Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Intrigue Surrounding The Secret CIA Operation In Benghazi Is Not Going Away

The Intrigue Surrounding The Secret CIA Operation In Benghazi Is Not Going Away


The CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya
In eight months since an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi left four Americans dead, a Republican-led investigation has focused on potential missteps by the White House — and come away with nothing significant. There has been little attention given, however, to covert actions by the Central Intelligence Agency that were partially uncovered during the September 11, 2012 attack.
That may be changing.
CNN's Jake Tapper argued this week that we should give more scrutiny to the CIA's presence in the Libyan port city.
Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.) said the same, according to CNN: "There are questions that must be asked of the CIA and this must be done in a public way."
Among the questions are whether CIA missteps contributed to the security failure in Benghazi and, more importantly, whether the Agency's Benghazi operation had anything to do with reported heavy weapons shipments from the local port to Syrian rebels.
In short, the CIA operation is the most intriguing thing about Benghazi.
Here's what we know:
The attack At about 9:40 p.m. local time on Sept. 11, a mob of Libyans attacked a building housing U.S. State Department personnel. At 10:20 p.m. Americans arrived from a CIA annex located 1.2 miles away, to help the besieged Americans. At 11:15 p.m. they fled with survivors back to the secret outpost.
Armed Libyans followed them and attacked the annex with rockets and small arms from around midnight to 1:00 a.m., when there was a lull in the fighting.
Glen Doherty, a former Navy SEAL and CIA security contractor, was with a team of Joint Special Operations Command military operators and CIA agents in Tripoli at the time of the attack. When they received word of the assault on the mission, Doherty and six others bribed the pilots of small jet with $30,000 cash for a ride to Benghazi.
At about 5:15 a.m., right after Doherty's group arrived, the attackers began shooting mortars at the annex, leading to the death of Doherty and fellow former Navy SEAL and CIA contractor Tyrone Woods.
At 6 a.m. Libyan forces from the military intelligence service arrived and subsequently took more than 30 Americans — only seven of whom were from the State Department — to the Benghazi airport.
So the CIA's response to go to the annex (after being held back for 20 minutes) saved American lives, but it also ended up exposing the annex.
And according to Paula Broadwell, the mistress of David Petraeus when he was CIA director, the CIA may have provided an impetus for the attack by holding prisoners: "Now I don't know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back."
'At its heart a CIA operation' In November The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. mission in Benghazi "was at its heart a CIA operation."
In January, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress that the CIA was leading a "concerted effort to try to track down and find and recover ... MANPADS [man-portable air defense systems]" looted from the stockpiles of toppled Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi.
The State Department "consulate" served as diplomatic cover for the previously-hidden annex.
The top-secret presence and location of the CIA outpost was first acknowledged by Charlene Lamb, a top official in the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, during Congressional testimony in October.
Representatives Jason Chaffetz and Darrell Issa immediately called a point of order when Lamb exposed the location of the annex, and asked for the revelation to be stricken from the record.
“I totally object to the use of that photo,” Chaffetz. said. “I was told specifically while I was in Libya I could not and should not ever talk about what you’re showing here today.”
The location of the U.S. "consulate" and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya
Weapons from Benghazi to Syria Also in October we reported the connection between Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who died in the attack, and a reported September shipment of SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles (i.e. MANPADS) and rocket-propelled grenades from Benghazi to Syria through southern Turkey.
That 400-ton shipment — "the largest consignment of weapons" yet for Syrian rebels — was organized by Abdelhakim Belhadj, who was the newly-appointed head of the Tripoli Military Council.
In March 2011 Stevens, the official U.S. liaison to the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan rebels, worked directly with Belhadj while he headed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
Stevens' last meeting on Sept. 11 was with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and a source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi "to negotiate a weapons transfer in an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists."
Syrian rebels subsequently began shooting down Syrian helicopters and fighter jets with SA-7s akin to those in Qaddafi's looted stock. (The interim Libyan government also sent money and fighters to Syria.)
What did the CIA know? Collectively these details raise the question of what the CIA knew, given that Agency operatives in Libya were rounding up SA-7s, ostensibly to destroy them, while operatives in southern Turkey were funneling weapons to the rebels.
Ambassador Stevens certainly would have known if the new Libyan government was sending 400 tons of heavy weapons to Turkey from Benghazi's port.
Just like the CIA would know if those the weapons arrived in Turkey and began showing up in Syria.
Journalist Damien Spleeters created this sourced map, drawing info shared on social media such as YouTube, that gives an idea of the MANPADS presence in Syria.
We've added red tag noting the Turkish port, Iskenderun, where the massive SA-7 shipment docked.
And this map of nearby Turkish highways shows that the heavy weapons could have been transported from the port to the Syrian city of Aleppo in three hours.
Other intriguing details This week Nancy Youssef of McClatchy reported that Ambassador Stevens twice turned down offers for additional security, despite specifically asking for more men in cables to the State Department.
Right after the attack American Matthew VanDyke, who fought with Libyan rebels during their revolution, told us he suspected that extremist groups in the nearby mountains — who felt marginalized by the new Libyan government — " saw their opportunity to pounce."
Earlier this month Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kent.) told CNN: “I’ve actually always suspected that, although I have no evidence, that maybe we were facilitating arms leaving Libya going through Turkey into Syria. ... Were they trying to obscure that there was an arms operation going on at the CIA annex? I’m not sure exactly what was going on, but I think questions ought to be asked and answered."
So now that the White House has released more than 100 pages of Benghazi emails, and the State Department's role during and after the attack have been probed ad nauseam, it's time for someone to explain what the exposed CIA operation in Benghazi was all about.

