#Benghazi massacre an Iranian operation?

June 23, 2014
Qassem Suleymani

Qassem Suleymani

That’s the assertion of journalist Kenneth Timmerman in a forthcoming book, “Dark Forces.” In a summary article in the New York Post, Timmerman discusses Qassem Suleymani, the head of Quds Force, Iran’s external special operations forces that have conducted operations against us in Iraq and Afghanistan, helped establish Hizbullah, and carried out terrorist strikes around the world. He then talks about Iran’s concern over our presence in Benghazi, where we were monitoring jihadist groups (and, according to rumor, shipping guns to the Syrian rebels, who were fighting Iran’s client, President Assad), groups that Iran, per Timmerman’s sources, had a hand in creating and supporting. The Iranians were so concerned, in fact, that Suleymani set up an operation in which a Quds Force hit team, disguised as Red Crescent workers, were to kidnap Ambassador Stevens and destroy the CIA annex in Benghazi. The idea was to hit us hard to prove to Washington that there was no safe place for American personnel in the Middle East.

Trouble was, from the Iranian point of view, we were intercepting their communications, knew when the hit team arrived, and had them followed by Libyan militia members in our pay. That’s when things got weird:

Then at 1 in the morning, it happened.

All of a sudden, the deputy chief jumped up from where he had been dozing off. His guys were going nuts.

The ruckus got the chief’s attention. “What’s going on? What are they saying?” he asked.

The deputy translated the excited shrieks from the trackers. It seemed the Red Crescent team had been headed back to the Tibesti Hotel when they were ambushed by a half dozen Toyota pickups with .50-caliber machine guns mounted on the beds.

The militia guys forced the Iranians to get out, cuffed them, then bundled them into a pair of Jeep Cherokees and sped off.

Our guys decided it was more prudent not to follow them, he said.

So they’re gone, the chief said. That’s it. Kidnapped.

Based on information that came in later, the station chief and his deputy assumed the Iranians had been kidnapped in some Sunni-Shia dispute and were being held until they could be shipped back to Tehran.

But, what they didn’t know, per Timmerman’s sources, is that the Iranians were intercepting the CIA annex’s communications and knew we were on to them, so they staged the kidnapping of their team as a bluff, to make us think their operation was thwarted by sectarian rivalries. And it worked; the CIA station chief and his deputy bought it. In other words, we knew what the Iranians were up to, they knew we knew, but we didn’t know that they knew we knew. And that allowed them to play us for suckers, get us off our guard, and for their proxies in Ansar al Sharia (again, per Timmerman) to carry out the attacks on September, 2012. Which, by the way, the Iranians had changed to a straight “kill the ambassador” operation, since we had blown the cover of their original kidnapping squad.

Is it true? The trouble with Timmerman’s account is that it relies on anonymous sources. That’s not surprising in intelligence work, but it makes it impossible for the average person to verify.

On the other hand, I do find it at least plausible. The Iranians have considered themselves at war with us since 1979, a war we’ve only fitfully recognized. They were responsible for the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, and there’s widespread opinion that they were somehow involved in the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996 (1). Iran has killed and maimed hundreds, if not thousands of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, via the IEDs they supplied their proxies in both places. That a commander as daring and dedicated to his cause as Qassem Suleymani appears to be might order a hit on his enemy’s embassy is not outside the bounds of reason, however.

I suppose, until and if the Iranian government falls and their records become available, this will remain one of the mysteries of the shadow war between the US and Iran.

Footnote:
(1) This was later also attributed to al Qaeda, but there’s nothing that says Iran and bin Laden couldn’t have been working together.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) #Benghazi — why it matters

June 19, 2014

Aside from owing a true accounting to the memories of the dead lost there and their survivors, the truth about the Benghazi massacre matters because of two words: “competence” and “character.”  Bill Whittle explains:

Remember, one of the two top American officials mentioned in the video plainly desires to be President of the United States. Ignore the faux-outrage of her supporters; questions about Hillary Clinton’s conduct, competence, and character before, during, and after the attack are absolutely appropriate.

And the answers should disqualify her from office.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi attackers used State Dept. phones the night of the attack

June 12, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

And we overheard them doing it. If anyone still believes Hillary’s story about blaming a YouTube video based on the best information they had at the time, that person is either dumber than a rock, or hoping for a job in a possible Hillary administration.

Via Bret Baier and James Rosen:

The terrorists who attacked the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 used cell phones, seized from State Department personnel during the attacks, and U.S. spy agencies overheard them contacting more senior terrorist leaders to report on the success of the operation, multiple sources confirmed to Fox News.

The disclosure is important because it adds to the body of evidence establishing that senior U.S. officials in the Obama administration knew early on that Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and not a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam video that had gone awry, as the administration claimed for several weeks after the attacks.

Eric Stahl, who recently retired as a major in the U.S. Air Force, served as commander and pilot of the C-17 aircraft that was used to transport the corpses of the four casualties from the Benghazi attacks – then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, information officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods – as well as the assault’s survivors from Tripoli to the safety of an American military base in Ramstein, Germany.

In an exclusive interview on Fox News’ “Special Report,” Stahl said members of a CIA-trained Global Response Staff who raced to the scene of the attacks were “confused” by the administration’s repeated implication of the video as a trigger for the attacks, because “they knew during the attack…who was doing the attacking.” Asked how, Stahl told anchor Bret Baier: “Right after they left the consulate in Benghazi and went to the [CIA] safehouse, they were getting reports that cell phones, consulate cell phones, were being used to make calls to the attackers’ higher ups.”

Funny, but the Accountability Review Board Secretary Clinton set up after the Benghazi massacre never interviewed Mr Stahl, nor, as far as I know, anyone else who might have knowledge of this. Odd oversight for them to make, isn’t it?

Remember, late on the night of the attack, right after a phone call with the president, Clinton released a statement blaming a video for the attack. She then swore before the caskets of the honored dead returning from Benghazi –and to the faces of their family members– that she would see that video maker brought to justice. She and her boss, the President of the United States, later still made a commercial for Pakistani TV denouncing the video. To this day, in her recently release memoirs, Hillary Clinton defends that claim as being based on the best intelligence we had available at the time.

And yet, if this story is true, we now know we had overheard the enemy calling their leaders and reporting a successful operation. Not a demonstration that got out of control, but an attack.

And, again, they knew that night.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had evidence that State and the White House knew that evening what was really happening, but this is explosive and, if it holds up, should destroy any remnant of Lady MacBeth’s credibility.

As I’ve said before, the only intended target for this deception could have been us. Not the enemy. In addition to getting the truth for its own sake, we the voters need to ask ourselves a question: Do we really want as president someone who not only and so casually lies to us, but to bereaved families?

I can’t wait for these hearings to get started.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Democrats’ rationale for boycotting the #Benghazi committee just died

May 13, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

Oh, they might still try it, though I think they’d be dumb to do so (1), especially when Obama’s former Secretary of Defense and Deputy Director of the CIA say they welcome it:

But Panetta and Morell, noting the attack has been subject to many investigations already, said they welcome the latest one in the House.

“If you look at the polling numbers a not insignificant percentage of the American people still have questions,” Morell said.

Morell, who said he already has testified four times about Benghazi, said he is 100 percent confident the upcoming investigation will show that allegations “the intelligence community politicized its analysis” are false.

