for this select committee with subpoena power,” Brauer said. “The scroll is signed by nearly 1,000 special operations veterans, from the rank of Lieutenant General Three Stars down to every other rank you can imagine, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, all of them passionate about what we’re trying to do.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), a congressman who supports the discharge petition, said at the press conference that he was asked by a reporter recently about Benghazi: “Gee, that was so long ago. Do we really want to pursue this now?”

“I told the reporter that when I was a judge handling felony cases, I had defendants ask me that question – ‘that was so long ago, do we really need to get into all this now?’ I can tell you when the blood of American patriots cries out, when the blood of individuals who were sent there into harm’s way, knowing how dangerous it was in Benghazi, and especially two former SEALs who were even told to ‘Stand Down’ but they wouldn’t have it,” Gohmert said. “They went to save lives and that’s exactly what they did. They even recruited another State Department man, a former army ranger, to go up there on the rooftop with them. What they knew from the first moment mortars were fired was that this was an organized, well-prepared attack on our people. We need to get to the bottom of it. Their blood cries out for that.”

Former Florida Republican Rep. Allen West concurred with the others there, adding: “If it’s more important to some people in Washington, D.C., to protect President Obama and to protect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I say shame on you. Every single member of the United States House of Representatives should have their name on this discharge petition. If their name is not on that discharge petition, you are complicit in this cover-up of what happened.”

Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy said that if the truth is not uncovered in Benghazi, a terrorist attack like it is likely to happen again. “I believe that this is not likely to be an isolated incident,” Gaffney said at the press conference “If we don’t learn the lessons of what happened in Benghazi, how we got to there, what we did on the occasion and what has happened in the aftermath, you can be sure there will be other Americans who end with the same fate.”

Read more at Breitbart



Benghazi Investigation Still Very Much Ongoing

5829917074_8c9c57e0e8_zHeritage Foundation, May 29, 2013

By :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End the Benghazigate Cover-up: Tell your Congressman to appoint a House Select Committee




Rep. Frank Wolf called a press conference outside the capitol to discuss his sponsorship of H. Res. 36, which would create a special congressional committee to investigate the failures that contributed to the deadly jihadist attack in Benghazi, Libya last year. He was joined by Family Research Council’s Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and former member of Delta Force. Boykin represented Special Operations Speaks, a group of ex-special forces operators who came together to write a letter to Members of Congress, urging them to commit to getting to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi, and to end the administration’s cover-up. Finally, the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney spoke about the implications of the attack in Libya on America’s national security and foreign policy in the Middle East/North Africa region.

Tell your Congressmen to support H.Res 36, which would create a House Select Committee to investigate the September 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

The Center For Security Policy has a convenient email form for you to use —-> End the Benghazigate Cover-up



Retired Air Force Col. Dick Brauer, now a member of S.O.S. discussed his group’s push for information on Fox and Friends:


SOS Open Letter To The U.S. House Of Representatives


Kerry Picket reports,

 In a conference call with bloggers, yesterday, Frank Gaffney mentioned a talking point that then Sec. of State Hillary Clinton repeated during her hearing on Benghazi. ”We are confronting a global jihadist threat,”  she told the Senators several times. But the failure that was manifest on Sept 11, Gaffney reminded us, was that the Regime didn’t recognize the global jihadist threat in any way shape or form. Clinton failed to countenance the global jihadist threat until she was heading out the door.

Another thing Gaffney thought was kind of stunning was the absence of any of the folks who survived the attack from the public domain. He called it a “witness suppression program.”

The day before Hillary Clinton testified to both House and Senate committees  on the Libya terror attack, Jennifer Griffen and Adam Housley posted a string of “Facts and questions about what happened in Benghazi” at Fox News. Unfortunately, most of those questions remain unanswered. A review of these questions now helps underscore how serious the failures in Benghazi are and leads us to the inescapable conclusion that there is indeed a massive cover-up:


The facts:

Fox News has learned that U.S. Marines who were part of a FAST (Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team) responding to Libya were told by the State Department to deplane, change out of their U.S. military uniforms and put on civilian clothes before flying to Tripoli — a decision that delayed them from launching by approximately 90 minutes, according to senior military officials who briefed Congress. The FAST team, which was made up of about 50 Marines, was ordered by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to launch from Rota, Spain, the night of the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic mission.

