Huma Abedin’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood

Greg Nash

Greg Nash

The Hill, by Kenneth R. Timmerman, Aug. 23, 2016:

The Clinton campaign is attempting once again to sweep important questions under the rug about top aide Huma Abedin, her family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and to Saudi Arabia, and her role in the ballooning Clinton email scandal.

The New York Post ran a detailed investigative piece over the weekend about Ms. Abedin’s work at the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs from 1995 through 2008, a Sharia law journal whose editor in chief was Abedin’s own mother.

This is not some accidental association. Ms. Abedin was, for many years, listed as an associate editor of the London-based publication and wrote for the journal while working as an intern in the Clinton White House in the mid-1990s.

Her mother, Saleha Abedin, sits on the Presidency Staff Council of the International Islamic Council for Da’wa and Relief, a group that is chaired by the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Perhaps recognizing how offensive such ties will be to voters concerned over future terrorist attacks on this country by radical Muslims professing allegiance to Sharia law, the Clinton campaign on Monday tried to downplay Ms. Abedin’s involvement in the Journal and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Clinton surrogate group Media Matters claimed predictably there was “no evidence” that Ms. Abedin or her family had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and that Trump campaign staffers who spoke of these ties were conspiracy theorists.

To debunk the evidence, Media Matters pointed to a Snopes.com “fact-check” piece that cited as its sole source… Senator John McCain. This is the same John McCain who met Libyan militia leader Abdelkarim Belhaj, a known al Qaeda associate, and saluted him as “my hero” during a 2011 visit to Benghazi.

Senator McCain and others roundly criticized Rep. Michele Bachmann in 2012 when she and four members of the House Permanent Select Committee Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee cited Ms. Abedin in letters sent to the Inspectors General of the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, warning about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the United States government.

In response to those critiques, Rep. Bachmann laid out the evidence in a 16-page memo, which has never been refuted by Senator McCain or the elite media.

The evidence, in my opinion, is overwhelming: Huma Abedin is nothing short of a Muslim Brotherhood princess, born into an illustrious family of Brotherhood leaders.

Her father, Syed Zaynul Abedin, was a professor in Saudi Arabia who founded the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs, an institution established by the Government of Saudi Arabia with the support of the Muslim World League.

The Muslim World League was “perhaps the most significant Muslim Brotherhood organization in the world,” according to former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy. Its then-General Secretary, Umar Nasif, founded the Rabita Trust, “which is formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization under American law due to its support of al Qaeda,” he wrote.

That is not guilt by association but what federal prosecutors would call a “nexus” of like-minded people who shared the same goals.

A Saudi government document inspired by Ms. Abedin’s father explains the concept of “Muslim Minority Affairs,” the title of the Journal Mr. Abedin founded, and its goal to “establish a global Sharia in our modern times.”

Simply put, Huma Abedin worked for thirteen years as part of an enterprise whose explicit goal was to conquer the West in the name of Islam. No wonder the Clinton campaign wants to sweep this issue under the rug.

Mrs. Clinton has sometimes referred to Huma Abedin as her “second daughter.” Whether it was because of their close relationship or for some other reason, Mrs. Clinton has done much to further the Muslim Brotherhood agenda while Secretary of State, and can be counted on doing more as president.

As Secretary of State, she relentlessly pushed the overthrow of Libyan leader Mohammar Qaddafi, a dire enemy of the Brotherhood, even when President Obama and his Secretary of Defense were reluctant to go to war.

Along with Obama, she pushed for the overthrow of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak and his replacement by Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Morsi.

She pushed for direct U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war, including the arming of Syrian rebels allied with al Qaeda.

As I reveal in my new book, she worked side by side with the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the umbrella group where 57 majority Muslim states pushed their agenda of imposing Sharia law on the non-Muslim world, to use hate crime laws in the United States to criminalize speech critical of Islam, in accordance with United Nations Resolution 16/18.

Their first victim in the United States was a Coptic Christian named Nakoula Bassiley Nakoula, the maker of the YouTube video Hillary and Obama blamed for Benghazi.

New Abedin emails released to Judicial Watch this week show that Huma Abedin served as liaison between Clinton Foundation donors, including foreign governments, and the State Department.

When foreign donors had difficult in getting appointments with Mrs. Clinton through normal State Department channels, Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band would email Huma Abedin, and poof! the doors would open as if by magic.