Panetta, a former Central Coast congressman and Democratic Party stalwart, said there needs to be an investigation to lay out the full story to the public. “The problem has been sometimes bits and pieces of information keep coming out” that raise more questions, he said.

“Obviously there is a concern whether it’s going to be a political effort to target an issue for a campaign,” Panetta said. “I hope Democrats participate, and it really is a legitimate effort.”

Spoken like two men who have nothing to hide, or at least think they can come through the hearings relatively unscathed. It also makes it very difficult for the White House and State to continue to denounce the committee as a farce or a political stunt (2) when two key former officials say “fine by me.” Given the questions about Obama and Clinton’s actions (or non-actions) with regard to Benghazi, continued resistance may well convince more and more people that there really is something to hide.

One other thing to bear in mind: there’s been friction between the White House (and to a lesser extent State) and the intelligence and military communities for years. One has to wonder if the latter aren’t relishing the opportunity for a little payback.

via Power Line

Footnote:
(1) Come on, if you were Hillary Clinton or Susan Rice or Tommy “Dude” Vietor, among others, would you want to go before this committee with no allies there to at least try to cover for you? And, if you’re the Democrats, do you really want to leave the field to the Republicans, who smell blood?
(2) Of course it’s political — this is what Opposition parties do. But the key is that it is not solely political, and there are indeed very serious questions to answer.

PS: It would help if I put the update on the right post. smiley headbang wall

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) #Benghazi Rep. Gowdy asks some darned fine questions

May 8, 2014

 

"Star rising?"

“Star rising?”

It was recently announced that Congressman Trey Gowdy (R -SC), a former state and federal prosecutor, would  be heading up the forthcoming House Select Committee on the Benghazi massacre. Quite a few of us have been cheering his selection, because, since the massacre, he has shown himself to be a master of the issues at stake and a dogged questioner, unlike most of the so-called press.

And speaking of the press, and courtesy of my blog-buddy ST and Kat McKinley, here’s video of Rep. Gowdy posing some questions to the press. Consider this an appetizer for the main course to come:

Let’s hope, for the sake of an honest media, that at least some in the audience were red-faced at receiving this needed lesson.

Bring on the hearings. smiley popcorn


#Benghazi: State Dept. knew within hours that it was a terrorist attack

May 5, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

And not a demonstration. I don’t know how I missed this over the weekend (1), but the administration’s favorite investigative reporter, Sharyl Attkisson, posted this little bombshell to her site back on the 1st (via Hot Air):

Internal Emails: State Dept. Immediately Attributed Benghazi Attacks to Terrorist Group

A newly-released government email indicates that within hours of the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya; the State Department had already concluded with certainty that the Islamic militia terrorist group Ansar al Sharia was to blame.

The private, internal communication directly contradicts the message that President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated publicly over the course of the next several weeks. They often maintained that an anti-Islamic YouTube video inspired a spontaneous demonstration that escalated into violence.

The email is entitled “Libya update from Beth Jones. ” Jones was then-Assistant Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton. According to the email, Jones spoke to Libya’s Ambassador at 9:45am on Sept. 12, 2012 following the attacks.

“When [the Libyan Ambassador] said his government suspected that former Qaddafi regime elements carried out the attacks, I told him the group that conducted the attacks—Ansar Al Sharia—is affiliated with Islamic extremists,” Jones reports in the email.

There is no uncertainty assigned to the assessment, which does not mention a video or a protest. The State Department provided the email to Congress in Aug. of 2013 under special conditions that it not be publicly released at that time. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sought and received permission to release it Thursday.

“If the video was a cause, why did Beth Jones of the State Department tell the Libyan Ambassador that Ansar Al Sharia was responsible for the attack?” said Chaffetz.

Gosh, that’s a darned good question Rep. Chaffetz asks. Do you think the forthcoming House special investigative committee on the Benghazi massacre might want to ask that of Ms. Jones, too?

There’s much more in the article about the origin of the controversial “talking points” and the subsequent effort to push the false narrative about a video being the goad for the attack, but I want to draw your attention to the routing of Jones’ email. These are the people copied in:

Among those copied on the emails: Deputy Secretary William Burns; Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman; Jake Sullivan, then-Deputy Chief of Staff (now promoted to national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden); Under Secretary of State Patrick Kennedy; Cheryl Mills, then-Secretary Clinton’s Chief of Staff (now on the board of directors of the global investment firm BlackRock); and Victoria Nuland, then-State Dept. spokesperson (now promoted to Asst. Secretary of State). 

Note particularly the name of Cheryl Mills. We’ve met her before, a couple of times. A longtime Clintonista, she has the reputation of being “Hillary’s fixer.” She was also, as Attkisson reminds us, the Secretary’s chief of staff. If Mills had this information, not to mention the other bigwigs on that list, then it is inconceivable that Hillary herself did not know that it was her department’s firm opinion that the attack was caused by Ansar al Sharia. Add this to the fact that she spoke with the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya that night  and then think about her promising the bereaved relatives of the victims, just a few days later and as their bodies were being delivered home, that the US would get the video maker. (2)

This wasn’t a case of honestly believing something that turned out to be false. Hillary Clinton was lying to heartbroken people and knew she was lying.

I can’t wait for these hearings to get started. Hillary is going to find out that, at this point, the truth still makes a difference.

RELATED: More Attkisson – Did Tommy “Dude” Vietor contradict the sworn testimony of White House officials? Must-read: Andy McCarthy on the AWOL President. More McCarthy: “Why I should not be the select committee’s special counsel.” Jonah Goldberg: “Benghazi made simple.”

UPDATE: Changed the headline to be a bit more accurate.

Footnote:
(1) Sharyl really needs to get an RSS feed going for her site.
(2) In fact, the very evening of the attack, she put out a press release blaming the video, after she had talked with President Obama, a conversation the contents of which we still do not know.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: Boehner to appoint special investigating committee? UPDATE: Here we go

May 2, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, U.S. Consulate, Benghazi

At last. Just posted on Fox News:

House Speaker John Boehner is “seriously considering” appointing a special committee to probe the Benghazi attacks and an announcement from GOP leaders could come as early as Friday, sources tell Fox News.

One senior GOP source told Fox News that Boehner, who has faced pressured from rank-and-file members for months to form such a panel, is expected to go forward with the committee.

It’s unclear whether the decision is yet final. Some sources told Fox News this is a “done deal,” while others said it is “close.”

The movement comes after newly released emails raised questions about the White House role in pushing faulty claims about the attacks.

For more about the emails in question and their significance, see….

This is one of those “about danged time” moments. What was probably the back-breaker for Boehner was the revelation that the White House had withheld this email when first demanded by the House, then released it only as part of a judicial decision in a FOIA lawsuit regarding Benghazi, and then claiming it really had nothing to do with Benghazi, even though it clearly did. (And why release it as part of the documents demanded in a Benghazi lawsuit, if it had “nothing to do with Benghazi, per se” and was previously classified? And why was it classified?) This just screams “something to hide.” which is like blood in the water to Opposition politicians.

