Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Benghazi

If the scattered, early reports can be believed, the Obama Administration is attempting to prevent whistleblowers and survivors of the Benghazi massacre from telling their side of the story:

At least four career officials at the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency have retained lawyers, or are in the process of doing so, as they prepare to provide sensitive information about the Benghazi attacks to Congress, Fox News has learned.

Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official and Republican counsel to the Senate intelligence committee, is now representing one of the State Department employees. She told Fox News her client and some of the others, who consider themselves whistleblowers, have been threatened by unnamed Obama administration officials.

“I’m not talking generally, I’m talking specifically about Benghazi – that people have been threatened,” Toensing said in an interview Monday. “And not just the State Department. People have been threatened at the CIA.”...

“It’s frightening and they’re doing some very despicable threats to people,” she said. “Not ‘We’re going to kill you,’ or not ‘We’re going to prosecute you tomorrow,’ but they’re taking career people and making them well aware that their careers will be over [if they cooperate with congressional investigators].”

It's inevitable that in our contemporary everything-is-political milieu, this will be derided by Administration insiders and cheerleaders as merely a ploy to weaken the Obama White House. Indeed, the attempt has already begun. But the more trickles out about the Benghazi affair, the less savory it becomes:

Why did Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans die in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012? We now know that President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-CIA Director David Petraeus were likely behind a mishandled gun-trafficking program that ended up arming the radical jihadist rebels who stormed the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya on that fateful day.

Our CIA is still playing the role of vetting which Syrian rebel groups will obtain arms including machine guns, ammunition, and rocket-propelled grenades. While Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are directly purchasing the weaponry, the Obama administration is aiding the Arab governments in shopping for these arms and transferring them from Libya, to Turkey, and finally into Syria.

Unfortunately the CIA has “vetted” shady intermediaries (including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood) and shady recipients of thousands of tons worth of military equipment and millions of rounds of ammo. Consequently, weapons have fallen into the wrong hands. In the case of Benghazi, anti-tank weapons appear to have landed in the hands of terrorists.

It's understandable, albeit despicable, that the Administration would want that teensy fact to be kept under wraps. Unfortunately for these guardians of their own reputations, the truth is leaking out about what could have been done to save Ambassador Stevens and the others, but wasn't. A transcript follows:

BAIER: The administration has insisted there was no help for the Americans under assault in Libya, none that could arrive in time to change the outcome in Benghazi. Tonight is the first of three exclusive reports charging that claim is just not true.

Because the Special Operator in this piece is fearful of reprisal, we have agreed to conceal his identity. Correspondent Adam Housley has the story.

HOUSLEY: Many Americans are asking indeed, I asked myself. How could this happen? In the seven months since the Benghazi attacks on 9/11, information from the administration has been incomplete at best.

Details and time lines provided by the State Department, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies had been contradictory and failed to answer many questions.

In December, a State Department review concluded: There simply was not enough time for U.S. military forces to have made a difference: Having said that, it is not reasonable nor feasible to forces at the ready to respond to protect every high risk post in the world.

But members of the military who are monitoring events in Benghazi disagree.

Only a few dozen people in the world know what happened that night and Fox News spoke exclusively with a Special Operator who watched the events unfold and has debriefed those who are part of the response.

SO: I know for a fact that C-110, the UCOM SIF was doing a training exercise not in the region of northern Africa but in Europe. They had the ability to react and respond.

HOUSLEY: The C-110 is a command in extremis force... a 40-man SPECOPS force capable of rapid response and deployment, specifically trained for incidents like the attack in Benghazi. That night, they were training in Croatia just three and a half hours away.

SO: We had the ability to load out, get on birds, and fly there at a minimum stage. C-110 had the ability to be there, in my opinion, in four to six hours from their European theater to react.

HOUSLEY: They would have been there before the second attack.

SO: They would have been there before the second attack. They would have been there at a minimum to provide a quick reaction force that could facilitate their exfill out of the problem situation. Nobody knew how it was going to develop. And you hear a whole bunch of people and a whole bunch of advisors say hey, we wouldn't have sent them there because the security was unknown situation.

HOUSLEY: No one knew that?

SO: If it's an unknown situation, at a minimum you send forces there to facilitate the exfill or medical injuries. We could have sent a C-130 to Benghazi to provide medical evacuation for the injured.

HOUSLEY: Our source says many connected to Benghazi feel threatened and are afraid to talk. So far confidential sources have fed some information but nobody has come forward publicly on camera until now.

SO: The problem is, you have got guys, in my position you have got guys in Special Operations community who are -- still active and still involved. And they would be decapitated if they came forward with information that could affect high level commanders.

HOUSLEY: Despite the concern, our confidential source says the community feels there was a betrayal. All the way to the top. And that people on the ground in Benghazi were left to fend for themselves.

SO: I don't blame them for not coming forward, you know. It's something that is a risky, especially in a profession to say anything about anything in the realm of politics or that deals with policy.

HOUSLEY: Our source provides insight into how the U.S. government and military reacted from the moment the attack began through the immediate hours after ambassador Chris Stevens went missing. What they were told to do and what not to do as Stephens, Diplomatic Officer Sean Smith and former Special Operations members Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed.

SO: There is a lot of responsibility and onus that needs to be taken up and accounted for.

HOUSLEY: The attack began on September 11th, 2012 at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi and culminated roughly seven hours later at a second location, a CIA annex about one mile away.

While the official responses from Washington have been that the assets could not have made it from Benghazi in time that killed Woods and Doherty, there were at least two military units that could have made it in time including the one training in Croatia.