Donald Trump has criticized this as “pay for play.” But it also raises questions as to whether Huma Abedin and Mrs. Clinton were in fact serving as unregistered agents for foreign powers who sought to impose their anti-freedom agenda on the United States.

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in 2014. But by then, the damage had been done.

Do Americans want eight years of a President Clinton, who will do even more to empower the Muslim Brotherhood and impose its agenda on America?

Timmerman is a Donald Trump supporter. He was the 2012 Republican Congressional nominee for MD-8 and is the author of Deception: The Making of the YouTube Video Hillary & Obama Blamed for Benghazi, published by Post Hill Press.

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.

***

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.”

***

Also see:

Ex-CIA spook who whitewashed Benghazi endorses Hillary

Hillary Clinton Photo: Reuters

Hillary Clinton Photo: Reuters

New York Post, by Kenneth R.  Timmerman, Aug. 5, 2016:

Hillary has become a spook’s candidate. Former deputy CIA Director Michael Morell, who so conveniently covered her tracks in Benghazi, has now confirmed it.

In a glowing endorsement his friends at The New York Times prominently featured Friday, Morell gave his full-throated support to Clinton, while insisting that he was no partisan and had even voted Republican in the past.

Like an obedient party hack vying for a new job, Morell spouted the party line that Donald Trump was “not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security.”

Those are strong words, especially coming from someone who we are led to believe is an unimpeachable source. But is he?

The “non-partisan” Morell was caught “mis-speaking” to Congress about his role in sanitizing the infamous CIA talking points prepared for US Ambassador Susan Rice to deliver on the Sunday talk shows after the Benghazi attacks. And when he was caught out, like a faithful soldier, he fell on his sword.

Here’s how it happened: After Susan Rice’s outlandish claims on the Sunday talk shows that the Benghazi attacks began as a spontaneous protest over a “hateful” YouTube video, Congress began asking where she had gotten that information. This is how lawmakers discovered that the intelligence community had drafted her talking points, with input from the White House and Hillary Clinton’s staff.

Early drafts of the talking points included a mention of al Qaeda. But that reference was removed in the final drafts. Sen. Lindsay Graham explained to me what happened next.

“On Nov. 27, 2012, Morell and Susan Rice came into my office,” he told me. “I asked Morell who changed [the talking points]. He said, the FBI deleted the reference to al Qaeda because of an ongoing criminal investigation. So I called the FBI. They said, no, they didn’t change the talking points. They were furious.”

Apparently, that was an understatement: Someone at a senior level at FBI called the CIA to protest directly. Graham continued the story: “At 4 p.m. that day, CIA called me and said Morell ‘mis-spoke’ in his meeting with me, and that CIA deleted [the reference to al Qaeda], but they couldn’t give a reason why.”

Graham thought the reason was obvious: “If the truth had been known that al Qaeda killed four Americans seven weeks before an election, it would have been a different political story.”

Remember what Obama and his surrogates were saying? “Osama is dead, GM is alive.” That was their campaign mantra.

In fact, it was Morell himself who made those changes.

Morell subsequently testified before the House Select Committee on Intelligence, and eventually before the Benghazi Select Committee, twisting himself into a pretzel to explain why he removed any mention of the al Qaeda involvement in the attacks.

He ultimately claimed he believed news reports calling the Benghazi attacks a protest gone wild were more credible than repeated e-mails and cables from his own station chief in Libya insisting there had never been a protest.

It was an admission of gross incompetence — or partisanship. But that was the party line Clinton was putting out.

Morell was rewarded after the 2012 election. When he retired from CIA, Morell took a position with Beacon Global Strategies, a company cofounded by Andrew Shapiro and Philippe Reines, members of Hillary Clinton’s inner circle at the State Department.

In his Times op-ed, Morell claims Donald Trump is an “unwitting agent” of Russia because he makes friendly remarks toward Putin. But Trump has never taken a dime from Putin. As we now know, Clinton and her husband have both profited handsomely from their relations to Russian state-owned banks and corporations — and actually helped Russia get its hands on a company with rights to a fifth of US uranium. Does that make her a “witting agent” of Russia?

This former spook’s willingness to skewer the truth on behalf of a political patron should suffice to make any thinking person reject his judgment.

As for the truth about Hillary, well, we’ve seen her selling political favors to foreign countries and companies while secretary of state through the Clinton Foundation. And lying to the public incessantly — about Benghazi, her e-mails, you name it. Just imagine what she’ll do if elected president.