Members of the Special Operations teams sent from Fort Bragg, N.C. and the Commander’s In Extremis Force in nearby Croatia say they were never given permission to enter Libya, even though some were just a short flight away in Europe.

The Accountability Review Board appointed by Clinton and overseen by Adm. Mike Mullen and former Ambassador Thomas Pickering concluded: “The Board members believe every possible effort was made to rescue and recover Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith. The interagency response was timely and appropriate, but there simply was not enough time for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference.”

The questions:

Why was it necessary for those Marines to change into civilian clothing when it was apparent that U.S. government officials were in imminent danger?

Did the State Department ever secure permission from Libya and Italy to fly armed units and flights to Libya the night of the attack?

U.S. military planes based at both Sigonella and Aviano, Italy, must have permission from the Italian government on a case-by-case basis to take off armed. According to former U.S. military commanders, this is an issue that can stymie rescue efforts, if the State Department does not manage to secure the appropriate permissions from the host government — Italy, in this case. If those permissions were not secured, is it safe to assume the State Department was reluctant to ask the U.S. military to help in Libya before, during or after the Sept. 11 attack?

Were they concerned about a Black Hawk Down-type situation, losing military assets trying to help with a rescue?

The facts:

Defense Department spokesman George Little says that the FAST team would not have been in Libya in time to save any lives, and any delays to change out of military uniforms likely did not make a difference since all surviving State Department personnel left the consulate for the CIA Annex about an hour and 45 minutes after the attack began at 9:42 p.m. Libyan time.

However, even according the ARB timeline, Ambassador Chris Stevens’ body was not returned to the Benghazi airport until 8:25 a.m. on Sept. 12.

He remained missing for nearly 11 hours.

The question:

Should more have been done to try to retrieve his body from the Benghazi hospital?


The facts:

The official Defense Department timeline and the independent Accountability Review Board state that the European Commander in Extremis Force that AFRICOM commander Gen. Carter Ham ordered to Sigonella from a training mission in Europe arrived at 7:57 p.m. on Sept. 12 (nearly 22 hours after the attack began). Fox News has reported it was training in nearby Croatia, a short flight away.

Fox News has learned that a 12-member alert force from the CIF team who were staged to Sigonella from Croatia arrived at the staging base in southern Italy within several hours of being alerted of the attack — but they were not given permission to move into Libya.

Fox News has also learned that the team of Tier One special operators who took off from the United States landed in Sigonella air base in southern Italy at about 7:30 a.m. local time – an hour before Stevens’ body was retrieved.

And yet the official Defense Department timeline says that this National Mission Force team did not arrive in Sigonella until 9:28 p.m. Libyan time on Sept. 12 (nearly 24 hours after the attack began).

The question:

Why the discrepancy in the official Defense Department timeline and the time that those special operators say they landed in Sigonella from the United States?


The facts:

The quick reaction force that was mobilized from the Libyan capital was made up of five Americans — including Glen Doherty, who was on contract with the CIA’s Global Response Staff (or GRS), and two Delta Force special operators who were in Libya on a separate assignment. That was all the hastily rented plane could hold, according to the State Department Review Board. Stevens used the cellphone of Regional Security Officer 1, who is currently recovering at Walter Reed. Stevens was speaking with the Embassy in Tripoli at 9:50 p.m. from the safe room where he and RSO1 had retreated for safety.

When the reaction team left Tripoli for Benghazi several hours after the attack began, they were told by one of the senior U.S. security officials at the Embassy that there would be “fast movers above Benghazi” when they arrived. “Fast movers” is a reference to military jets used to fly over a combat situation. It was a reference to F-18s, F-15s or F-16s that would have been flown in from Europe.

The team that left for Benghazi assumed they would have air cover when they landed. Instead, they got held up at the Benghazi airport without transportation and did not arrive at the CIA Annex to help with the evacuation until 5 a.m. local time on Sept. 12 (more than seven hours after the attack had begun.) Air support never came.

Doherty, a former Navy SEAL, was a part of that team and was killed by a mortar while he and Tyrone Woods manned defensive positions on the roof. Woods did not die immediately from the mortar attack. He bled out over several hours, according to one eyewitness who was there that night.

Fox News has also learned that some of Stevens’ in-country security detail did not accompany him to Benghazi on Sept 11.

The questions:

Why was the “fast movers” team never sent from Italy?