Keep in mind there are really three parts, interrelated but distinct, to the “Benghazi question:”

  1. Prior to the attack: What was the role of then-Secretary Clinton, her top aides, and the State Department in determining the level of security in Benghazi, and why wasn’t the level or protection raised, or the compound evacuated, in the face of clear warning signs? Why were no emergency-reaction assets pre-positioned nearby to come to the aid of a station in a clearly dangerous area? Defense and the White House, too, have questions to answer here.
  2. During the attack: Where exactly were President Obama and Secretary Clinton, and when? Who was calling the shots? What actions, if any, did they take that night? Who made the decision not to even attempt a rescue with assets available in Sicily and Italy? (This last question was examined by the House Armed Services committee, which found no wrongdoing, but the testimony yesterday of General Robert Lovell (ret.), Deputy Director for Intelligence for Africom, the combat command responsible for Benghazi, makes it worth reopening.)
  3. After the attack: Who came up with the largely fraudulent story about a video? Why was it pushed on the American people for weeks after the massacre, including Secretary Clinton lying to the faces of the victims’ families? Why were the reports from State Department and CIA personnel on the ground in Libya that there was no anti-video demonstration ignored? My strong suspicion is that this was done to protect Obama’s reelection and Hillary’s 2016 prospects, but we need to know a lot more.

Clearly this committee would have a lot of work to do, much of it taking a lot of time. (Remember how long the Watergate hearings took?) Even if nothing criminal occurred, the American public has a right to a full public audit of the decisions and actions of its hired help before, during, and after the crisis.

Having raised the possibility, I can’t see Boehner not going through with this, which means we can expect some televised fireworks as witnesses are called under oath and House Democrats try desperately to protect the White House.

Stock up on the popcorn. smiley popcorn

 

RELATED: Earlier posts on the Benghazi massacre.

UPDATE: It’s on. Boehner will form the committee and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) (1) is expected to lead it. Meanwhile, Issa’s House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed Secretary Kerry regarding the State Department withholding documents.

Footnote:
(1) Good choice.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: Proof of what we knew — the White House is full of lying suckweasels

April 30, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

So, more than 19 months after four Americans –including our ambassador– died at the hands of al Qaeda allies in an attack on our consulate in Benghazi, part of the truth finally comes out: the White House political operation used the story of  a video to protect President Obama reelection, sacrificing the truth, our national security interests, and any shred of decency owed the victims’ surviving families on the altar of his political needs.

Independent reporter Sharyl Attkisson has the story:

Newly-released documents reveal direct White House involvement in steering the public narrative about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, toward that of a spontaneous protest that never happened.

One of the operative documents, which the government had withheld from Congress and reporters for a year and a half, is an internal September 14, 2012 email to White House press officials from Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s Assistant and Deputy National Security Advisor. (Disclosure: Ben Rhodes is the brother of David Rhodes, the President of CBS News, where I was employed until March.)

In the email, Ben Rhodes lists as a “goal” the White House desire “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”

The email is entitled, “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET” and refers to White House involvement in preparing then-U.S.Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice for her upcoming appearance on Sunday television network political talk shows.

The Rhodes email states that another “goal” is “To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

Via Twitchy. There’s much more, so read it all.

Remember, Obama had been claiming for months that al Qaeda was “on the run,” nearly beaten. It was one of his justifications for reelection: he had crushed our mortal enemy. Then they attacked our consulate and killed our personnel, and suddenly the whole narrative was about to fall like the house of cards it was.

This wasn’t a meeting of a group meant to deal with a foreign policy crisis. No, Rhodes was heading up a political damage control team. That’s where the priority was. Not in determining how this happened, not in pursuing our enemies, and certainly not in our Head of State and Commander in Chief taking responsibility, because that might have meant handing a cudgel to the Republicans. Jim Geraghty weighs in (emphasis added):

Yes, Rhodes’s speechwriting always focused in the foreign-policy realm. He was a longtime assistant to Lee Hamilton, then joined Obama as a speechwriter in 2007. But this guy’s not an expert on Libya. There’s no way he was in any position, from Washington, to overrule the assessment of the folks on the ground. He’s a message guy. And he quickly concluded – accurately – that the administration’s obvious ill-prepared presence in Libya, and failure to organize timely rescue efforts, on the 9/11 anniversary represented a serious threat to the president’s reelection. They needed a scapegoat; the video was the best option at hand.

That included, by the way, trampling the First Amendment rights of the video maker, who was hauled off in the middle of the night and pilloried in the press to play that scapegoat.

And before anyone says things were still unclear and they really thought the attack was a spontaneous reaction to the video, check the dates. Rhodes’ email was dated the 14th; the attack happened on the 11th. By the night of the attack, within hours, they knew that it was a terrorist strike, not an out of control riot against a video:

Minutes after the American consulate in Benghazi came under assault on Sept. 11, 2012, the nation’s top civilian and uniformed defense officials — headed for a previously scheduled Oval Office session with President Obama — were informed that the event was a “terrorist attack,” declassified documents show. The new evidence raises the question of why the top military men, one of whom was a member of the president’s Cabinet, allowed him and other senior Obama administration officials to press a false narrative of the Benghazi attacks for two weeks afterward.

Gen. Carter Ham, who at the time was head of AFRICOM, the Defense Department combatant command with jurisdiction over Libya, told the House in classified testimony last year that it was him who broke the news about the unfolding situation in Benghazi to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The tense briefing — in which it was already known that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens had been targeted and had gone missing — occurred just before the two senior officials departed the Pentagon for their session with the commander in chief.

According to declassified testimony obtained by Fox News, Ham — who was working out of his Pentagon office on the afternoon of Sept. 11 — said he learned about the assault on the consulate compound within 15 minutes of its commencement, at 9:42 p.m. Libya time, through a call he received from the AFRICOM Command Center.

As I wrote at the time:

But now we have the testimony of the general in charge of the combat command responsible for Benghazi that he, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarded this as a terrorist attack — within minutes of the attack beginning! Panetta and Dempsey then went to a previously scheduled meeting with Obama at which, we’re supposed to believe, they didn’t give their boss their considered opinion? They just let him believe the massacre happened because of some video few ever saw? That they let him and his advisers go on for weeks like this, when they knew the truth?

Garbage. It is inconceivable that Obama did not know that night that our consulate had come under terrorist attack. 

And that was three days before Rhodes’ email, which can only mean this was a deliberate attempt to lie to the American people in order to save Obama’s (and Hillary’s) craven political rear ends.

No wonder they tried to keep this email secret.

RELATED: At PJM, Roger Simon says this is “worse than Watergate” and calls for impeachment.

PS: And this only answers one major question about the Benghazi massacre. Still left begging is the question of just where Obama was that night and what was his role, if he even had one. The question of Hillary’s accountability for her incompetence leading up to the disaster is a whole other matter.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: Obama lied in his Super Bowl Interview

February 3, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl (1), so I not only missed that, but Bill O’Reilly’s pre-game interview with President Obama. Given that we’re talking about two of my least favorite people in public life, I don’t think I missed much skipping this, either.

But then I came across a Washington Examiner article yesterday about the interview, specifically, the portion dealing with the massacre in Benghazi and did a double take. I couldn’t let this pass:

“That is inaccurate,” Obama said of Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly’s suggestion that the administration sought to sweep under the terrorist-nature of the attack in the final months of his 2012 re-election campaign.

“We revealed to the American people what we knew at the time,” said Obama.

In a contentious pre-Super Bowl interview with O’Reilly, Obama said early on during the attack — when then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta informed him about the assault — that U.S. officials did not tell him exactly who was involved.

“People understood at the time that something very dangerous was happening,” Obama said. “In the aftermath what became clear was the security was lax — not all the precautions that should have been taken were taken.”