More From Business Insider

New Benghazi Details Revealed in Bombshell CNN Report: ‘Unprecedented’ Effort Underway to Keep Secrets From Leaking

The CIA is polygraphing its operatives on a regular basis in an “unprecedented” effort to prevent Benghazi secrets from leaking out, CNN’s Drew Griffin is reporting, citing unnamed inside sources.
“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 bombshell report reveals. “The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.”
Report: CIA Is Polygraphing Operatives Regularly in Unprecedented Effort to Keep Benghazi Secrets
A Libyan man stands next to a wall apparently stained with blood at the main entrance of the US consulate in Benghazi on September 13, 2012. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
More from CNN:
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.”
The CIA responded to CNN’s report in a statement, claiming it “enabled all officers involved in Benghazi the opportunity to meet with Congress,” according to Jake Tapper.
It has also been revealed that as many 35 Americans were in Benghazi on the night of the deadly terror attack, CNN reports, citing anonymous inside sources. As many as seven were wounded and 21 Americans were reportedly working in the building known as the CIA annex.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) told CNN that the revelations represent “a form of a cover-up.”
“We should have the people who were on the scene come in, testify under oath, do it publicly, and lay it out. And there really isn’t any national security issue involved with regards to that,” the lawmaker said.
There have been reports and rumors about the U.S. government possibly being involved in the transfer of weapons out of Libya, through Turkey and into the hands of the Syrian rebels. The theory has been analyzed thoroughly on TheBlaze and TheBlaze TV, but many questions remain.
According to the CNN report, the CIA and the State Department were the two U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi. The State Department has denied being involved in any transfer of weapons to other countries, though it clearly stated they “can’t speak for any other agencies.”
The CIA, on the other hand, would not say if they were involved in any transfer of weapons to other nations.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has fallen on the proverbial sword long distance, declaring the buck stops with her on the Benghazi security debacle.

That’s all well and good, but where does the buck stop on all the lying and covering up that followed? Yes, I used the unvarnished “L-word” because that’s what it was. How else to characterize UN Ambassador Susan Rice running around telling everyone in earshot that the Benghazi events were caused by an idiotic and unwatched YouTube trailer when Occam’s Razor — not to mention rocket-propelled grenades, an ambassador dragged through the streets, and a safe house mysteriously under fire — pointed to a terror attack commemorating September 11?

And then the president, acting like an errant husband unwilling to confess his adultery (who do you believe – me or your lying eyes?), repeated the same swill on The View nearly a week later. Unconscionable.
Why did this happen? Why this bizarre need to obfuscate or push away such an obvious truth?
It’s a lot more significant than the usual election season blather. On the deepest level, Barack Obama did not want to be found out. He had something even bigger than Benghazi to cover up – his worldview.
Our president really believes — or more precisely really wants to believe — that the Islamist threat is relatively small and can be met with what John Kerry (his debate coach) used to call “police actions.” In Obama’s case, that means drone attacks or, more famously, the assassination of bin Laden, which he ordered and his associates give him so much credit for when any U.S. president would have done the same thing. (Can you imagine the outcry if it had ever been discovered that one hadn’t?)

