This Is Disturbing

Below is the video posted at Fox News of a U.S. security team stationed in Benghazi in September 2012 telling their story of what happened the night of the attack on the CIA annex in Benghazi.

As you will see in the video, all three men claim that had they been allowed to go to the annex when the attack started, they believe the outcome of the battle would have been different. The men claim to have been told to ‘stand down’ by the top CIA officer in Benghazi. After waiting for thirty minutes, the men went to the annex without orders. They asked their CIA superiors to call for air support, but that support never came.

I have no idea why these men were delayed and not given the necessary support, but it seems to me that almost two years after the event, the American public should have those answers. I hope the Congressional Committee investigating this can provide those answers. I feel very strongly that the American public has been routinely lied to by the Obama Administration about Benghazi and that we are entitled to know the truth about what was going on in the annex and why the American military did not properly respond to the attack.

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Cover-up? What Cover-up?

Today’s Washington Free Beacon is reporting that a CIA employee has been suspended after refusing to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring him from discussing Benghazi.

The article reports:

Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) revealed at an event on Monday that his office was anonymously informed about the CIA employee, who is purportedly facing an internal backlash after refusing to sign a legal document barring him from publicly or privately discussing events surrounding the Benghazi attack.

The revelation comes about a month after several media outlets reported that CIA employees with knowledge of the terror attack had been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA) and submit to regular polygraph tests.

…The newly formed Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi has similar goals as congressional investigators but is not confined by rules governing the legislative body, speakers at the event said.

Retired Air Force Col. Richard Brauer, cofounder of the group Special Operations Speaks, said the committee would aim to find out why U.S. military assets were ordered to “stand down” during the Benghazi attack.

“We’re tired of the lies and the cover-up that continues to this day,” Brauer said. “Who gave the order” to stand down, “to remain in place in Tripoli and the other locations and do nothing. When was this order given and why?”

“Forces were available on that very night, likely champing at the bit, but they were told to stand down,” he said. “These are words that will live in infamy.”

There were four Americans killed at Benghazi, one of whom was an American Ambassador. Under normal conditions, the attack on the annex at Benghazi and the killing of the Ambassador would be considered an act of war. There are many questions as to why no American forces were allowed to come to the rescue and as to why this attack was not considered an act of war. The only person to go to jail because of the Benghazi attack was the person who made the video that was not responsible for the attack. He has recently been let out of jail, but the fact remains that he is the only person who has gone to jail because of what happened at Benghazi. This whole scenario reads like something out of Through the Looking Glass.

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More Questions Than Answers

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line yesterday that asks a very interesting question about the Benghazi attack.

The article at Power Line links back to a Jake Tapper CNN article referenced on this site on August 2. The article confirmed a rumor that many CIA operatives were on the ground at Benghazi during the attack on September 11, 2012, and that those operatives were being muzzled by the government. The obvious question being asked is, “What is being covered up?”

The cover-up began instantly when a video with very few YouTube hits was blamed for the attack on Benghazi. Why was it instantly necessary to provide a cover story for this attack? Was this political–if it was terrorism, it might impact the election–or was this about something entirely different?

The article at Power Line points out some basic facts:

So, what do we make of all of this? Tapper’s reporting points toward the conclusion that the longstanding rumor to the effect that the terrorist attack occurred during a top-secret arms transfer mission is true. But how much does that really explain? It seems unlikely that the CIA mission prompted the attack: we now know that the Syrian rebels consist in substantial part of al Qaeda elements, and if arms were sent from Libya to Syria, al Qaeda probably wound up with some of them. So why would al Qaeda want to interrupt the CIA mission via an attack on the American compound in Benghazi?

…So I find it hard to understand how the current revelations fit with what we already know–or think we know–about Benghazi, or why the administration and the CIA are now so intent on covering up whatever the Agency was up to at the famous “annex.” My sense is that the current reporting leaves us a long way from understanding what really happened on September 11, 2012.

It will be interesting to see if we actually have the truth about Benghazi before President Obama is finished his second term.

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Incredible Coincidence Or Government Thuggery?