Kenneth R. Timmerman’s latest book, Deception: the Making of the YouTube Video Hillary and Obama Blamed for Benghazi, was released two weeks ago and is already in its 4th printing.

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.

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

witch-of-benghazi

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.

***

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.

 

***

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.

***

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:

screen_shot_2016-06-02_at_10.42.32_pm

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.

Read more

State Department Belatedly Releases New Clinton Benghazi Documents

Judicial Watch, April 14, 2016:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it has obtained new documents from the Department of State containing the telephone transcripts from the evening of September 11, 2012, in which then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informs then-Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil that the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi “had nothing to do with the film.”  The documents include previously unreleased telephone transcripts with world leaders about the Benghazi attack.

Clinton’s admission to Kandil was first produced to the Select Committee on Benghazi on October 13, 2015 and publicized on the day of Mrs. Clinton’s testimony, October 22, but court filings in Judicial Watch litigation show that the record was only produced after two federal court judges ordered the State Department to produce more Benghazi-related records to Judicial Watch.  Similarly, Judicial Watch litigation also forced the release of the September 11, 2012 email in which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informed her daughter by email that the attack had been staged by an “Al Qaeda-like group,” rather than as the result of “inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” as Mrs. Clinton had claimed in her official public statement one hour earlier.

The State Department previously told a federal court that the Kandil document wasn’t responsive to Judicial Watch’s request and resulting lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01511)) seeking:

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

But the State Department then produced this information last month to Judicial Watch.  The records, the State Department told the Court, were found among thousands of new Clinton State Department records supposedly only discovered in December, 2015 – again, two months after the key Kandil document was first produced to the Benghazi Committee.

Under court order, the State Department released 11 documents responsive to the Judicial Watch request with large blocks of information redacted. The documents also include phone conservations between Clinton and other foreign dignitaries and heads of state during the period of the deadly terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate.

At 10:08 p.m. on September 11, Mrs. Clinton issued an official State Department press statement, approved by the White House, placing the blame for the attack on an Internet video:

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.

Yet the next day, in her 7:49 PM September 12 conversation with Kandil, Clinton said, “We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film.  It was a planned attack – not a protest.”  Kandil responded, “You’re not kidding. Based on the information we saw today we believe that group that claimed responsibility for this is affiliated with al-Qaeda.”

On September 15, in a telephone call with then-Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr, Clinton emphatically portrayed the “stupid, very offensive film” as the root cause of the Benghazi violence. Clinton told Amr, “I have repeatedly, as has the President and other officials in our government, deplored not only the content of this stupid, very offensive film… But we have to exercise more self-discipline… otherwise we’ll be in a vicious downward circle against everyone who has ever felt offended, particularly on the internet….”

Clinton’s telephone call with Amr also contained a curious reference to what the former secretary referred to as a “very successful investment visit led by my deputy Tom Nides, and on the very day they left this series of incidents began to unfold.” According to the Washington Post, Nides, who was deputy secretary for management and resources at the State Department, was at the same time responsible for “communications with donors” to the Clinton Foundation. Nides was also involved in the scandal involving Clinton’s efforts to provide special access to State Department officials for hedge fund clients of her son-in-law, Marc Mezinsky.

In a September 12 call with the Afghan President Hamid Kharzi, Clinton says at some point they need to talk about “about religious feelings and insults and defamation.”  Islamists seeks to criminalize criticism (“defamation”) of Islam.  The Obama administration worked closely with advocates for restrictions on free speech as part of their Benghazi video pr campaign.

The documents also show that Clinton referenced the “actions of a mob” to Tunisian Prime Minister Jebali on September 14.  Jebali responded that he condemned “these terrorist actions.”

“There are two scandals here.  The first is Hillary Clinton was telling different stories to different foreign leaders about the Benghazi attack – including an admission that it was a terrorist attack,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The second is the State Department’s cover-up of these documents.  The State Department is forcing Judicial Watch to play ‘whack-a-mole’ with Clinton and Benghazi documents.  It is no wonder that two frustrated federal court judges granted Judicial Watch discovery into the Clinton FOIA issues.”

The New York Times’ Cover-Up of Hillary’s Illegal Libyan War

hillary_clinton4Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, Feb. 28, 2016:

More than any other paper, the New York Times has held Obama’s foreign policy line. It’s been the place where administration sources leaked stories and narratives. The New York Times ran David Kilpatrick’s desperate attempt to shore up the “YouTube Video Caused Benghazi” lie at a time when even most of the media was unwilling to keep repeating that bizarre claim any more.