This is a family show, so I can’t use the first words that came to mind, so I’ll just leave it at “Mr. President, you lie like a rug.”

Let take a little walk back in time, shall we, and see just what people knew the night that consulate was attacked:

Minutes after the American consulate in Benghazi came under assault on Sept. 11, 2012, the nation’s top civilian and uniformed defense officials — headed for a previously scheduled Oval Office session with President Obama — were informed that the event was a “terrorist attack,” declassified documents show. The new evidence raises the question of why the top military men, one of whom was a member of the president’s Cabinet, allowed him and other senior Obama administration officials to press a false narrative of the Benghazi attacks for two weeks afterward.

Gen. Carter Ham, who at the time was head of AFRICOM, the Defense Department combatant command with jurisdiction over Libya, told the House in classified testimony last year that it was him who broke the news about the unfolding situation in Benghazi to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The tense briefing — in which it was already known that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens had been targeted and had gone missing — occurred just before the two senior officials departed the Pentagon for their session with the commander in chief.

According to declassified testimony obtained by Fox News, Ham — who was working out of his Pentagon office on the afternoon of Sept. 11 — said he learned about the assault on the consulate compound within 15 minutes of its commencement, at 9:42 p.m. Libya time, through a call he received from the AFRICOM Command Center.

Emphasis added. As I asked at the time, by what logic can anyone argue that the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff would go to a meeting with the president in the midst of a crisis and not tell him what they just learned?

“Didn’t tell me exactly who was involved?” Hello? Does 9/11/12 give you a hint, sir? Or how about the weeks of threatening behavior and outright attacks on Western targets in Benghazi itself before the assault? You may not have known which exact splinter group of the local al Qaeda franchise did this, but the general affiliation was clear that night.

Oh, but later in the O’Reilly interview Obama says “any attack on a US facility is a terrorist attack.” This is the same misdirection he tried in his public statement the day after the Benghazi incident, when he talked of a generic terrorism, not the specifics of what happened that night.

The fact is that for weeks after the event, based on a hastily concocted series of talking points, the decision was made to blame a crappy video that few ever saw (2) and turn the maker, a two-bit crook whose constitutional rights were shredded, into a scapegoat to deflect blame from the administration’s incompetence.

In short, O’Reilly was right and Barack Obama, again, lied.

And still not a single one from among the attackers has paid any sort of price for killing four Americans.

PS: Yeah, yeah. I know: “Obama lied” is a redundancy.

Footnote:
(1) Thank God. Who kidnapped the Broncos and replaced them with a JV high school team?
(2) Journalist Lee Stranahan makes a persuasive argument that the video played some role and that critics dismiss it at the risk of weakening their own arguments. In my own view, however, the video was more pretext than cause.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: Lady Macbeth regrets

January 28, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

“Madame sends her regrets.”

The Democratic Party’s presidential nominee-in-waiting (1) spoke before the annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association in New Orleans last weekend and took full responsibility for the security lapses at Benghazi that led to the deaths of four Americans, including the Ambassador, saying, “I was in charge, but I put politics ahead of good sense. I failed, and now four good men are dead because of my failure.”

Wait. No, she didn’t.

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton remained vague Monday about whether she will run for president in 2016 and said the attacks on the U.S. outposts in Benghazi, Libya, were the biggest regret of her four years as the United States’ top diplomat.

Before a large crowd of politically active car dealers, Clinton, the overwhelming favorite among possible Democratic presidential contenders, discussed her signal accomplishments — notably a recommendation that U.S. commandos go into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden (2) — and her regrets.

“My biggest regret is what happened in Benghazi,” she said during a question-and-answer session after her keynote speech at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in a packed 4,000-seat room.

Four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed when militants attacked the lightly protected U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi and a better-fortified CIA base nearby on the night of Sept. 11, 2012.

“Regrets.” Pardon me while I spit. Regrets are what you send when you can’t attend a dinner party. Regret is what you feel for not asking that neat girl or guy in high school to the prom, or when you turn down a great job offer and later realize how stupid you were.

Those are things you regret.

What happened in Benghazi was an atrocity, a murderous attack on US government personnel made possible by multiple layers of serial incompetence at the State Department, including the Secretary of State, herself, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Regrets?” Try “criminal negligence.”

Instead of speaking to car dealers, Clinton should be facing a jury.

via Sister Toldjah in email

PS: Might as well get this out of the way — “What difference, at this point, does it make?” A lot, Hill. A lot.

Footnotes:
(1) In her own mind, at least.
(2) Please. I’ll give Obama credit for ordering a direct assault on bin Laden, but, let’s be real: any American president, including James Buchanan and Jimmy Carter, would have done the same. And, Hillary? You were just one adviser among many.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Consistency: Obama lied *before* #Benghazi, too

January 15, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

I know it will come to a shock to you –well, at least that portion of you that has been hiding under a rock for the last five years– but the man we chose twice to head our government lied through his teeth about taking steps to ensure our facilities in Libya were protected before September 11th, 2012.

That’s the latest revelation from newly declassified transcripts of House hearings held last spring on the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi massacre, in which four Americans died. FOX’s James Rosen reports:

On Sept. 10, 2012 — the day before Al Qaeda-linked terrorists carried out the bloody assault on the U.S. consulate and a related annex in Benghazi — the White House Press Office issued a press release entitled “Readout of the President’s Meeting with Senior Administration Officials on Our Preparedness and Security Posture on the Eleventh Anniversary of September 11th.”

A set of “Top Secret” documents obtained by Fox News reveals that the nation’s highest-ranking uniformed military officer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified to Congress in executive session last year that the Sept. 10 meeting “was actually a conference call.” Moreover, Dempsey testified, Libya was never even discussed during the call, despite a persistent and increasingly worrisome stream of threat reporting from that country, and from Benghazi in particular.

The Sept. 10 press release stated that the session had covered the “specific measures we are taking” and “steps taken” to protect Americans and U.S. facilities abroad. It also related an order from President Obama for all agencies to “do everything possible to protect the American people, both at home and abroad.”

Yet the declassified documents show that Dempsey testified to the Congress last year that not a single directive had been issued by him or Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to adjust American military force posture anywhere in the world as the 9/11 anniversary loomed just hours away.

(Emphases added.)

In other words, this was all showboating to preserve the narrative that al Qaeda was on the run and to protect the President’s reelection campaign. That “order” quoted above is the kind of grandstanding one would expect from a cheap pol — which is what Obama is.The proof is in his administration’s deeds, not its words, and, in the run up to September 11th, 2012, with regard to Benghazi, his administration’s deeds show Barack Obama did nothing.

Except lie to the American people about it.

Just to draw a line under the point that the administration had ample warning that trouble was brewing in Benghazi, but chose to ignore their duty, let me quote another section that relates the testimony of Marine Colonel George Bristol (1):

Still another high-ranking military officer with relevant jurisdiction also told the House Armed Services subcommittee that his own expressions of concern about Libya were effectively ignored in that critical period. Marine Corps Col. George Bristol, commander of AFRICOM’s Joint Special Operations Task Force for the Trans Sahara region, testified before the panel in executive session on July 31 of last year that he warned State Department officials in Tripoli that “if [the terrorists] were going to try something … this would be a day.” Asked by Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., if he had seen “any intelligence” that led him to believe “there was an increased threat on 9/11,” Bristol replied, “Yes, sir.”