The Benghazi attack is still surrounded by more questions than answers. Yesterday CNN posted an exclusive story about a number of CIA agents who were on the ground in the outpost at Benghazi during the attack. Since the attack, many of these agents have been recovering from the wounds, but all of the agents have remained out of sight. Why?

The article reports:

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings.

The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.

It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”

Another says, “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”

“Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that,” said former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer.

In other words, the rate of the kind of polygraphs alleged by sources is rare.

“If somebody is being polygraphed every month, or every two months it’s called an issue polygraph, and that means that the polygraph division suspects something, or they’re looking for something, or they’re on a fishing expedition. But it’s absolutely not routine at all to be polygraphed monthly, or bi-monthly,” said Baer.

CIA spokesman Dean Boyd asserted in a statement that the agency has been open with Congress.

If the CIA has been all that open with Congress, why are agents being kept from the press and subjected to lie detector tests much more frequently than usual?

With this is mind, let’s take a look at the timeline regarding the resignation of General David Petraeus as the head of the CIA. Regardless of his affair, General Petraeus is known for being an honest man who loves his country and believes in America. There are a lot of stories about when General Petraeus began his affair with Paula Broadwell. The timeline on this is important–was the affair going on in early September 2011, when General Petraeus took over as the head of the CIA? If it was, how did the people who screened him for the job miss it? If the affair began later, was the Obama Administration aware of it? Why does this matter? The attack in Benghazi took place on September 11, 2012. General Petraeus resigned on November 9, 2012. The cover-up of Benghazi began immediately–keep in mind the only person in jail for the Benghazi attack is the filmmaker who made a film no one saw and had nothing to do with the attack. Is it possible that General Petraeus was told to go along with the cover-up or have his affair revealed?

Regardless of the scenario anyone chooses, it is obvious that there has been a cover-up of what happened in Benghazi. The thing to keep in mind is that cover-up, deny, and delay are all standard tactics of the Obama Administration. There are two main theories I have heard on what was going on in Benghazi — number one that it was a gun running operation supplying arms to the Syrian rebels, and number two that the attack was supposed to be a peaceful kidnapping of Ambassador Stevens so that he could later be swapped for the Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman (the Blind Sheik), currently serving a life sentence at Butner Federal Medical Center in North Carolina.

Neither scenario would be popular with the American public, but I suspect the spin artists in the media could dress up either one to make it work. With the recent reporting on Benghazi by CNN, it may actually be possible that Americans will eventually know the full story of what happened at Benghazi on September 11 of last year.

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I’d Love To See The Guest List

Yesterday Breitbart.com reported that the White House announced that it would hold a meeting to brief reporters on Benghazi. The meeting was initially referred to by Politico as ‘off-the-record,’ but the White House changed that to ‘deep background.’ I agree that the word deep is probably a good description, but background is not the word I would place after it.

Fourteen news organizations were invited to the closed-door meeting.

Politico reported yesterday:

The meeting was conducted on “deep background,” according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, but sources told POLITICO that the existence of the meeting was “off the record.” The meeting began around 12:45 p.m. and postponed the daily, on-the-record White House press briefing until mid-afternoon.

The session was announced to reporters in the wake of an ABC News report showing that White House and State Dept. officials were involved in revising the now-discredited CIA talking points about the attack on Benghazi.

I would love to see which fourteen news organizations were invited to the meeting! Can you imagine what would have happened if Nixon had tried this with Watergate?

Breitbart.com tells us what to look for as a result of this meeting:

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “Deep background means that the info presented by the briefers can be used in reporting but the briefers can’t be quoted.” So expect a fair number of “White House sources” to appear in reportage for the next few days.

Four people died at Benghazi because they did not have adequate security, and when they asked for help they did not get it. Later the Obama Administration lied about what happened. Also, remember that the man who made the video that was not responsible for the attack is the only person in jail as a result of the attack. He is still in jail. It’s time to stop playing games and explain what happened.

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Some Interesting Information About Benghazi

The U. K. Daily Mail reported today:

Benghazi: The Definitive Report,’ published by William Morrow and Company, is due out in e-book on Tuesday. The authors, Webb and Murphy, are editors of SOFREP.com, a site devoted to news and stories written by current and former special operations commandos.