So the New York Times is the natural outlet for yet another whitewash of the illegal Libyan War. This one is more about Democrats than Republicans. Jim Webb, and in his own clumsy way, Bernie Sanders have raised the Libya issue. Tulsi Gabbard quit the DNC and endorsed Bernie Sanders in part over Libya. The New York Times’ multipart Hillary Libya series is about making that war palatable to liberals.

Excuse #1 is that Hillary Clinton just has a bias for action.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, her director of policy planning at the State Department, notes that in conversation and in her memoir, Mrs. Clinton repeatedly speaks of wanting to be “caught trying.” In other words, she would rather be criticized for what she has done than for having done nothing at all.

“She’s very careful and reflective,” Ms. Slaughter said. “But when the choice is between action and inaction, and you’ve got risks in either direction, which you often do, she’d rather be caught trying.”

That’s probably the worst excuse imaginable. It’s also flagrantly dishonest. Hillary Clinton didn’t have a bias for action in Sudan. She had a bias for action when it came to overthrowing regimes on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Excuse #2 the Genocide Lie

The piece only indirectly addresses this. But it’s the reason Obama gave for intervention. He claimed that massacres were about to happen in Benghazi. He suggested that much of the city might be wiped out. None of this was real or true.

“Jake Sullivan, Mrs. Clinton’s top foreign-policy aide at State and now in her campaign, said her view was that “we have to live in a world of risks.” In assessing the situation in Libya, he said, “she didn’t know for certain at the time, nor did any of us, what would happen — only that it passed a risk threshold that demanded that we look very hard at the response.”

What was the basis for this risk threshold? Why did genocide in Africa fail to meet this imaginary threshold?

The left spent a decade howling about Iraq. It has still failed to address the simple fact that Obama lied about the basis for the war in Libya. And Hillary Clinton handfed him that lie.

Excuse #3 Regime Change, Not Protecting Civilians

The No Fly Zone was a hoax. No such zone was needed. Nor was it about protecting civilians, but aiding Muslim terrorists.

“We basically destroyed Qaddafi’s air defenses and stopped the advance of his forces within three days,” recalled Mr. Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser.

But the mission quickly evolved from protecting civilians in Benghazi to protecting civilians wherever they were. As the rebellion swelled and bystanders became combatants, the endgame became ever more murky. The United States and its allies were increasingly drawn to one side of the fighting, without extended debate over what that shift portended.

Not only is this a ridiculous lie, but it’s contradicted early on in the same article as it mentions a covert program of transferring weapons to the terrorists. This wasn’t even about protecting the terrorists, though it began that way, it was about destroying Gaddafi’s forces.

It’s 2016 and the media is still maintaining the same tired lie.

“I can’t recall any specific decision that said, ‘Well, let’s just take him out,’” Mr. Gates said. Publicly, he said, “the fiction was maintained” that the goal was limited to disabling Colonel Qaddafi’s command and control. In fact, the former defense secretary said, “I don’t think there was a day that passed that people didn’t hope he would be in one of those command and control centers.”

That’s regime change. It’s invasion and assassination. Gaddafi was a bad guy. He got what he deserved. But let’s stop playing this game in which there was never a war or an invasion. Or it was about protecting “civilians”.

By April, the president had authorized the use of drones, and, according to a senior rebel commander, C.I.A. operatives began visiting rebel camps and “providing us with intercepts of Qaddafi’s troop movements.”

To “protect civilians”.

“There was a moment, around about June or July,” recalled Mr. Shapiro, the State Department’s Libya policy adviser, “when the situation on the ground seemed to settle into a stalemate and we weren’t sure we were winning, or at least winning quickly enough.”

So we’ve gone from the ‘protecting civilians’ myth to straight up trying to win a war.

Obama ultimately took her side, according to the administration officials who described the debate. After he signed a secret document called a presidential finding, approving a covert operation, a list of approved weaponry was drawn up. The shipments arranged by the United States and other Western countries generally arrived through the port of Benghazi and airports in eastern Libya, a Libyan rebel commander said.

“Humvees, counterbattery radar, TOW missiles was the highest end we talked about,” one State Department official recalled. “We were definitely giving them lethal assistance. We’d crossed that line.”

How many of those weapons have been used against us since then?