BRISTOL: “Did they take individual security measures inside of the Libyan embassy [sic]? Sir, that I do not know.”

WITTMAN: “But you did have conversations with folks there [at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli]?”

BRISTOL: “Yes, sir.”

[...]

WITTMAN: “In your professional opinion, based on that, were you somewhat uncomfortable maybe, knowing about the threat, that that was the posture then that was going to be there within that theater?”

BRISTOL: “Sir, I — yes, and that wasn’t the only country that I was worried about that.”

This supports what we already knew, that the administration had ample warning. As I wrote late last November:

The central issue here, however, is the incompetence bordering on malfeasance on the part of both Hillary Clinton and President Obama. The State Department under Clinton was almost bloody-minded in its refusal to provide adequate security for a post that was effectively in daily contact with the enemy. And President Obama failed utterly in his duties to oversee our interests in a nation where he had overthrown the government and created a client state. Why wasn’t he verifying that Benghazi had sufficient protection? Why didn’t he make sure there was a sufficient force on standby to come to the aid of a station in hostile territory?

Wait. What am I saying? There was fundraising to be done!

And Rosen’s report confirms what the failure to act on these warnings implied: Barack Obama really couldn’t care less about doing his job.

Footnote:
(1) We’ve met the Colonel before. You might want to review the post, since his declassified testimony shows why the DoD acted as if they couldn’t find him — his statement lays Panetta and Obama’s incompetence bare.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: Obama knew that night that it was a terrorist strike

January 14, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

And not some lousy video made by a two-bit crook.

Minutes after the American consulate in Benghazi came under assault on Sept. 11, 2012, the nation’s top civilian and uniformed defense officials — headed for a previously scheduled Oval Office session with President Obama — were informed that the event was a “terrorist attack,” declassified documents show. The new evidence raises the question of why the top military men, one of whom was a member of the president’s Cabinet, allowed him and other senior Obama administration officials to press a false narrative of the Benghazi attacks for two weeks afterward.

Gen. Carter Ham, who at the time was head of AFRICOM, the Defense Department combatant command with jurisdiction over Libya, told the House in classified testimony last year that it was him who broke the news about the unfolding situation in Benghazi to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The tense briefing — in which it was already known that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens had been targeted and had gone missing — occurred just before the two senior officials departed the Pentagon for their session with the commander in chief.

According to declassified testimony obtained by Fox News, Ham — who was working out of his Pentagon office on the afternoon of Sept. 11 — said he learned about the assault on the consulate compound within 15 minutes of its commencement, at 9:42 p.m. Libya time, through a call he received from the AFRICOM Command Center.

And on the question of whether the attack was t he result of a demonstration caused by a video, General Ham had this to say:

“In your discussions with General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta,” [Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA)] asked, “was there any mention of a demonstration or was all discussion about an attack?” Ham initially testified that there was some “peripheral” discussion of this subject, but added “at that initial meeting, we knew that a U.S. facility had been attacked and was under attack, and we knew at that point that we had two individuals, Ambassador Stevens and Mr. [Sean] Smith, unaccounted for.”

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, a first-term lawmaker with experience as an Iraq war veteran and Army reserve officer, pressed Ham further on the point, prodding the 29-year Army veteran to admit that “the nature of the conversation” he had with Panetta and Dempsey was that “this was a terrorist attack.”

So. There you go. We on the Right always knew Obama was lying about Benghazi, but apologists on the Left and in the media (but I repeat myself) kept dismissing the allegations as a witch hunt, a fishing expedition, partisan politics, and even, naturally, “racism.”

But now we have the testimony of the general in charge of the combat command responsible for Benghazi that he, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarded this as a terrorist attack — within minutes of the attack beginning! Panetta and Dempsey then went to a previously scheduled meeting with Obama at which, we’re supposed to believe, they didn’t give their boss their considered opinion? They just let him believe the massacre happened because of some video few ever saw? That they let him and his advisers go on for weeks like this, when they knew the truth?

Garbage. It is inconceivable that Obama did not know that night that our consulate had come under terrorist attack. He then lied about it repeatedly to protect his reelection campaign, pushing the lie about a video both to the nation and before the United Nations. He sent his then UN Ambassador to lie about it on no less than five Sunday talk shows. His Secretary of State, whose incompetence left those men to die in Benghazi, lied before Congress, lied to the American people, and lied to the faces of the families of the victims in order to protect her own chances at the presidency. And the video-maker they turned into a scapegoat for their own failings was rousted out of his home on a petty parole violation and tossed into jail, his constitutional rights gut-shot, a move worthy of the best Third World police states. And the whole object of the lying was to fool us, the American people.

No one else.

By all rights, news like this should destroy Obama’s presidency, leading to his resignation in disgrace. It won’t, though. Barring a truly shocking revelation, its time as a scandal has passed. The press will stay focused like a laser on traffic jams in New Jersey. But, when we weigh both this and the serial lies told to sell Obamacare, there is one lesson anyone with a still-functioning brain should draw:

Anyone who takes at face value anything said by Barack Obama or his staff is a fool.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Americans held in Libya, head-meets-desk quote. Update: released?

December 27, 2013

There’s breaking news tonight that four Americans, likely military, are in the custody of the Libyan government, having been taken during a visit to the Roman ruins at Sabratha. As of this writing, no information has been released as to any charges, and the State Department has issued no statement. (Probably wise, until we learn more.)

Reading the NYT article, I did a double-take when I read the following:

Since the attack on the United States Mission in Benghazi that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens on Sept. 11, 2012, employees of the American Embassy have operated with extraordinary caution. Rigorous security rules preclude any movements outside the heavily fortified embassy compound without advance planning and an armed guard. The compound is locked at night, and no one is permitted to enter or exit. Counterterrorism has become a central focus of the work there, and the compound brims with well-armed security officers.

Just brilliant. It takes the needless deaths of four US personnel, including an ambassador, at the hands of our sworn enemies for us to finally start providing anything resembling adequate security. Hillary Clinton’s legacy is secure, and I’m sure the souls of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods are ever so relieved.

Meanwhile, I would suggest to the Libyan government that it remember who put them in power in the first place and that, if any of these men are hurt in any way, we have long memories, and Barack Obama won’t always be president.

UPDATE: Per CNN via KCCI, the four have been released. No confirmation yet, nor any word on their condition or why they were held in the first place.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: consulate staff pleaded for help during attack

November 20, 2013
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

It’s enough to make one want to punch a wall in frustration:

State Department employees at the Benghazi compound knew they were in a death trap and made a series of radio distress calls to the CIA annex during the terror assault last year, according to congressional sources familiar with recent testimony on the attack from five CIA personnel.

Sources told Fox News that the radio calls, which were described in closed testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, were characterized as almost frantic, with State Department employees who knew they could not defend themselves “pleading” for their lives.

Let me interrupt for a moment to state something we all know in our hearts is true: If this had happened under George W. Bush, those Americans would not have had to beg for help. The operatives at the Annex would not have been told to stand down and they would not have had to defy orders in order to help those trapped at the consulate. Whatever his other failings, Bush understood a commander-in-chief’s  duties.

Unlike certain other Savior-Presidents I can think of.

Back to the story:

When the CIA team arrived from the annex about a mile away, they found the State Department employees without guns that could adequately protect them; one of the agents was found hiding in the consulate, apparently in a closet. The testimony lends more weight to repeated claims, in the wake of the attack, that the consulate was not adequately protected despite being located in a volatile and violent area prone to attack.