Report: More Benghazi Whistleblowers to Reveal ‘Devastating’ Details About Attack, Including WHY Chris Stevens Was in Libya

Report: More Benghazi Whistleblowers to Reveal Devastating Details on Terror Attack
Amb. Chris Stevens (Photo Credit: AP)
New Benghazi whistleblowers are prepared to reveal shocking details about the Sept. 11 terror attack, including why U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was in Libya to begin with, two former U.S. diplomats reportedly told PJ Media on Monday.
The unidentified whistleblowers are reportedly colleagues of former diplomats and are seeking legal counsel because they “work in areas not fully protected by whistleblower law,” the report adds.
More from PJ Media’s exclusive:
According to the diplomats, what these whistleblowers will say will be at least as explosive as what we have already learned about the scandal, including details about what really transpired in Benghazi that are potentially devastating to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The former diplomats inform PJM the new revelations concentrate in two areas — what Ambassador Chris Stevens was actually doing in Benghazi and the pressure put on General Carter Ham, then in command of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and therefore responsible for Libya, not to act to protect jeopardized U.S. personnel.
Stevens’ mission in Benghazi, they will say, was to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups issued to them by the State Department, not by the CIA. Such a mission would usually be a CIA effort, but the intelligence agency had opposed the idea because of the high risk involved in arming “insurgents” with powerful weapons that endanger civilian aircraft.
Hillary Clinton still wanted to proceed because, in part, as one of the diplomats said, she wanted “to overthrow Gaddafi on the cheap.”
One of the most important unanswered questions about the Benghazi attack has been why Stevens was in Benghazi on the anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. If the whistleblowers’ information turns out to be credible, it could be a huge break in the investigation into what really happened.
According to PJ Media’s report, Clinton’s plan to reaquire the stinger missiles left Stevens with the responsibility to handle the aftermath of the alleged gun-running operation after it was clear that the “insurgents” in Libya were really radical Islamists aligned with al-Qaeda.
The former diplomat who reportedly talked exclusively with PJ Media, likened the Obama administration’s plan in Libya to the amateurish covert war depicted in the Mike Nochols film, “Charlie Wilson’s War.” The movie tells the story of an arrogant Texas congressman, Charlie Wilson, who supplies Stinger missiles to the Afghan guerillas to help them fight the Soviets.
“It’s as if Hillary and the others just watched that movie and said ‘Hey, let’s do that!’” the diplomat reportedly said.
Here’s the trailer for Charlie Wilson’s War” for context:

“He added that he and his colleagues think the leaking of General David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell was timed to silence the former CIA chief on these matters,” PJ Media reports.
It is unclear at this point if the unidentified “whisteblowers” are credible, however, TheBlaze will continue monitoring this developing story.
“PJ Media recognizes this is largely hearsay, but the two diplomats sounded quite credible. One of them was in a position of responsibility in a dangerous area of Iraq in 2004,” PJM’s report concludes.
Carousel image via AFP/Getty
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Comments (240)
May. 21, 2013 at 9:16pm
Wel we have known for quite some time its about gun running. Do the homeowrk and you wil see it to
~ ABC News interviewed Glen Doherty weeks before 9/11/12 where he told them that “they were there on an intel mission to track weapons”
~ A ship from Libya to Turkey carried arms cargo bound for Syria where it was reported rebels were actually fighting over who got what
~ Stevens met with the Turkish General Counsel in Libya on 9/11/12 before the attack.
This GC is reported to have direct ties to extremists operating in Syria!
All of these things and much more is not conspiracy they actually come from large news sites like ABC Reuters! If the crap media would just run with these bullet points the discussion we all would be having now would be about Pres Biden and how mad we are that he is pardoning 0bama!!!!!!
  • May. 21, 2013 at 5:07pmWhen I was a little girl my Granny would pour me a cup of milk and have me say when, when I’ve had enough. …………..WHEN!! Enough is enough. These people need brought up on charges after this is all out in the open. I don’t care if your name is Clinton or Obama. You have forgotten the We The People. And now We The People have had enough.
    Report this comment
    Jenny Lind
    May. 21, 2013 at 5:18pm
    Well said, I add my ENOUGH.
May. 21, 2013 at 6:51pm
This is fantastic FUBARED Finally America will have to see how FUBAR this whole thing was! Screw the talking points, this is the real deal!
May. 21, 2013 at 5:10pm
Like we all don’t already know what he was there for. The stupidity of the low information citizen never fails to amaze.
Aug. 2, 2013 at 9:54am
Unfortunately they can vote!
May. 21, 2013 at 5:10pm
May. 21, 2013 at 5:12pm
Lucy….you have some splainin to do
Snowleopard {gallery of cat folks}
May. 21, 2013 at 5:13pm
IF this turns out to be credible and is true, then the link to the State Department will all but ensure the ending of Hillary as a Presidential candidate.
Also such a ‘revelation’ would allow Obama to ferret his way out of that mess, avoid impeachment and a means to declare ‘The Republicans were on a witch hunt, see they went after me instead of Hillary…’
Again, this assumes it is true and can be verified: given the current campaign of intimidation and outright persecution of whistle blowers, it likely is.
May justice be done.
May. 21, 2013 at 5:39pm
I’d like to agree that Hillary is done. The sad fact is that she’s a Teflon bandit though. she’s been through many a scandal already and looks like a slick duck regardless. however, this episode will damage her to a certain extent. that is if the republicans actually get a spine and tell the American people the truth about these criminals running the nation right now.
May. 21, 2013 at 6:00pm
Lakehart – That’s it! I was wondering where his posts went. It must be because of the w** dream reference. I asked him if he removed his own post over embarrassment lol
May. 21, 2013 at 6:14pm
True, likely. But kill The Hillary’s chance for the role she was destined to have? Never! State media will do what it must both to cover for her and guarantee nomination an election, American voter be damned. There is an issue of “fairness” involved. It is her turn, damn it! State media will not tolerate something unfair, at least not as it applies to their agenda.
old construction worker
May. 21, 2013 at 11:48pm
I believe it was a Turkish General.
“One of the most important unanswered questions about the Benghazi attack has been why Stevens was in Benghazi on the anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.”
Stevens was set up.
The real questions: Why did meeting have to take place in Benghazi? Who was the go between Stevens and the Turkish General?
May. 21, 2013 at 5:23pm
So…selling Stinger Missiles to Al Queda terrorists….wait till we hear Jay Carney tell us that is an “Irrelevant Fact” And then “buying” them back ….aka FUNDING MORE TERRORISM….
By the time we get to the bottom of this, impeachment won’t be nearly enough.
Good thing we kept Guantanomo open ;0
And I thought we brought about revolution in the these countries with Facebook and Twitter….what ever happened to that line of BS?
May. 21, 2013 at 5:28pm
It doesn’t matter what facts are turned up, in the end, Obama will deny knowing any of it. And only his closest advisers could prove differently.