Excuse #4: Hillary 2016

Mrs. Clinton’s old friend and political adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, who regularly emailed her political advice and vaguely sourced intelligence reports on Libya, urged her to capitalize on the dictator’s fall.

“Brava!” Mr. Blumenthal exclaimed. As always, he was thinking about Mrs. Clinton’s presidential ambitions. “You must go on camera. You must establish yourself in the historical record at this moment.” She should be sure to use the phrase “successful strategy,” he wrote. “You are vindicated.”

This is the first mention of Blumenthal even though it’s clear from her emails that he was far more influential and had his own interests in Libya.

Two days before, Mrs. Clinton had taken a triumphal tour of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and for weeks top aides had been circulating a “ticktock” that described her starring role in the events that had led to this moment. The timeline, her top policy aide, Jake Sullivan, wrote, demonstrated Mrs. Clinton’s “leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country’s Libya policy from start to finish.” The memo’s language put her at the center of everything: “HRC announces … HRC directs … HRC travels … HRC engages,” it read.

Hillary Clinton had wrecked Libya and was using it to run for office.

“The president was like, ‘We are not looking to do another Iraq,’” said Derek Chollet, then handling Libya for the National Security Council.

Too late.

Still, in her last months at the State Department, Mrs. Clinton rode a wave of popularity, bolstered by an Internet meme called “Texts From Hillary.” Its emblem was a photograph of the secretary of state gazing through dark glasses at her BlackBerry. Few knew that it had been taken aboard the military transport plane taking her to Libya in those heady days after the dictator’s fall.

***

Confirmed: Obama Sent Weapons to Muslim Terrorists in Benghazi

One of the few interesting items in the New York Times’ whitewash of Hillary and Obama’s illegal Libyan war is the confirmation of weapons shipments.

Obama ultimately took her side, according to the administration officials who described the debate. After he signed a secret document called a presidential finding, approving a covert operation, a list of approved weaponry was drawn up. The shipments arranged by the United States and other Western countries generally arrived through the port of Benghazi and airports in eastern Libya, a Libyan rebel commander said.

“Humvees, counterbattery radar, TOW missiles was the highest end we talked about,” one State Department official recalled. “We were definitely giving them lethal assistance. We’d crossed that line.”

The story blames the problem on Qatar aiding Jihadists and Obama’s unwillingness to defy the terror oil state. But the claim that we had to arm terrorists to fight Qatar’s arming of terrorists doesn’t hold up too well. Furthermore we already know that US forces were told to turn a blind eye to Qatar’s weapons shipments. We could have blocked them instead.

The story mentions a competition between Qatar and the UAE over arming the locals, but fails to clarify that Qatar was arming straight Jihadists, while the UAE had taken an anti-Islamist line.

It also fails to clarify that Qatar was backing the Muslim Brotherhood. Just like Hillary and Obama.

Salvaging Mrs. Clinton’s Legacy in a Shattered Libya

timthumb

AIM, by Roger Arnoff, February 25, 2016:

The Washington Post seems unable to grasp the irony of its support for President Obama’s latest military intervention into Libya at the same time that it seeks to salvage Hillary Clinton’s reputation on this issue. Libya remains a failed state, and no amount of reporting can change the facts of this debacle.

“With respect to Libya, I have been clear from the outset that we will go after ISIS wherever it appears, the same way that we went after al Qaeda wherever they appeared,” President Obama told the press on February 16.  “And the testament to the fact that we are doing that already is that we took out…one of ISIS’s most prominent leaders in Libya.”

Obama’s words came out just days before the House Select Committee on Benghazi signaled that its report on the events in Benghazi, Libya will be issued “as soon as possible,” now that it has gained access to most of the necessary witnesses and documents.

According to The Military Times, “Many experts note that the current chaos in Libya stems from the power vacuum caused by the American-led air campaign to oust Gaddafi.” Yet reporters at the Post continue to dramatize the issue of Libya as if it were Mrs. Clinton, or President Obama, who faced the tough choices in 2011.

“The stakes Clinton faced were high,” reported Kevin Sullivan for the Post on February 3. “Introducing U.S. military force could have easily led to a much-longer-than-expected and bloodier operation, at a time when Americans were already weary of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

“But failing to act could have led to a massacre that the world would have blamed on Washington,” adds Sullivan. “It also could have solidified Gaddafi’s grip on power as other dictators were falling across the region.”