When the CIA personnel were asked for their reaction to the administration’s initial explanation that an anti-Islam video and a demonstration gone awry were to blame for the attack, Fox News is told they were seething with anger because everything on the ground — from their perspective — showed it was a premeditated attack.

At least three of the five — who were all in Benghazi — responded to the scene that night. The witnesses testified that five mortars rained down on the annex in less than a minute. They pointed to those details as more evidence of a professionally trained team, describing the attack on the annex as akin to a professional hit on the operation in order to drive it out of Benghazi.

Emphasis added. Be sure to read the rest. The testimony of the CIA personnel comports with the analysis given by Lt. Col. Wood in the now-retracted “60 Minutes” story on Benghazi. It also supports the contention of Dylan Davies, the British security specialist at the center of the “60 Minutes” controversy, that the consulate, located in a known al Qaeda recruiting area, was woefully insecure in spite of repeated requests to Washington for upgrades.

An article from yesterday, also by Catherine Herridge, raises new questions about the role of former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, whose testimony in 2012 was strongly contradicted by that of the survivors of the battle:

This testimony is seen by lawmakers as more overwhelming evidence that the attack was premeditated terrorism and that these facts were known almost immediately by then-CIA Director David Petraeus – who downplayed the skill and planning needed to use mortars with such accuracy during his Sept. 14, 2012 briefing to Congress.

Somehow, I think the relevant committees of the House will have new questions for the disgraced war hero.

The central issue here, however, is the incompetence bordering on malfeasance on the part of both Hillary Clinton and President Obama. The State Department under Clinton was almost bloody-minded in its refusal to provide adequate security for a post that was effectively in daily contact with the enemy. And President Obama failed utterly in his duties to oversee our interests in a nation where he had overthrown the government and created a client state. Why wasn’t he verifying that Benghazi had sufficient protection? Why didn’t he make sure there was a sufficient force on standby to come to the aid of a station in hostile territory?

Wait. What am I saying? There was fundraising to be done!

Obama, Clinton, and their immediate advisers are absolute disgraces to their offices and an embarrassment to the nation. We’re stuck with Obama until January, 2017, but Hillary Clinton should be confronted with her catastrophic incompetence at every chance until she is finally and thankfully hounded from public life.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: attackers knew where the “secret” safe room was

November 15, 2013
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

Inside job

As if we needed more proof that there was no way this was the product of some “spontaneous” demonstration in protest against a video hardly anyone saw, one of the survivors has testified that the jihadis knew their way around the compound, including where the ambassador’s “safe room” was:

The terrorists who attacked the Benghazi consulate last year knew the location of the safe room where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his security team sought shelter, according to a congressman who spoke for 90 minutes with the diplomatic security agent severely injured in the assault.

“He confirmed this – that it was a very well orchestrated, and well organized, almost a military operation, using military weapons and using military signals,” the late Florida Rep. Bill Young said after meeting diplomatic security agent David Ubben at Walter Reed Medical Center last summer, when both were patients there.

After Young’s death in mid-October, his widow, Beverly Young, gave Fox permission to use her husband’s comments about the Sep. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the record. The congressman had originally spoken to Fox on background last summer.

“He (Ubben) emphasized the fact that it was a very, very military type of operation they had knowledge of almost everything in the compound,” Young explained. “They knew where the gasoline was, they knew where the generators were, they knew where the safe room was, they knew more than they should have about that compound.”

Now, how could they have known that?

An August 16 classified cable, reviewed and reported on by Fox News last fall, showed there was an emergency meeting in Benghazi less than a month before the attack due to rapidly deteriorating security. The cable warned the office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (1), and other State Department leaders in Washington, that the consulate could not sustain a coordinated assault.

The cable also reflected a grave concern among officials on the ground that the Libyan militia charged with protecting the consulate had been compromised, perhaps even infiltrated by extremists.

Don’t forget, that unit, the 17 February Brigade, melted away when the attack started. Wouldn’t want to get in their friends’ way, after all.

Ubben’s testimony supports the contention of LtC. Wood in the controversial “60 Minutes” interview that this was a well-planned, coordinated, professional assault.

Barack Obama’s largely avoided the consequences of Benghazi; barring compelling evidence of collaboration with the enemy, he won’t be impeached for it, though I suspect his dereliction that night warrants it.

However, Hillary Clinton is just as culpable, if not more so. The moronic “go softly” policy we undertook in Libya, to the extent of hiring local militias for security in a known al Qaeda recruiting zone, was hers. The failure to correct the security flaws were hers. The failure to press for sufficient forces pre-placed to launch a rescue mission in the event of attack was hers. And many of the lies told in the aftermath, including to the families of the fallen, were hers.

She was an incompetent, blundering, dishonest and dishonorable failure as Secretary of State and should never, ever come anywhere near the presidency. We can only hope that those investigating the events of September 11, 2012, in Benghazi keep digging and find enough to ruin whatever political future she has left.

That would at least be a measure of justice for the four Americans who died there.

via JWF.

Footnote:
(1) Who therefore lied about never having seen cables about security risks in Benghazi. Yet another example of the Sgt. Schultz administration in action.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: about that 60 minutes retraction

November 11, 2013
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a 60 Minutes report that appeared to blow large holes in the Obama administration’s story about what happened the night of September 11th, 2012, when our consulate in Benghazi was attacked and four Americans, including he ambassador, were killed. The report featured, but wasn’t solely based on, the testimony of “Morgan Jones,” the pseudonym of Dylan Davies, a security contractor employed by the Blue Mountain Group who had claimed to be at the compound while it was under attack and to have seen Ambassador Stevens body in the hospital in Benghazi.

About a week later, the story blew up in “60 Minutes” and journalist Lara Logan’s face when it became evident that there were serious questions about Davies’ credibility. CBS rapidly retracted their story and profusely apologized:

The correspondent for the disputed “60 Minutes’’ segment about the attack on the United States Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year apologized on the air Friday morning, saying it was a “mistake’’ to put on a security officer whose credibility has since been undermined by his diverging accounts of his actions that night.

The correspondent, Lara Logan, said on “CBS This Morning’’ that the news division was misled by the officer, adding, “We will apologize to our viewers, and we will correct the record on our broadcast on Sunday night.”

The apology followed disclosure by The New York Times on Thursday evening that the security contractor, Dylan Davies, had provided the F.B.I. an account that contradicted a version of events he provided in a recently published book and in the interview with “60 Minutes,” which was broadcast on Oct. 27.

Mr. Davies told the F.B.I. that he was not on the scene until the morning after the attack.

This was humiliating for Logan, “60 Minutes,” and CBS, the latter of which was still smarting from the Dan Rather “fake but true” scandal of 2004. They had been working on the story for a year, yet somehow missed FBI reports that called his claims into serious question. With the apology and retraction, that should put an end to this aspect of the story.

But something keeps bugging me.

