More Benghazi details emerge, but questions persist
Too many questions remain unanswered about what happened Sept. 11 in Libya, and the decisions that were made at the highest levels of government that led to the terrorist torching of a Benghazi compound and the deaths of four Americans citizens.
On the day of the attack, which began at approximately at 3:40 p.m. EST, an email was sent from Tripoli at 4:05 p.m. EST. The subject: “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack.”
A few hours later Embassy Tripoli was reporting that the terrorist group Ansar Al-Sharia was claiming responsibility for the attack on Facebook and Twitter.
President Barack Obama indirectly characterized the event as an act of terrorism on Sept. 12. But, for weeks after the attack, administration officials continued to cite intelligence reports that lumped the Benghazi attack in with demonstrations in other cities and nations motivated by an anti-Islamic video.
We have since learned there was no demonstration in Benghazi, spontaneous or otherwise, that night. It was a pre-planned terrorist attack carried out by al-Qaida-affiliated jihadists.
We have also learned that national media agreed to suppress certain details that may have obscured and influenced the Benghazi story narrative.
For example, the Benghazi compound was apparently less a consulate and more of a CIA station. Also, two of the men killed that day were former Navy SEALs working for the CIA, and only seven of the 30 people evacuated from Benghazi worked for the State Department. Essentially, this was not an attack on a diplomatic mission, but rather a location for intelligence gathering.
Nonetheless, questions persist for the president.
Questions like when was the president first made aware the attack was in progress? Did he meet with his National Security Council? Did he speak with CIA Director David Petraeus? Did he decline to authorize armed drone strikes against the attackers? Was he aware of requests for assistance by those attempting to protect the ambassador and his team? If so, what were his reasons for denying them?
All these questions deserve answers. We have been promised a thorough investigation and we expect we will get one. But it is disappointing that our president has chosen to sidestep these inquiries until after the election.
The world is a cruel and dangerous place. And no commander-in-chief, nor his military experts, nor intelligence gatherers are perfect. Over the course of any administration, mistakes will be made.
But it is better to own up to whatever those mistakes are, quickly and forthrightly, when such awful events occur. Keeping the truth from the American people for what appears to be political reasons is almost always a mistake – it diminishes the trust people have in our leaders to be straight and honest.
- Adapted from an editorial first published by The Daily Times of Delaware County
GAFFNEY: The real reason behind Benghazigate
Was Obama gun-walking arms to jihadists?
President Obama’s once seemingly unstoppable march toward re-election hit what he might call “bumps in the road” in Benghazi, Libya, late on Sept. 11, 2012. It might be more accurate to describe the effect of the well-planned and -executed, military-style attack on a diplomatic facility there as the political equivalent of a devastating improvised explosive device on the myth of the unassailability of the Obama record as commander in chief.
Thanks to intrepid investigative reporting — notably by Bret Baier and Catherine Herridge at Fox News, Aaron Klein at WND.com and Clare Lopez at RadicalIslam.org — and information developed by congressional investigators, the mystery is beginning to unravel with regard to what happened that night and the reason for the subsequent, clumsy official cover-up now known as Benghazigate.
The evidence suggests that the Obama administration has not simply been engaging, legitimating, enriching and emboldening Islamists who have taken over or are ascendant in much of the Middle East. Starting in March 2011, when American diplomat J. Christopher Stevens was designated the liaison to the “opposition” in Libya, the Obama administration has been arming them, including jihadists like Abdelhakim Belhadj, leader of the al Qaeda franchise known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
Once Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown, Stevens was appointed ambassador to the new Libya run by Mr. Belhadj and his friends. Not surprisingly, one of the most important priorities for someone in that position would be to try to find and secure the immense amount of armaments that had been cached by the dictator around the country and systematically looted during and after the revolution.
One of the places in Libya most awash with such weapons in the most dangerous of hands is Benghazi. It now appears that Stevens was there — on a particularly risky day, with no security to speak of and despite now copiously documented concerns about his own safety and that of his subordinates — for another priority mission: sending arms recovered from the former regime’s stocks to the “opposition” in Syria. As in Libya, the insurgents are known to include al Qaeda and other Shariah-supremacist groups, including none other than Abdelhakim Belhadj.
Fox News has chronicled how the Al Entisar, a Libyan-flagged vessel carrying 400 tons of cargo, docked on Sept. 6 in the Turkish port of Iskenderun. It reportedly supplied both humanitarian assistance and arms — including deadly SA-7 man-portable surface-to-air missiles — apparently destined for Islamists, again including al Qaeda elements, in Syria.
What cries out for further investigation — and debate in the remaining days of this presidential election — is whether this shipment was part of a larger covert Obama effort to transfer weapons to our enemies that could make the Iran-Contra scandal, to say nothing of Operation Fast and Furious, pale by comparison.
Investigative journalist Aaron Klein has reported that the “consulate in Benghazi” actually was no such thing. He observes that although administration officials have done nothing to correct that oft-repeated characterization of the facility where the murderous attack on Stevens and his colleagues was launched, they call it a “mission.” What Mr. Klein describes as a “shabby, nondescript building” that lacked any “major public security presence” was, according to an unnamed Middle Eastern security official, “routinely used by Stevens and others to coordinate with the Turkish, Saudi and Qatari governments on supporting the insurgencies in the Middle East, most prominently the rebels opposing Assad’s regime in Syria.”