SO: Besides those guys who went in on their own, we had two more assets that could have been there. Two more assets that could have been on the ground. It's frustrating, upsetting especially being in the community. The hardest thing to deal with in any kind of, you know, dangerous scenario or gun fight, is, you know, we always look to each other to help each other and that's how we get through situations. It's not about the assets overhead. It's about the guys on the ground.

HOUSLEY: He also says as the attack began there were at least 15 Special Forces and highly skilled State Department security staff available in the capital Tripoli who were not dispatched even though they were trained as a quick response force.

Meantime, a group of American reinforcements also in Tripoli, which included the CIA's global response agent Glen Doherty and seven others took matters into their own hands. This is a little known fact which contradicts the State Department's report. The team commandeered a small jet and flew to Benghazi while still under fire. Doherty would eventually be killed on the roof along with his friend Tyrone Woods.

SO: These men deserve the highest medal of honor for their action. If it wasn't for that decision we would be looking at different situation. 20-plus hostages... captured by AQ or you would be looking at a lot of dead Americans dead in Benghazi.

HOUSLEY: We have heard some of these same details from a number of our other sources who have not yet come on camera. Some of our British sources on the ground that night confirmed. Tomorrow, more of our exclusive interview including the hunt for those responsible or the lack of a hunt.

[Transcript courtesy of Doug Ross @ Journal.]

If the above-interviewed Special Operator is telling the truth, the Obama Administration made a policy decision to sacrifice four American lives, including that of an ambassador, to cover up its own wrongdoing. I can't think of an uglier episode in American foreign policy history, unless it was the Alger Hiss / Harry Dexter White orchestrated surrender of Eastern Europe to Stalin at Yalta in 1945.

This sort of knockoff reportage is uncharacteristic of Liberty's Torch, which is principally an opinion-editorial site. However, an outrage such as this demands the attention of every thinking American, for which reason the usual bloviation is suspended for this morning in favor of...well, outrage.

We must know what happened, and why.
We must know who authorized what and who forbade what.
We must hold anyone in the chain of command responsible for his decisions.

What, then, must we do?

5 comments:

Mark Butterworth said...

I would suppose that gross dereliction of duty by the commander in chief constitutes at least a misdemeanor in terms of High crimes and misdemeanors as a condition for impeachment.

There won't be, of course, because we no longer have many patriots in Congress who place honor and duty to country as a higher value than log rolling and re-election.

Some would say the Senate wouldn't convict. They didn't convict Clinton after all, but it's important to get the facts and the truth out there where it can't be ignored even if it is ultimately impotent.

Clinton proved that you can brazen things out if you have the Senate majority.

Even so, it destroyed Clinton as president. He became a mere placeholder.

It is astonishing how far we've fallen, though, when the deliberate refusal to rescue men under fire, the commander goes to bed and sleeps through it all, and the media (minus Fox) couldn't care less.

Still, it's reassuring to hear that people are buying guns and ammo to the extent that they can't be manufactured fast enough to meet the growing demand. Americans are arming for war, indeed.

William Stout said...

About a week after the attack I called Benghazi a cover up. It had the feel of a cover up, it smelled like a cover up, and it looked like a cover up. The State Department was lying, the mainstream media was ignoring it, and the White House blamed the whole thing on a video that nobody saw. If that isn't wagging the dog, then I don't know what is. I watched the Secretary of State sit before the House and ask, "What difference does it make?" when questioned about the deaths of Americans.

In Watergate all Nixon did was to cover up the crime. He did not authorize it or even know about it, until the perpetrators were in jail. He then used executive privilege to suppress the evidence and extract his people. President Obama is covering up an international nightmare where the Ambassador and three other Americans died and here it is months later and we still don't know anything about what really happened. But there are leaks.

Drip...there was a military response option capable of deployment in enough time to make a difference. Drip...if the government has nothing to hide why do they need to threaten employees to keep their mouths shut? Drip...the White House lied about Benghazi when they knew for a fact that it was a terror attack. Drip...the person who made the video was scapegoated into prison to keep him out of the limelight. Drip...the Ambassador to the U.N. was sent out to the networks to divert attention away from the President and to promote the lie.

And here it is months after the event and we still don't know why Americans died on foreign soil. We don't know why the American military abandoned them. We don't know why the White House lied about it. We don't know why Secretary of Defense Panetta lied about it. We don't know why the State Department ignored the dire warnings leading up to the attack when both the British and the Red Cross left the area secondary to deteriorating security. We don't know why the White House lied about a film that nobody saw. This whole thing stinks to high heaven and nobody in the press corps is opening their mouths about it, but Fox News.

It is high time that we had some answers and I think that when we know what really happened somebody is going to prison.

KG said...

Only impeachment will do, and all efforts should be aimed at that end.
Which means pressure on every Republican Senator and Congressman, by whatever means possible and a clear threat that none of them will be re-elected if they refuse to act. If the conservative base states clearly and unequivocally that they will be directing funding and campaigning towards unseating sitting Republicans, regardless of their records and any other issues, it will surely light a fire under their backsides.

Ronald Barbour said...

I shout:

"TREASON!"

...and

"PRESIDENT OBAMA IS A TRAITOR!"

Alas!

I am a voice crying in the wilderness.

Heisenbug said...

I've read that the CIF goes in automatically when an ambassador is in jeopardy and will plan en route (an ambassador has equivalent rank to a four-star general); to override that, someone in National Command Authority (i.e. President or his surrogates) has to explicitly order them to stand down. It's not just that Obama didn't OK a mission, it's that he or someone wielding the President's authority told them not to go. There are no words to express my disgust at and contempt for this vile creature sitting in the White House.