These fairy tale justifications have been exposed again and again, yet the mainstream media continue to use them in defense of their favorite Democratic presidential candidate. Reporters such as Sullivan aren’t interested in reporting facts that could damage Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy reputation. And Libya is one of Mrs. Clinton’s weakest points, for which she takes full ownership. Her aide, Jake Sullivan, wrote in a 2011 internal email while she was Secretary of State that Mrs. Clinton has “leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country’s [L]ibya policy from start to finish.”

Sullivan is now the top foreign policy adviser for Clinton’s campaign.

As we have reported, Qaddafi was actually an American ally in the war on terror before he was ousted. Our Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) interim report demonstrates how the Obama administration, and Hillary Clinton, decided to back al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Libya instead of holding truce talks with Qaddafi, which could have ended with his abdication and a peaceful transition of power.

The Washington Times also reported that it was Mrs. Clinton who told a Pentagon general to stop communicating with Qaddafi’s son, Saif, and other Qaddafi loyalists seeking a truce after the UN resolution calling for military intervention in Libya was passed on March 17, 2011.

Now conflict-ridden Libya has devolved into an Islamic State stronghold with warring militias. And the Post is pushing President Obama to intercede. “Mr. Obama has tried waiting on the sidelines in Iraq and Syria,” argued the Post’s Editorial Board on February 17. “He should not make the same mistake in Libya.”

An American warplane killed 49 and wounded six at an ISIS training camp in Libya, reported CNN on February 20. In response, ISIS recently beheaded 12 menat the security headquarters in Sabratha, according to the Atlantic on February 24. “American intelligence officials estimate that the group’s [ISIS] ranks in Libya have grown to 6,500 fighters, more than doubling since the fall,” it reports. “The group is now thought to control 150 miles of Libyan coastline.”

The administration’s mistakes in Libya have already been made, and there have been many. The narrative that somehow the Obama administration’s multilateral intervention into Libya was necessary is false. There was no humanitarian crisis to resolve. “Despite what defenders of the mission claim, there was a better policy available—not intervening at all, because peaceful Libyan civilians were not actually being targeted,” wrote University of Texas at Austin professor Alan Kuperman for Foreign Affairs last year. “As bad as Libya’s human rights situation was under Qaddafi, it has gotten worse since NATO ousted him,” he writes.

According to a column by Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the CCB, “Libya devolved into a failed state when NATO assisted Qaddafi’s radical jihadist opponents in killing him and then promptly abandoned the country. Left in the wake were two rival governments competing for power, which created space for Islamists to turn Libya into a cesspool of extremism.” He added that “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to call the debacle American ‘smart power at its best.’”

“How will the West ever learn anything,” asks Hoekstra, “if it can’t identify its most obvious failures?”

Now it seems that the U.S. must again commit additional blood and sweat to fix the situation that Hillary Clinton and President Obama helped create in the first place.

It is no wonder that Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy reputation needs rehabilitation under such circumstances. The Post’s Sullivan admits that Hillary Clinton’s choice to back the Libyan intervention was the “most significant—and risky—[decision] of her career,” a choice which still haunts her record. However, he takes it upon himself to dispel any doubts about her potential.

“The [Post] story doesn’t come off as uniformly flattering,” writes Cato’s Christopher A. Preble for The National Interest. “The headline calls it ‘a tough call’ that supposedly ‘still haunts’ Clinton, and the subhead references Clinton’s ill-considered support for the war in Iraq in 2002.”

However, Preble writes, “all of the people quoted by name in the story are Clinton supporters or advocates for the operation that ousted Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi from power, and eventually resulted in his death.”

Sullivan’s article contains quotes from an anonymous former official involved in the Libyan negotiations effusively championing Clinton’s decision-making style and leadership. “She consults widely and intensively. She talks to more people, takes more phone calls, travels more miles,” says the supporter. “She’s more disciplined than her husband…Hillary Clinton came into the Situation Room for every meeting thoroughly prepared,” that supporter continues. “She’s a disciplined decision-maker.”

The Washington Post is clearly attempting to pave the way for Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy by casting the intervention into Libya as a necessary evil with an unfortunate ending, and by excusing Obama’s intervention in the same country twice. The truth is, however, that Mrs. Clinton and President Obama spearheaded a policy that ended in abject failure and continues to result in death and danger abroad. The fact that this policy, which the Post now seeks to sell to the public, resulted in the Benghazi scandal and the resulting death of four Americans—and many more Libyans—cannot be overlooked no matter how much Sullivan or other reporters try to spin Libya positively.

Also see: