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Tag Archives: Benghazi
FOX news is reporting that some of the whistleblower witness names have been revealed:
Appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be three career State Department officials: Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks.
Liberty Speaks put together a list of potential names last month after Darrell Issa fired his warning shot for various agencies to ‘lawyer up’. Our list is based on the staff list in Tripoli from 9/12/12 and from the various cables made public.
Hicks is on the list of staff for Tripoli, Thompson and Nordstrom are not. Also, neither Nordstrom nor Hicks appears in either the alphabetical bio listing or ‘other bio’ listings at the State Department site. Not surprising on Nordstrom, but isn’t Hicks supposed to be a diplomat? I can’t find Hicks by title either. More on Hicks low visibility at the State Department below.
Here is what we have so far: Continue reading
In an advance issue of The Weekly Standard titled The Benghazi Talking Points, Stephen Hayes lays out new evidence that members of the Obama administration actively lied about who was responsible for the death of four Americans. The Weekly Standard has obtained emails detailing how high level officials made changes to the CIA talking points, effectively erasing Al Qaeda from the picture.
“The discussions involved senior officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the White House.”
This is a very detailed and long article with a lot of unwritten questions in it. Questions I will pose here, so I urge you to read it all before proceeding with the remained of this post.
In the first page of the article, Hayes says that there were emails turned over that had ‘stipulations’. The section, with emphasis added:
“The White House provided the emails to members of the House and Senate intelligence committees for a limited time and with the stipulation that the documents were available for review only and would not be turned over to the committees. The White House and committee leadership agreed to that arrangement as part of a deal that would keep Republican senators from blocking the confirmation of John Brennan, the president’s choice to run the CIA. If the House report provides an accurate and complete depiction of the emails, it is clear that senior administration officials engaged in a wholesale rewriting of intelligence assessments about Benghazi in order to mislead the public.”
Why an emphasis on Brennan? This administration has stonewalled, lied and spun Benghazi for over seven months. Suddenly now they turn these emails over, making Brennan part of the deal? Of all the things the White House could ask for, they ask for Brennan to be confirmed for CIA? Why? Was it to ensure that someone would be in place to protect this administration’s narrative on Benghazi and the President’s alleged non-role in decision making that night?
Bear in mind that the active head of the CIA at the time of the attacks was Petraeus. The scandal surrounding Petraeus’ affair was kept on the backburner until after the election, but put into public view last year on November 7th when Petraeus resigned. It it plausible the timing was coincidence, however more likely the administration wished to keep him from testifying, as well as keep Benghazi out of the limelight until after the election – although he did testify at a later date. By then the media had everyone focused on the scandal and not Petraeus’ role at the CIA and Benghazi.
In fact, it was Mike Morrell who would end up testifying for Petraeus in closed door sessions first – the same one that The Weekly Standard article cites as being the one who changed the talking points: Continue reading
The Interim Progress report on the attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 was published today. You can read the full report via The Hill. The write up of the report by The Hill hits the nail on the head in the title, GOP Benghazi Report Blames Clinton.
The 46-page report accused Clinton — a possible White House contender in 2016 — of seeking to cover up failures by the State Department that could have contributed to the attack last year that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
The report, compiled by five House panels after a seven-month investigation, said Clinton approved reductions in security levels prior to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, contradicting Clinton’s testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Jan. 23.
“Senior State Department officials knew that the threat environment in Benghazi was high and that the Benghazi compound was vulnerable and unable to withstand an attack, yet the Department continued to systematically withdraw security personnel,” the report states.
“Repeated requests for additional security were denied at the highest levels of the State Department,” it said. “For example, an April 2012 State Department cable bearing Secretary Hillary Clinton’s signature acknowledged then-Ambassador [Gene] Cretz’s formal request for additional security assets but ordered the withdrawal of security elements to proceed as planned.”
There’s more, read the whole thing.
Maggie’s Notebook cuts to the chase, highlighting Hillary Clinton indeed did see the cables requesting more security and that it would appear she lied in her testimony about them.
One of the huge questions, among so many huge questions, has been why Benghazi did not have sufficient security after specifically requesting more at least several times. Now we know the answer. Secretary of Hillary Clinton not only saw the request from Benghazi, she signed the request and then denied it. My second question is who, if anyone, told former SEALs Woods and Dohoerty to “stand down.” If it’s there, I missed it. I outlined some things from the report that I found especially interesting. Read the report in full here.
PAGE 7: However, in a cable signed by Secretary Clinton in April 2012, the State Department settled on a plan to scale back security assets for the U.S. Mission in Libya, including Benghazi
An ongoing Congressional investigation across five House Committees concerning the events surrounding the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya has made several determinations to date, including:
● Reductions of security levels prior to the attacks in Benghazi were approved at the highest levels of the State Department, up to and including highest levels of the State Department, up to and including Secretary Clinton. This fact contradicts her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, 2013.
● In the days following the attacks, White House and senior State Department officials altered accurate talking points drafted by the Intelligence Community in order to protect the State Department.
● Contrary to Administration rhetoric, the talking points were not edited to protect classified information. Concern for classified information is never mentioned in email traffic among senior Administration officials.
These preliminary findings illustrate the need for continued examination and oversight by the five House Committees. The Committees will continue to review who exactly was responsible for the failure to respond to the repeated requests for more security and for the effort to cover up the nature of the attacks, so that appropriate officials will be held accountable.
Maggie does a very thorough run down of the report and of prior related testimony and timelines. Clinton also tried to blame funding for the lack of security, an item that was debunked in the beginning and re-iterated in the report. Read the whole article.
Clinton’s full testimony; relevant testimony to the cables roughly begins at the 1:35:30 mark:[youtube=http://youtu.be/fQjnPeFRTLE]
But… what difference does it make?
It makes a big difference. Continue reading
Whistleblowers have emerged in the Benghazi case.
CBS News: House investigators talking to new Benghazi whistleblowers Attkisson cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-5… via @cbsnews
— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) April 18, 2013
I am sure this will go over well, given this administration’s war on whistleblowers.
CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson filed this report:
CBS News has learned that multiple new whistleblowers are privately speaking to investigators with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya.
The nature of the communications with the whistleblowers and their identities are not being made public at this time. But in response, the Oversight Committee yesterday sent letters to the three federal agencies involved: the CIA, the Defense Department and the State Department.
The letters, sent by Darrell Issa, indicate that the investigation is pressing forward and new testimony might require various officials to obtain legal counsel. The Hill reports:
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is pushing ahead with his investigation of last year’s fatal attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, by preparing federal agencies to allow employees to lawyer up.
In separate letters to the legal offices of the CIA, State Department and Defense Department, Issa said some witnesses on the issue might need lawyers, if their agencies decide to retaliate against them for their testimony.
“During the course of the investigation, numerous individuals have approached the committee with information related to the attack,” wrote Issa in the letters, which were obtained by The Hill.
He asked agencies to provide details on how to grant outside attorneys the security clearances necessary for them to adequately represent employees discussing classified matters with congressional investigators.
“Some witnesses may be required to retain personal counsel to represent them before the committee and in the event the agency subsequently retaliates against them for cooperating with the committee’s investigation,” he said.
Three letters were sent in all. One to the CIA, one to the State Department and another to the Pentagon. The letters were essentially the same, with minor alterations to address each agency accordingly. FOX News linked to the letters and noted in their report that the committee had not yet received a response:
The letters ask for the material to be provided to Issa’s office by 5 p.m. April 17, 2013. When contacted by FoxNews.com at 5 p.m., a spokeswoman said they had not received the information yet.
Earlier Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the U.S. has identified people it believes were involved in the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Kerry testified that investigators from the FBI were still analyzing footage from the Sept. 11, 2012 attack. He did not say if anyone had been arrested or detained by American or Libyan authorities in the seven months since the bombing in Libya.
Included above, is acknowledgement that Secretary of State John Kerry had given testimony this week to the House Foreign Affairs Committee regarding Benghazi. Kerry paid lip service to the ongoing investigation and his testimony was reminiscent of Hillary Clinton’s testimony and now famous outburst, ‘What difference does it make?. (Related: Hillary Doubles Down, But #WhatDifferenceDoesItMake)
See the video clip below via National Review Online:[youtube=http://youtu.be/fSOIrrSU69Y]
Transcript courtesy of Real Clear Politics, emphasis added:
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: Well, before I became Secretary, Congressman, I believe I got the answers to who was evacuated and had a pretty good sense of what happened there. But now that I am the Secretary and I am responsible to you and the Congress, I can promise you that if you’re not getting something that you have evidence of or you think you ought to be getting, we’ll work with you. And I will appoint somebody to work directly with you starting tomorrow, with you, Mr. Chairman, to have a review of anything you don’t think you’ve gotten that you’re supposed to get. Let’s get this done with, folks.
KERRY: Let’s figure out what it is that’s missing, if it’s legitimate or if it isn’t. I don’t think anybody lied to anybody. And let’s find out exactly, together, what happened, because we need — we got a lot more important things to move on to and get done.
Ambassador Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods unavailable for comment. Continue reading
It’s been a few weeks since my last article on the Benghazi scandal. A silence has fallen on the topic both in the news and in the committees responsible for looking into what happened that night. This silence has been broken and highlighted at the same time by one woman: Pat Smith.
Pat Smith is the mother of Sean Smith, the information officer stationed in Benghazi and was one of the four Americans murdered the night of the attack. Mrs. Smith went on the Sean Hannity show recently and revealed she has been told next to nothing about her son’s death and that the administration wants her to ‘shut up’.
Except from the interview via Mediaite:
SMITH: The President? I cried on his shoulder. And I was crying there and he’s patting me on the back and looking around to who he’s gonna talk to next. So I didn’t feel any comfort there. Hillary? I cried on her shoulder also, but she paid a little attention to me then walked off. Panetta took my face in his hands. I asked him: “Please, please let me know what happened, I’ve got to know!” And he took my face in his hands and he says, “Trust me, trust me. I will get back to you. I will let you know.” And guess how much I’ve heard from him since?
SMITH: You got it.
Audio here via YouTube.
Silence is what Smith has received. Pat Smith has been asking for answers for months and months. President Obama has carried on thrusting one crisis after another under the noses of the American people. Intentional? Perhaps. The parade of crises may be just a byproduct. Either way, it has had the effect of sweeping of Benghazi under the Oval Office carpet.
The little bit of news that has emerged confirms earlier reports of a Benghazi-Syria arms connection. This new information contradicts testimony given by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prior to her departure from the State Department. The NY Times reported information had come to light from several sources that implicates Clinton knew about the activity in relation to jihadist movements and arms traveling to Syria. NY Times report and WND are referenced via the Rockland County Times:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now implicated in several independent news reports that contradict her Congressional testimony, specifically the one where she denied any knowledge of arms and jihadists being transferred from Libya to Syria.
A New York Times report describes the role Secretary Clinton played as being far deeper and more involved than she testified to the US Congress; “The New York Times paints a picture of Clinton as the ring leader of the plan to arm Syrian rebels.”
Aaron Klein, Jerusalem Bureau Chief, WND, reports: “As media reports present evidence the U.S. has played a central role in arming Syrian rebels, new questions now emerge about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s involvement in the controversial scheme.”
Mark Gordon and Michael Lander in their New York Times report; “The idea was to vet the rebel groups and train fighters, who would be supplied with weapons. The plan had risks, but it also offered the potential reward of creating Syrian allies with whom the United States could work, both during the conflict and after President Bashar al-Assad’s eventual removal.”
As documented previously, it turns out the most powerful rebel fighters are Al-Nusra terrorist groups supported by Al-Qaeda.
Where does Benghazi fit in?
WND reports: “Ambassador Stevens himself played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian and other Middle Eastern security officials.
“Stevens served as a key contact with the Saudis to coordinate the recruitment by Saudi Arabia of Islamic fighters from North Africa and Libya. The jihadists were sent to Syria via Turkey to attack Assad’s forces, said the security officials.”
The likelihood Hillary Clinton had no knowledge of these activities is slim to none. Clearly, the details surrounding the deaths of four Americans that night does make a difference.
These men died for a reason and getting to the bottom of it requires testimony from those who survived the attacks that night. To date, these survivors have not yet given any testimony as lawmakers claim that access to even their identities is being blocked. Charges that these survivors are being kept from testifying started a month ago, with calls for Secretary of State Kerry to make these people available for questioning. (Related: Report: Benghazi suspect detained in Libya)
One has to wonder where the press is when it comes to these survivors? The terrorist attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11 should have everyone in the media stampeding to find these survivors and get their stories. Yet this has not even remotely been the case.
While the media snoozes, ‘filmmakers’ make hay. Amazingly, with the facts still obscured and requests for information and access being stonewalled, a film dramatizing what happened that night in Benghazi is already available to see on the internet. That “film” is called Amazing Ops: Siege at Benghazi.
One of several trailers on YouTube:[youtube=http://youtu.be/12YDkNbT9Dc]
The irony of a film being made about this is probably not lost on Nakoula. That is, if he were to know about it. Hard to tell since no one has heard from him since he disappeared into prison — yet another interview the media is not stampeding to get. Continue reading
A hacker going by the name ‘Guccifer’ has intercepted emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to a former Clinton administration assistant, Sidney Blumenthal; some pertaining to the attack in Benghazi. Let’s set aside that Blumenthal holds no official office and that Clinton was discussing this with him rather than with someone who should be involved, like perhaps Leon Panetta or the President, and focus on the zeroing in on the YouTube video.
Russia Today has released excerpts of what are said to be highly sensitive emails sent from a former Clinton administration staffer to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following the September attacks on the consulate in Benghazi, obtained this week by a hacker known as “Guccifer.”
“Guccifer” claims to have obtained the emails by compromising the AOL account of Sidney Blumenthal, a former assistant to President Bill Clinton. If authentic, the emails appear to contain information about the Benghazi attack, and were leaked by the hacker to a number of select news outlets and other individuals, including many members of Congress.
The Breitbart piece links to the Russia Today article, that contains this paragraph:
According to the Blumenthal memos, though, even the US secretary of state was being fed disinformation directly after the attack. In the email dated Sept. 12, Sec. Clinton is told that the anti-Islamic film was likely the catalyst for the assault.
“A senior security officer told [interim Libyan President Mohammed Yussef] el Magariaf that the attacks on that day were inspired by what many devout Libyans viewed as a sacrilegious internet video on the prophet Mohammed originating in America,” the memo reads. “The Libya attacks were also inspired by and linked to an attack on the US mission in Egypt on the same day.”
Elsewhere in the first memo, Blumenthal tells Clinton that another source had even more to say about the assault:
“According to a separate sensitive source, el Magariaf noted that his opponents had often tried to connect him to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) through the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL), a group established in opposition to former dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi, which el Magariaf led in the 1980s. In the opinion of this individual el Magariaf believes that he can survive potential negative publicity in this regard, but if this situation continues to develop in this manner it will complicate his efforts to establish an orderly administration in the country. Again, he stated that the attacks on the US missions were as much a result of the atmosphere created by this campaign, as the controversial video.”
We’re back to the obscure YouTube video as an excuse for ignoring multiple warnings, including several from Ambassador Stevens, in the days prior to the attack. This ‘source’ Blumenthal was talking to was clearly not correct, as we see the quote below regarding being warned about a pre-planned attack. Continue reading
Six months later, the American people still are no closer to learning the truth of what happened in Benghazi. The cover-up continues.The entire cast of characters has been in for hearings and given testimony – everyone except the survivors, which have been shuffled around and kept hidden by this administration who has apparently interviewed the survivors all on their own. Convenient.
DNI didn’t know anything about the changed talking points either. Clapper and Morrell were a tag team of useless information and shrugs. Controversy still hovers over Clapper, who seems to change his mind a lot on if he was involved or not. Clapper tried to chuck his pal Petraeus under the bus, but it didn’t work. If push comes to shove, now with Clinton out of the picture, if a head is going to roll it will likely be Clapper’s.
The CIA said they weren’t responsible. They didn’t change any talking points. Petraeus’ testimony said it was assessed as a terrorist attack from the start; no idea who changed the talking points or who wanted to implement a YouTube video protest as an excuse.
The FBI said they didn’t change the talking points. They didn’t know anything despite having sent a unit to the crime scene in Benghazi. It’s clear they can’t even keep track of suspects either.
The Pentagon – also not responsible, even though their timelines shows it took 19 hours to respond.
The State Department says they weren’t responsible and Hillary Clinton says she didn’t speak to anyone else that night as the attacks went on. She shook her little fist and yelled in her testimony, “what difference does it make?!” when asked about the video excuse. Theatrics and non-answers followed. When finished her campaign debts were paid off by the DNC and she retired. Job done, pay off received.
The President himself said he wasn’t responsible either. Actually, he sent Leon Panetta out to tell everyone that he wasn’t responsible and had nothing to do with the attacks that night. He was in bed or something, resting up to hit Vegas the next day.
No one was talking responsibility for anything. The only entity who has not testified is the White House itself. The only thing the White House wants to say is:
White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said only one minor change was made by the Oval Office.
“The only edit that was made by the White House and also by the State Department was to change the word ‘consulate’ to the word ‘diplomatic facility,’ since the facility in Benghazi was not formally a consulate,” Rhodes told reporters Saturday aboard Air Force One.
“We were provided with points by the intelligence community that represented their assessment. The only edit made by the White House was the factual edit about how to refer to the facility,” Rhodes also said. (Fox News)
And we’re full circle with the talking points hot potato. Of course, remember, this administration would rather be dodging talking points than answering why the Commander in Chief was absent as four Americans were murdered by terrorists. Paging Rand Paul!
Flash Forward to this week:
The stonewalling on Benghazi had reached a melting point. So, after multiple members of the Senate threatened to hold up the Brennan nomination unless they received the documents on Benghazi they have requested for months, the White House sent some paperwork over. Continue reading