The book makes a lot of interesting charges about the fall from grace of General David Petraeus and exactly who orchestrated that fall, but it makes some even more interesting charges against CIA Director nominee John Brennan.

The article reports:

Murphy and co-author Brandon Webb also revealed that the September 11 Benghazi terrorist attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, was retaliation by Islamist militants who had been targeted by covert U.S. military operations.

The book claims that neither Stevens nor even Petraeus knew about the raids by American special operations troops, which had ‘kicked a hornet’s nest’ among the heavily-armed fighters after the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser, had been authorizing ‘unilateral operations in North Africa outside of the traditional command structure,’ according to the e-book. Brennan is Obama’s pick to replace Petraeus as head of the CIA.

This is disturbing. The idea that there were ‘unilateral operations in North Africa outside of the traditional command structure’ is highly questionable. I don’t have a problem with the concept of secrecy, but the President is not entitled to run his own private army operations outside the structure of command. This is clearly unconstitutional. Not to inform the people who would be ultimately impacted by these operations is unthinkable.

The article further reports:

Webb and Murphy said they wrote the book to reveal ‘the truth’ behind the attack. They say news accounts of the incident have often been inaccurate because journalists have not had inside access to the people who were on the ground at the time.

The authors have been frustrated, they say, by politicians who have attempted to twist the facts of the case to suit their own ends. Conservatives sought to use the attack as an election issue and place the blame on Obama.

Democrats and the Obama administration have worked to deflect responsibility and downplay the warning signs that were present before the consulate was raided.

Webb and Murphy claim that the ‘inside’ story of the attack – as told by their connections in the CIA and special operations units of the military – show that Brennan never warned the CIA or Stevens about ongoing U.S. military operations in the country.

Had the State Department and the intelligence community known about what was happening, they would have stepped up security in Benghazi and could have prevented the tragedy.

The entire article makes me wonder about the fitness of John Brennan to be Secretary of Defense.

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Eventually The Truth Will Come Out

Yesterday Breitbart.com reported that the Annex at Benghazi may have been used as a detention site for local militia forces and possibly for prisoners from other parts of Africa. This would indicate that it was a black ops site (something the Bush Administration was heavily criticized for and that President Obama supposedly outlawed).

The article reports:

The CIA denies this saying the CIA has not had detention authority since January 2009. That’s when the President signed executive order 13491. The CIA claims any suggestion that the agency is still in the detention business is “uninformed and baseless.”

It really would have made more sense for the Obama Administration to tell the truth when this incident occurred. President Obama has been re-elected, but his Administration may be somewhat crippled by this scandal.

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Another Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy theories about the Obama Administration are getting to be old hat. I suspect some of them have a basis in truth, but I also suspect the majority of them don’t. Generally conspiracy theories arise because there is a vacuum of information that people tend to want to fill. Because the details about President Obama’s life–school records, childhood education, etc.–are so sketchy, conspiracy theories have arisen.

My latest contribution to the conspiracy theory pile is the reason for the resignation of General David Petraeus.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line is one of the sources for my latest conspiracy theory.

In an article posted yesterday, Mr. Mirengoff states:

…If so, then it seems that the affair started before Petraeus became the director of the CIA. The background check on Petraeus when he was being considered for the CIA job must have been incredibly thorough. And, since an affair with an embedded reporter would probably have been difficult to keep fully secret, even an ordinary investigation might well have uncovered word of it.

Thus, it may be that the White House knew of the General’s affair before he became the DCIA.

USA Today reported early this morning:

A federal law enforcement official said the relationship was discovered by the FBI during the course of an unrelated security investigation. Subsequently, a number of e-mails concerning the relationship were discovered, said the official who is not authorized to comment publicly on the matter.

Now, my questions. Did the White House know of the affair when General Petraeus was chosen to head the CIA? Did General Petraeus know that they knew? Does that explain the fact that he towed the Democrat party line in his last appearance before Congress? Did he resign and make the matter public to avoid having to tow the Democrat party line again in his appearance before Congress next week? Who authorized the FBI investigation and who were they investigating?  I don’t want to see the reputation of a good man ruined by one serious mistake, but I think that there is a whole lot more to the story than we currently know.