Benghazi: The Story That Won’t Go Away…And Shouldn’t.

by Hal Gershowitz and Stephen Porter on May 19, 2013

Despite the best hopes of the Obama Administration, the Benghazi story will not go away. And it shouldn’t; not before we know who made the final decision to dupe the American People, and why. Last week’s revelation that the Administration’s original “talking points on Benghazi were revised a dozen times adds another reason not to trust the official story line,” says The Wall Street Journal. It also gives Congress new cause to keep digging. Now mainstream reporters, not just Fox News, have disclosed that the talking points evolved over time to exclude references to terrorists who might have participated in the attacks that killed four Americans last September, including out Ambassador, Chris Stevens. The first iteration on Friday, September 14, prepared by the CIA, said that, “we do know (emphasis added) that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qaeda participated in the attack.” Notwithstanding that the attack occurred on September 11, a day loaded with unbelievable significance, the Administration originally trotted out U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to pitch the line that the attacks resulted from reaction to a YouTube video that had gone viral and which apparently offended the Islamic world.
The White House is still sticking with its original story claiming now that everyone knows that talking points always get routine interagency scrutiny and editing. A former journalist, Mr. Carney may have been in politics so long he has forgotten when public officials begin to sound ridiculous.
Last week three State Department witnesses contradicted the original line put out by the Administration. Riveting testimony by Gregory Hicks, Deputy to the Ambassador in Tripoli, and two colleagues reignited questions about Benghazi, previously solely a preoccupation of the right. Former Secretary Clinton’s spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, citing “issues” of the State Department leadership insisted on amendments so the talking points, made no mention of al‑Qaeda or CIA warnings about inadequate security at the Benghazi consulate. Hicks, his voice cracking with emotion, recounted how he was told not to talk to a Republican congressman who was visiting Tripoli to investigate the attack. After he did so, without a State Department lawyer who had been sent to sit in on such meetings, he received a call from Secretary Clinton’s chief of staff, who was “upset” and demanded a report on the visit. Footage of Clinton asking indignantly in January “what difference does it make whether Americans were killed because of a protest or some other reason” is certain to appear in 2016 attack advertisements.
For their part, Democrats are invoking the “vast right‑wing conspiracy” theory that Hillary Clinton trotted out in 1998 during the Lewinsky scandal. In any event, it appears that last week’s hearing before the House Committee was a turning point, and Republicans were no longer pulling their punches about the Benghazi affair. Truth is always the first casualty, particularly inconvenient truths, and as Peggy Noonan wrote, “The Benghazi story until now has been a jumble of factoids that didn’t quite cohere, didn’t produce a story that people could absorb and hold in their minds.” The testimony this past week seems to have changed all that. “You could tell that the three parties testifying; Gregory Hicks Mark Thompson and Eric Nordstrom, were authoritative, well respected and credible. You knew you were hearing the truth as they saw and experienced it. Not one of them seemed political. You had no sense of how they vote in elections. They were professionals. They put the lie to the idea that all questioning of Obama administration actions in Benghazi are partisan and low.”
Because the White House could not tolerate the idea of Benghazi as a planned and deliberate terrorist assault, it had to be made into something else. So they sent Susan Rice out to the Sunday talk shows to claim it was a spontaneous street demonstration over an anti‑Mohammad YouTube video made by some nutty California con man. But, if what happened in Benghazi was not a planned and prolonged terrorists assault, if it was merely a street demonstration gone bad, the Administration had an excuse not take military action to protect Americans there. You take military action in response to a planned and coordinated attack by armed combatants. You don’t if it is an essentially meaningless street demonstration that came and went.