We know that Stevens‘ last official act was to hold such a meeting with an unidentified “Turkish diplomat.” Presumably, the conversation involved additional arms shipments to al Qaeda and its allies in Syria. It also may have involved getting more jihadi fighters there. After all, Mr. Klein reported last month that, according to sources in Egyptian security, our ambassador was playing a “central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.”
It gets worse. Last week, Center for Security Policy senior fellow and former career CIA officer Clare Lopez observed that there were two large warehouse-type buildings associated with the so-called “consulate” whose purpose has yet to be disclosed. As their contents were raided in the course of the attack, we may never know for sure whether they housed — and were known by the local jihadis to house — arms, perhaps administered by the two former Navy SEALs killed along with Stevens.
What we do know is that the New York Times — one of the most slavishly pro-Obama publications in the country — reported in an Oct. 14 article, “Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster.”
In short, it seems President Obama has been engaged in gun-walking on a massive scale. The effect has been to equip America’s enemies to wage jihad not only against regimes it once claimed were our friends, but inevitably against us and our allies as well. That would explain his administration’s desperate and now failing bid to mislead the voters through the serial deflections of Benghazigate.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of Secure Freedom Radio on WRC-AM (1260).
EXPOSED: E-mails reveal White House knew Al Qaeda-linked group led attacks on embassy
Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM EDT
New e-mails reveal that the White House and the State Department knew that radical jihadists led the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya two hours after the attack began. The news contrasts with claims by President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden , and other senior officials that the attacks were a result of a spontaneous anti-American protests spurned by an anti-Islamic YouTube video.
“What is happening with Benghazi is so far beyond lying, it is staggering,” Glenn said this morning on radio.
“Now, it is important for you to understand why you can’t accept the little lies, even though this isn’t a little lie. In every single case in my memory, if someone was caught on something that was that wrong, and he’s wrong on so many things from the debate, you immediately just get off it. You may not apologize, but you get off it. Because people will hold your feet to the fire. But no one is holding his feet to the fire.”
“But now we have beginning of the truth on Benghazi. Five days into the Benghazi scandal when no one was saying anything, I presented a theory. It was a Monday. It was the Monday after. It was six days, the Monday after the attack. And I got on the air and I told you exactly what was happening. I told you that this ambassador was involved in running guns, and he was running guns to Al‑Qaeda in Libya. And he was running guns through Turkey into Syria. And whether it was a deal that went bad, I don’t know. But that’s what happened. And the White House knew. That was six days into it.”
“We continued to further the story, and as everyone else is still arguing about whether it was the videotape or not, we have been furthering the story. Today we have evidence that is staggering. We now have a memo posted from TheBlaze. We now have a memo to the White House two hours after the attacks began. Last night on the TV show I laid it out again on exactly the timeline, exactly what happened when.”
At 12:54 PM on September 11th, Sean Smith, a Foreign Service Information Management Officer at the embassy, posted on a gaming website: “Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.” Glenn believes this was a message to United States intelligence agencies.
“So you know, do not let any member of the press get away with calling this an embassy safe house. It is not. It was a CIA safe house. Now why, in the most dangerous place, in one of the most dangerous parts of the world on September 11th, when the ambassador knows he’s under attack, the documents now show he wrote the night before and said, ‘Help me, there’s trouble,’ why would he be at a CIA safe house? What was he doing there? I kept asking the question, “What is he doing there. What was he doing there.” We now know he was having dinner with the general counsel of Turkey. Remember that President Obama is good friends with the Turkish ambassador. The Turkish ‑‑ I’m sorry, the Turkish prime minister. Turkey is ‑‑ fancies itself the head of the Caliphate. The Turkish ambassador and Barack Obama, it has been widely reported that that’s really his only real friend in foreign policy. That is the guy he called first when he won the presidency. Not England, not Israel, but the Turkish ambassador. This guy’s ‑‑ this guy’s a Sharia law guy. Not a good guy.”
“Why was the general counsel of Turkey meeting with our ambassador at a CIA safe house on September 11th? And here’s where it gets strange. At 12:54 the White House, in e‑mails to the situation room, the White House is alerted there are people watching our safe house. The ambassador and the Turkish general counsel are in the safe house having dinner and there are people watching the exits. That’s what the memo says. They’re watching the exits. One guy says, ‘I don’t know if we’re going to get out of here alive.’”
SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live in or visit Libya, please take the time to tell our Embassy about your trip. If you enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency.
U.S. Embassy Tripoli
Walee al-Ahad Street
Airport Road District
For emergencies involving U.S. citizens only: telephone: 220.127.116.1103, update this number. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: Passports and visas are required for all U.S. citizens traveling to Libya. Currently, Libyan embassies abroad are operating under varying conditions; travelers are encouraged to reach out to the Libyan embassy in the country in which they reside to obtain the latest information on visa procedures. Libyan immigration officials sometimes require endorsement letters from the Transitional National Council as well.