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What In The World Were They Thinking ?

The story of Benghazi has been in the news for more than a month now. There are many aspects of this story that are downright disturbing. The latest has to do with the military and special forces people that could have helped the Americans under fire being told to stand down. Stand down? While the higher-ups in the Obama Administration watched Americans being killed in real time? What in the world is this?

Fox News reported some of the details today. Fox reports:

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.” 

…According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from. 

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help. 

American soldiers have a tradition of leaving no man behind. Evidently the Obama Administration was not familiar with that tradition. One of the problems Benghazi has caused is that it will reinforce the Al Qaeda attitude that America is a paper tiger. The lack of response to this attack with embolden Al Qaeda to plan and execute more attacks on American soil (an Embassy is considered American soil) without fear of retribution. This is very reminiscent of the Jimmy Carter administration–the reason the Iranian hostages were returned as soon as Ronald Reagan took office was that the Iranians feared that President Reagan would actually retaliate if the hostages were not returned. There was reason to respect the power of America. We have lost that respect and need to restore it.

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Good News And Bad News

The good news is that a plot to blow up an airplane (or two) using underwear bombs which would not have been detected by normal screening processes was foiled. The bad news is that somewhere in the foiling of the plot, a lot of classified information was leaked that will hamper our future efforts to foil such plots.

The U. K. Guardian reported the story yesterday. According to the article:

Detailed leaks of operational information about the foiled underwear bomb plot are causing growing anger in the US intelligence community, with former agents blaming the Obama administration for undermining national security and compromising the British services, MI6 and MI5.

The Guardian has learned from Saudi sources that the agent was not a Saudi national as was widely reported, but a Yemeni. He was born in Saudi Arabia, in the port city of Jeddah, and then studied and worked in the UK, where he acquired a British passport.

Mike Scheur, the former head of the CIA‘s Bin Laden unit, said the leaking about the nuts and bolts of British involvement was despicable and would make a repeat of the operation difficult. “MI6 should be as angry as hell. This is something that the prime minister should raise with the president, if he has the balls. This is really tragic,” Scheur said.

I understand that there are many things in our government that are classified that should not be. I also understand that sometimes there is a very obvious reason to keep certain information secret. How many people were put at risk by the leaking of the details of this operation? Whoever leaked the information should be charged with a crime, and the newspapers that published it should also be penalized in some way. There is too much information available about this operation. That fact will limit our ability to prevent such attacks in the future.

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This Should Have Been Done A Long Time Ago

Yesterday the Washington Post reported that a former CIA Officer is being charged with repeatedly leaking classified information. After leaving the CIA in 2004, John Kiriakou worked as a Senate aide, working as an investigator on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a year before leaving in 2010.

The article reported:

Kiriakou made a media splash in 2007 when he appeared on ABC News describing the use of waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaida, also known as Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein.

He also revealed the name of the CIA’s interrogator of Mohammed.in a piece he wrote for the New York Times in 2008.

The article further reports:

The Kiriakou investigation appears to have been triggered by a CIA referral to the Justice Department as well as a separate probe into how photographs of CIA operatives ended up in the possession of high-value detainees at Guantanamo Bay in 2009.

Investigators believe that defense attorneys obtained the photos after learning the identities of CIA operatives from a journalist who had been in contact with Kiriakou. The photographs, which included shots taken surreptitiously outside CIA employees’ homes, were shown to the detainees as part of an effort by defense attorneys to identify participants in CIA interrogations and potentially call them as witnesses in terrorism trials.

A interesting piece of information was left out of the story in the Washington Post. Newsbusters reported that between 2009 and last year Kiriakou worked as an investigator for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The NBC report on this story by Michael Isikoff reported this in the second paragraph.

This man needs to be charged with treason. His actions put CIA operatives and their families in danger. After reading the article, I wondered if Mr. Kiriakou was motivated by idealism or politics. He was undermining President Bush as Commander-in-Chief during a time of war. He didn’t mind breaking the law in order to do that.

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