President Obama had supported overthrowing Kaddafi and put U.S. force behind the Libyan rebels. It was one of the President’s better hours. It was about time that the Libyan strong man was overthrown. But what went wrong? Now Libyans were killing our diplomats. More importantly, the Administration’s efforts against al Qaeda would suddenly come under scrutiny and questioning. After the killing of bin Laden, the President apparently thought that the al Qaeda threat was vastly diminished. “ GM is alive and Ben Laden is Dead” became a 2012 election mantra”. But if an al Qaeda offshoot in Libya was killing our diplomats, the age of al Qaeda sponsored terrorism was certainly not over.
Apparently now, House Republicans plan to take another step in the widening Benghazi investigation by asking leaders of an independent review board to agree to be questioned about their investigation of last year’s attacks in Libya. The Accountability Review Board reported in December that the State Department had failed to provide for the security of the Benghazi post despite growing militancy in the area. Republicans have assailed the Board for not probing more deeply and not formally questioning Mrs. Clinton. Some charge the panel was under the control of Mrs. Clinton and the White House. “We believe it was insufficient,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in an interview on Meet the Press. Now, as a result of the recent testimony before the Congress, Republican lawmakers believe that additional whistleblowers are likely to emerge. They also are pushing for the appointment of a special select committee to probe the attacks; bringing together investigations now underway at five separate GOP‑controlled panels.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona has called the Administration’s response to Benghazi‑‑including inaccurate “talking points” used as the basis for early public statements‑‑a “coverup” and endorsed the idea of a select committee, as did Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma. Mr. Inhofe predicted last week that the Benghazi investigation would even lead to an impeachment debate.
As you might expect, Democrats see it differently. They think that the investigation is aimed squarely at the political future of Mrs. Clinton, who is frequently mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate. Truth is always the first casualty and in the midst of a reelection campaign, Obama aides wanted to promote a mythology that the President who sent the Navy SEALS to kill Osama bin Laden was vanquishing terror so they deemed it problematic to mention any possible al Qaeda involvement in the Benghazi attack. Looking ahead to 2016, Hillary supporters needed to shore up the mythology that Clinton was a stellar Secretary of State.
In any event, while the Administration stubbornly clings to the old saw, That’s my story and I am sticking to it, the media and the public are no longer buying it.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }
 irwin yablans May 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm
An impeachment debate?
Havn’t you guys had enough of that destructive mischief making by now.
I don’t remember democrats calling for Bush’s removal despite sending Colin Powell to lie about WMD’s and plunging the country into a disastrous and costly war.
The “Ben Ghazi affair”has been blown way out of proportion by the same ilk that embarassed a President and a nation with the Monica Lewinsky witch hunt…The Right will have to come up with better than that if they want to challenge the democratic nominee in 2016…Maybe some fresh ideas?
Republicans seem to love the “I word”.

mark j levick May 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm
As long as only Republicans ask who knew what and when did they know it about Bengahzi, the IRS scandal and the search of AP telephone records this will become yet another witch hunt like Fast and Furious. It will take a person of substance to connect the dots so the American public can comprehend that nothing in Washington happens in a vacuum and the inconvenient truth is that the President is not in charge of the day to day operation of the Executive Branch. That is left to David Axelrod, Valerie Jarett who craft policy around protecting the President and promoting his political agenda. Thus Obama is able to play Sgt. Schultz and “know nothing” until the music his spin meisters are playing comes to a sudden halt. Then the old song is played with a slightly different melody and the beat goes on. If the MSM ever asks questions and demands answers we will learn who is responsible for the mess that has been created at the Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury. Perhaps it’s George w. Bush who seems to be the cause of everything that goes wrong but that would mean he’s serving a fourth term and we all know that is unconstitutional.


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