The Government of Libya does not allow persons with passports bearing an Israeli visa or entry/exit stamps from Israel to enter Libya.
Tourist Visas: After halting the issuance of tourist visas to U.S. citizens for several years, in June 2010 the Libyan government again began issuing visas to U.S. tourists. Like European tourists, U.S. citizens must apply for tourist visas through tour operators licensed in Libya, who will file the necessary paperwork for the visa with the Libyan authorities. Through licensed tour agencies, tourist visas can be obtained for U.S. tourists within 4 to15 days. Fees for obtaining the visas vary between tour companies.
Upon completion of the process, the tourist will receive a letter in Arabic listing his/her passport number and authorizing the issuance of a visa at the Libyan port of entry. This letter must be obtained prior to travel to Libya. Once the tourist is in Libya, he/she must obtain a registration stamp in his/her passport from the Libyan tourist police; this procedure can also be handled by tour agencies. Libyan authorities informed the U.S. Department of State in November 2010 that Arabic passport translations are not required for U.S. citizen tourists. Most European tourists now travel to Libya without the passport translation, and since June 2010, U.S. tourists have entered Libya without having the translation.
Note that these new procedures apply only to tourist visas and should not, under any circumstances, be used for business travel to Libya. Using a tourist visa to travel to Libya for business purposes contravenes Libyan law, and places the traveler at risk of arrest.
Business Visas: U.S. citizens traveling to Libya on business visas require an invitation from/sponsorship by a company operating in Libya. U.S. citizens who apply for Libyan business visas often experience significant delays, regularly waiting several weeks or months for their visas. All visas are vetted and approved by Libyan immigration departments in Tripoli and are only issued by the appropriate Libyan Embassy upon receipt of that approval. There may be an additional wait for actual visa issuance once approval has been received by the Embassy.
The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli cannot provide assistance to U.S. citizens seeking Libyan visas.
Inquiries about obtaining a Libyan visa should be made through the Libyan Embassy in Washington, D.C. The Embassy is located at 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Suite 705, Washington, DC 20037; 202-944-9601, fax 202-944-9606. Libya’s land borders with Egypt and Tunisia are subject to periodic closures even to travelers with valid Libyan visas. Short-term closures of other land borders may occur with little notice. Within three days of arrival in Libya, visitors must register at the police station closest to where they are residing or they may encounter problems during their stay or upon departure.
The Libyan government requires all its citizens, including dual nationals, to enter and depart Libya on Libyan documents. In some cases U.S. citizens of Libyan descent have entered Libya on an old or expired Libyan identity document and then discovered that they cannot depart Libya without obtaining a valid Libyan passport, which can be a time-consuming, cumbersome process.
Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Libya.
Please verify this information with the Libyan Embassy in Washington, D.C., before you travel.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
VIDEO – BREAKING OBAMA MAY GO TO PRISON AND BE IMPEACHED KILLING OUR OWN GLENN BECK !
Prudence Bushnell. [Source: PBS]
By December 1997, Prudence Bushnell, the US Ambassador to Kenya, is aware that her embassy could be in danger. She has been told of an August 1997 warning that proved there was an al-Qaeda cell in Nairobi (see Late 1994), a precise (and ultimately accurate) November 1997 warning detailing a plot to attack the embassy (see November 1997), and other recent warnings, including information indicating that she is an assassination target. She sends two cables to State Department headquarters in Washington, claiming that the embassy’s location makes it “extremely vulnerable to a terrorist attack,” and asks for security improvements to be made. The State Department turns down her requests and begins to see Bushnell as a nuisance. In early 1998, General Anthony Zinni, the commander of US forces in the region, visits the Nairobi embassy and decides it is vulnerable to terrorist attacks. He offers to send a security team to inspect the situation, but his offer is turned down. The State Department sends its own team instead and in March 1998 determines that about $500,000 worth of easily implemented improvements should make the embassy secure. But the money is not quickly allocated. Bushnell then sends “an emotional letter to Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright begging for the Secretary’s personal help.” She says she has been fighting for months for a more secure embassy as threats increase, and that the State Department’s refusal to grant her requests for funding is “endangering the lives of embassy personnel.” Albright takes no action. The embassy will be bombed in August (see 10:35-10:39 a.m., August 7, 1998). [NEW YORK TIMES, 1/9/1999]
History Commons Complete 911 Timeline: http://www.historycommons.org/project.jsp?project=911_project
Timeline – Peter Lance
www.peterlance.com/Triple_Cross_PB_Timeline_2009.pdfFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
TIMELINE. PART I. 06 • 1986 (page xx). FDNY firefighter Ronnie Bucca falls five stories during a rescue attempt at ….. the FBI and CIA interdict the 9/11 plot.
See: The 911 Cover up with Peter Lance Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRzX_h_HVN8
See: The 911 Cover up with Peter Lance Part 2: http://youtu.be/BGrdKGts8Mc
See: Timeline – Peter Lance: http://www.peterlance.com/Triple_Cross_PB_Timeline_2009.pdf
Peter Lance on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Peter-Lance/e/B001HD1116