This cave-in by CBS happened awfully fast, like a sand castle crumbling before a wave. Davies wasn’t by any means the only source for the story, nor even the most important — just the most dramatic, and hence his leading story in the video report. (The video has been withdrawn by CBS, but you can review the transcript at RCP) But also interviewed were Greg Hicks, the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya on the night of the attack, and Lt. Col. Andy Wood, a Green Beret based in Tripoli at the time of the attack. Were their stories invalidated in any way? Frankly, no. In fact, Woods’ testimony corroborates what Davies had said about the looming danger in Benghazi and that people knew something was going to happen:

The last time he went to Benghazi was in June, just three months before the attack. While he was there, al Qaeda tried to assassinate the British ambassador. Wood says, to him, it came as no surprise because al Qaeda — using a familiar tactic — had stated their intent in an online posting, saying they would attack the Red Cross, the British and then the Americans in Benghazi.

Lara Logan: And you watched as they–

Andy Wood: As they did each one of those.

Lara Logan: –attacked the Red Cross and the British mission. And the only ones left–

Andy Wood: Were us. They made good on two out of the three promises. It was a matter of time till they captured the third one.

Lara Logan: And Washington was aware of that?

Andy Wood: They knew we monitored it. We included that in our reports to both State Department and DOD.

Andy Wood told us he raised his concerns directly with Amb. Stevens three months before the U.S. compound was overrun.

Regarding Davies own story, the fabricated part, if any, seems to be the description of his own heroics — entering the compound, fighting a terrorist, and sneaking into an al Qaeda-controlled hospital where he found Ambassador Stevens corpse. Perhaps he was trying to pump sales his now-recalled book and lay the groundwork for a movie deal.

But, the important parts, about the security problems in Benghazi and the question of American awareness of the danger, are seemingly unchallenged. Why then did CBS and Logan surrender so quickly? Why didn’t they say they’d “get to the bottom of this” and then figure out which parts were true and which not? As it stands, they’ve created a problem for anyone who questions the official account of what happened that night.

Journalist Lee Stranahan wondered similar things and points out that the FBI people who disputed Davies’s story have never been identified and that the effort to discredit Davies was being pushed by Media Matter’s For America, a hard-left media house that devoted itself to seeing Hillary Clinton elected President.

Clinton was Secretary of State on the night of the attack.

Stranahan reviews a long list of data from Logan’s report that’s not in dispute. Here are a few:

  • Quick reaction force from the CIA Annex ignored orders to wait and raced to the compound and repelled a force of as many as 60 armed terrorists and managed to save five American lives and recover the body of Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith
  • The same force that had gone to the compound was now defending the CIA Annex. Hours later, they were joined by a small team of Americans from Tripoli.
  • Wood: attack required “Coordination, planning, training, experienced personnel. They practice those things. They knew what they were doing. That was a– that was a well-executed attack.”
  • Two Delta Force operators who fought at the Annex and they’ve since been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cros
  •  Hicks told no help coming “”Listen, you’ve gotta tell those guys there may not be any help coming.”

So, why did CBS surrender so fast? Forgive my indulgence in a little bit of speculation, but could the fact that the brother of the head of CBS News works in the White House on the National Security Council and was a central figure in the revising of the controversial Benghazi talking points be significant?

Nah. Must be a coincidence.

RELATED: More Stranahan on Davies and that FBI interview. Did Congress know?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: “60 Minutes” report devastates administration lies

October 28, 2013
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

The Obama administration had plenty of warning that  something was coming and did nothing. That’s the upshot of this CBS video report that aired last night on 60 Minutes. The men interviewed by reporter Lara Logan, British security specialist “Morgan Jones” (a pseudonym), Green Beret LTC Andy Wood, who was among the top US security official in Libya at the time, and Greg Hicks, who was the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya and who testified before Congress about the massacre, absolutely lay waste to the administration’s early claims about Benghazi. Here’s Morgan on security at the American compound:

Contrary to the White House’s public statements, which were still being made a full week later, it’s now well established that the Americans were attacked by al Qaeda in a well-planned assault.

Five months before that night, Morgan Jones first arrived in Benghazi, in eastern Libya about 400 miles from the capital, Tripoli.

He thought this would be an easy assignment compared to Afghanistan and Iraq. But on his first drive through Benghazi, he noticed the black flags of al Qaeda flying openly in the streets and he grew concerned about the guard forces as soon as he pulled up to the U.S. compound.

Morgan Jones: There was nobody there that we could see. And then we realized they were all inside drinking tea, laughing and joking.

Lara Logan: What did you think?

Morgan Jones: Instantly I thought we’re going to have to get rid of all these guys.

Morgan Jones’ job was training the unarmed guards who manned the compound’s gates. A second Libyan force — an armed militia hired by the State Department — was supposed to defend the compound in the event of an attack. Morgan had nothing to do with the militia, but they worried him so much, he could not keep quiet.

Morgan Jones: I was saying, “These guys are no good. You need to– you need to get ‘em out of here.”

Lara Logan: You also kept saying, “If this place is attacked these guys are not going to stand and fight?”

Morgan Jones: Yeah. I used to say it all the time. Yeah, in the end I got quite bored of hearing my own voice saying it.

And lest you doubt Jones’ chops, he sneaked into an al Qaeda-controlled Benghazi hospital to verify that Ambassador Stevens’ corpse was indeed there. So we know that for months people whose job was “security” were warning the ambassador and State about the dangers. Stevens himself sought out Jones, concerned about the safety of the station.

And State and the White House did nothing.

Next was Colonel Wood, who verified Morgan’s account to show everyone knew something was brewing:

The last time he went to Benghazi was in June, just three months before the attack. While he was there, al Qaeda tried to assassinate the British ambassador. Wood says, to him, it came as no surprise because al Qaeda — using a familiar tactic — had stated their intent in an online posting, saying they would attack the Red Cross, the British and then the Americans in Benghazi.

Lara Logan: And you watched as they–

Andy Wood: As they did each one of those.

Lara Logan: –attacked the Red Cross and the British mission. And the only ones left–

Andy Wood: Were us. They made good on two out of the three promises. It was a matter of time till they captured the third one.

Wood repeatedly warned the embassy and Washington, but, in D.C., the warnings went unheeded. Wood also pointed out why this could not have been a spontaneous mob action, the crap story the administration was pushing in the days after the massacre. Discussing the later battle at the CIA annex where two former Navy Seals were killed, Wood spoke of the precision of the enemy attack:

Lara Logan: They hit that roof three times.

Andy Wood: They, they hit those roofs three times.

Lara Logan: In the dark.

Andy Wood: Yea, that’s getting the basketball through the hoop over your shoulder.

Lara Logan: What does it take to pull off an attack like that?

Andy Wood: Coordination, planning, training, experienced personnel. They practice those things. They knew what they were doing. That was a– that was a well-executed attack.

Kind of kills the “a You Tube video caused it” story, too, doesn’t it?

Finally, there is a portion of the testimony of Greg Hicks I want to highlight. Discussing how he felt about the failure to render aid during the battle, he said:

Lara Logan: You have this conversation with the defense attache. You ask him what military assets are on their way. And he says–

Greg Hicks: Effectively, they’re not. And I– for a moment, I just felt lost. I just couldn’t believe the answer. And then I made the call to the Annex chief, and I told him, “Listen, you’ve gotta tell those guys there may not be any help coming.”

Lara Logan: That’s a tough thing to understand. Why?

Greg Hicks: It just is. We–, for us, for the people that go out onto the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they’re coming to get us. That our back is covered. To hear that it’s not, it’s a terrible, terrible experience.

And you can bet that same dread went through the minds of every Foreign Service officer and every soldier stationed around the world: “If they didn’t come for Chris Stevens and the others, will they come for me?”

Much of this, of course, is known to those of us who’ve followed this scandal from the beginning. But, thanks to a generally pliant media, the White House and the State Department’s stonewalling has been successful.

The 60 Minutes report isn’t perfect –left uncovered are the myriad questions about Obama and Clinton’s actions that night and the subsequent cover up, as well as the reasons for the lack of a rescue mission– but CBS and Logan are to be commended for finally getting this out in front of the general public.

One wishes this had come out a year ago.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Shameful: Democrats leave hearing before testimony of #Benghazi victims’ families

September 19, 2013
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

Katie Pavlich nails it: It’s spitting on their graves.

During the second portion of a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing about Benghazi Thursday on Capitol Hill, the majority of Democrats on the Committee left the room and refused to listen to the testimony of Patricia Smith and Charles Woods. Ms. Smith is the mother of Sean Smith, an information management officer killed in the 9/11 Benghazi attack. Charles Woods is the father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was also killed.

Click through for a photo.

Is it too much to ask for even a modicum of decency?

via JWF

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi: One year later, and they don’t give a damn

September 12, 2013
"Forget honor. What about justice?"

“US consulate, Benghazi. Remember?”

Yesterday was not only the anniversary of the September 11th, 2001, attacks on the United States, but it was also the first anniversary of the massacre in Benghazi, where our ambassador and three other Americans were slaughtered by al Qaeda-aligned Muslims waging jihad.

At NRO’s Campaign Spot, Jim Geraghty notes that the crowd that once shouted “Bush lied, people died!” doesn’t seem to care all that much about blatant, obvious lies coming from the Obama administration:

Don’t they care that our ambassador and his team were sent to a facility with ludicrously insufficient security?

Don’t they care to know whether something could have been done that night to save those men, and if so, why a rescue mission wasn’t launched? Look at a map. This is a Libyan city on a coast, facing the Mediterranean, south of Europe and all of our NATO allies. Less than a year earlier, we had been running a major multinational combat operation right there…

Don’t they care that the explanation offered by our government was false? These folks who screamed “Bush Lied, People Died” from 2003 to 2008 now shrug about lies about how and why Americans were killed.

Don’t they care that despite Obama’s pledge that “justice will be done,” no one has been caught, jailed, or executed for their role in the attack?

No, actually, they don’t. That’s because most of the Left (with a few exceptions) didn’t really care about war in Afghanistan and Iraq; what mattered then was the party of the president and the majority in Congress. What mattered was power at any cost, putting the parochial political interests of the Democratic Party ahead of the nation (1) and, yes, truth itself.

Now that there’s a (D) after the president’s name, well… that’s different! Libya? Four dead Americans? Jaw-dropping incompetence? People died, Obama lied? (2)

Meh.

Footnotes:
(1) I will never, ever forgive that wretch Harry Reid (D-NV) for undercutting troops in the field by claiming “The war is lost” just as the Surge operation was about to begin in Iraq.
(2) Not only Obama, but Hillary Clinton, Jay Carney, Susan Rice, and so many more….

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Before we attack #Syria, let’s look at Libya, shall we?

September 5, 2013

If Obama wants to launch us into another humanitarian intervention against an Arab dictator (1), perhaps we all should look at how his last Big Adventure turned out? That would be in Libya, where, according to The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn, things have gone from bad to God-awful:

A little under two years ago, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, urged British businessmen to begin “packing their suitcases” and to fly to Libya to share in the reconstruction of the country and exploit an anticipated boom in natural resources.

Yet now Libya has almost entirely stopped producing oil as the government loses control of much of the country to militia fighters.

Mutinying security men have taken over oil ports on the Mediterranean and are seeking to sell crude oil on the black market. Ali Zeidan, Libya’s Prime Minister, has threatened to “bomb from the air and the sea” any oil tanker trying to pick up the illicit oil from the oil terminal guards, who are mostly former rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi and have been on strike over low pay and alleged government corruption since July.

Sweet. Our intervention there was so successful that the Prime Minister is threatening to bomb his own ports. Oil production, Libya’s only source of revenue, has cratered to a tenth of what it had been prior to the intervention, denying the government the revenue it needs to maintain forces to control the country. Far from governing Libya, this gelded government can barely control its own capital, Tripoli:

Rule by local militias is also spreading anarchy around the capital. Ethnic Berbers, whose militia led the assault on Tripoli in 2011, temporarily took over the parliament building in Tripoli. The New York-based Human Rights Watch has called for an independent investigation into the violent crushing of a prison mutiny in Tripoli on 26 August in which 500 prisoners had been on hunger strike. The hunger strikers were demanding that they be taken before a prosecutor or formally charged since many had been held without charge for two years.

The government called on the Supreme Security Committee, made up of former anti-Gaddafi militiamen nominally under the control of the interior ministry, to restore order. At least 19 prisoners received gunshot shrapnel wounds, with one inmate saying “they were shooting directly at us through the metal bars”. There have been several mass prison escapes this year in Libya including 1,200 escaping from a prison after a riot in Benghazi in July.

In short, after overthrowing Qaddafi, a tyrannical cross-dressing nut-job who, nonetheless, kept order and worked with us, we and our allies left Libya to its own devices, apparently doing squat-all to strengthen the central government. Instead, we patted ourselves on the back, picked up our toys, and left the place to torn apart by various tribal and jihadist militias.

Read the whole thing; it’s  a searing indictment of the incompetence of the British, French, and especially the American governments. The lack of any planning or even simple foresight about what to do after “we won” is stunning. If the Bush Administration could be justly criticized (2) for not properly planning for the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, then the Obama administration’s failure to do even rudimentary post-war preparation is a blazing sign of incompetence. At least the Bush people had a plan, bad as it was. The yo-yos of Team Smart Power couldn’t even be bothered to scratch one out on a cocktail napkin.

And now they want to intervene in Syria.

But, don’t worry. I’m sure the Obama people have learned their lesson, gamed out the various possibilities in Syria after we intervene in order not to be mocked, and made plans for each contingency.

And I’m also Napoleon.

While Congress considers granting permission for this humanitarian intervention, they’d be advised to take a close look at the results of the last one.

RELATED: Andrew McCarthy on the people John McCain thinks we should help in Syria. Oh, yeah. It’s Libya all over again. Stanley Kurtz on Samantha Powers, one of Obama’s foreign policy guru’s, our current UN Ambassador, and one of the main architects of the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine of humanitarian military intervention. For an encore, Kurtz asks a rhetorical question: Shall we now retake Libya in the name of humanitarianism? Here’s an excerpt from his answer:

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda factions driven out of Mali by the French make their home in Libya’s southern desert, armed with weapons plundered from Qaddafi’s arsenals. Other arms, and no doubt Islamist fighters as well, flow to the rebel forces in Syria, strengthening precisely those elements that most threaten our counterweight to Assad. A year ago, Senators McCain and Graham repeatedly cited our apparent success in Libya as a model for intervention in Syria. They haven’t mentioned it lately.

Footnote:
(1) I can see a case for intervening, but I think the bulk of the good argument is against it. But that’s not out of any sympathy or liking for Assad, whom I think should be strung up from a lamp post. If he’s lucky.
(2) As I’ve said, I did and do support the liberation of Iraq under Bush. But, there’s no arguing that the post-war occupation and reconstruction was poorly planned, and for that they deserve criticism.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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