Why did highly trained members of the diplomatic security service remain behind in Tripoli, and why did Stevens take only a skeletal security team to Benghazi?

The Board found that Stevens made the decision to travel to Benghazi independently of Washington. His plans “were not shared thoroughly with the Embassy’s country team, who were not fully aware of planned movements off the compound,” according to independent investigators. Why the secrecy?


The facts:

The U.S. post in Benghazi consisted of two parts – the diplomatic consulate and a CIA Annex. Details about the extent of the annex’s work was unclear.

“General Ham did not have complete visibility of the extent and number of government personnel in Benghazi in the event that a NEO (Noncombatant Evacuation Operation) was required,” according to a report by Sens. Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, even though the Defense Department “assumes responsibility for evacuation of diplomatic personnel, U.S. citizens…in crises. AFRICOM was responsible for working with Department of State officials in Libya to develop and coordinate Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) plans for the diplomatic facilities in the region.”

The questions:

What was the CIA doing in Benghazi establishing one of its largest hubs in North Africa without informing AFRICOM commander Carter Ham?

Why did Stevens feel the need to be in Benghazi on Sept. 11? He went to the CIA Annex for a briefing the day before. And why did communications specialist Sean Smith travel to Benghazi the week before Stevens’ arrival if he was simply going to Benghazi to attend the opening of an “American corner” at a local school, as reported in the ARB?

What was the meeting with the Turkish envoy about on the night of Sept. 11 — has the FBI interviewed the Turkish diplomat?

The facts:

The Embassy and Stevens were in the process of shutting down the Benghazi mission, and the State Department had authorized it to be closed in December 2012.

“Another key driver behind the weak security platform in Benghazi was the decision to treat Benghazi as a temporary, residential facility, not officially notified to the host government, even though it was also a full time office facility,” the ARB report concluded.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, who was just made the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Trade, has been demanding answers from the Pentagon about what U.S. personnel were doing in Benghazi and has been frustrated about the administration’s unwillingness to answer his questions.

“There are a lot of contradictions and inconsistencies in these reports,” Poe told Fox News.

He has asked whether the U.S. or its allies furnished any rebel groups in Libya with weapons during the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi — in particular Ansar al-Shariah, the group largely believed to be responsible for the consulate attack.

The question:

Poe, in an interview with Fox News, asked “did we help facilitate in some way, or know about the movement of weapons to Libyan rebels and did we help, know about, or get involved in the weapons movement from Libya to Syria?”


The facts:

Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy was running the Operations Center overseeing the rescue on Sept. 11 at the State Department. As the attack began, the Tactical Operations Center in the U.S. mission Benghazi “triggered an audible alarm, and immediately alerted the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli and DS (Diplomatic Security) headquarters in Washington. These notifications were quickly transmitted from the Department of State to the Department of Defense. DS headquarters maintained open phone lines with the DS personnel throughout the attack.”

But the defense secretary and Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey were not alerted to the attack for 50 minutes, and they in turn did not raise the issue with the president until a previously scheduled meeting with Obama at the White House at 5 p.m. — one hour and 18 minutes after the attack began.

“That same DS agent (at the consulate) also called the annex to request assistance from security personnel there, who immediately began to prepare to aid the U.S. personnel at the diplomatic facility,” according to the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s report.

The CIA response team from the annex arrived at the consulate which was one mile away within 25 minutes. CIA Director David Petraeus was in the CIA operations center overseeing the rescue that night and did not leave until all U.S. personnel were accounted for. Petraeus flew to Tripoli in subsequent weeks to interview the station chief and others about what happened that night and found there was no delay in rescue efforts.

The Accountability Review Board, we have since learned, did not interview all members of the CIA’s Global Response Staff who were at the CIA Annex that night, at least one of whom says his team was not given permission at first to go and help at the “consulate” after security personnel put out immediate calls for help — a charge the CIA refutes.

The diplomatic security officer who repeatedly re-entered the smoke-filled premises to try to find Stevens also says he was not interviewed by Mullen and Pickering’s team. He says the senior leadership at the State Department did not make them available to the Accountability Review Board.

The questions:

Where was John Brennan, the president’s chief counterterrorism adviser, the afternoon of the attack?

Are there minutes from the Situation Room?

What was his advice to the president that afternoon and evening?

Was anybody at the CIA Annex told to stand down or to wait before responding to the consulate?

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