Don’t Blow It on Benghazi: The Focus Must Be Obama, NOT HILLARY CLINTON!
America could be on the cusp of a great victory–a victory for accountability and truth. The Benghazi debacle is, at last, breaking into the public consciousness. Indeed, in its outlines, finally visible as the coverup unravels, Benghazi is starting to look like a scandal, bringing up memories of an earlier scandal, Watergate.
Yet the Republicans could still blow it, not only for themselves, but much more importantly, for the country. They could blow it, that is, if they make the terrible mistake of turning an honest and necessary inquiry about the events of 2012 and 2013 into a contrived exercise in political positioning for 2016.
Yes, I am looking at you, Karl Rove. After your abysmal campaign performance in 2012, it’s painfully evident that your too-clever-by-half tricks in 2013–injecting your presidential-campaign-style attack spot into the Benghazi investigation–could undercut your own party yet again.
We’ll get back to Rove in the third installment, but first, let’s assess where we are on Benghazi.
As we all know by now, the Obama administration bungled everything about Benghazi on September 11, 2012, leading to the tragic death of our ambassador and three more brave Americans. Yet at the same time, we must admit that the administration was successful in covering up its own fecklessness–at least well enough to get through last year’s presidential election.
Yet in the last few days, that coverup has been uncovered, as all Americans can now see. [snip]
Speaking of coverups and the obstruction of justice, I might add that for me, as someone who experienced Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal firsthand back in the 70s, the memories of that sordid mess have all come flooding back as I think on this new sordid mess.
The cliché of scandals is that it’s usually not the incident itself that’s so serious, but rather, the cover-up of the incident. That was certainly true of Watergate; yes, it was a criminal conspiracy from the outset–a conspiracy to rig the re-election of Richard Nixon–but it’s not clear that Nixon knew about it in advance. Yet he did know soon after the June 17, 1972 break-in, and instead of cleaning house, he helped to cover it up. That’s what turned Watergate from a election scandal into an impeachment scandal. [snip]
But of course, then Obama would have had to cancel his campaign events, hunker down in the White House, and prove himself to be a real commander-in-chief. [snip]
It never seems to have occurred to Obama, or anyone else in his administration, that the Benghazi tragedy required some sort of midcourse correction, away from campaigning and toward governing. No, the campaign strategy had been set in Chicago long before: The Obama re-election campaign was predicated on the idea that the 44th President had killed Osama Bin Laden and won the war on terror.
So Obama’s team was all assembled for that famous photo in the White House Situation Room as they awaited the news of the Bin Laden raid in Pakistan on May 1, 2011. But then, more than a year later, a new attack by Al Qaeda on a new 9/11 simply wasn’t part of the carefully laid out campaign script. And since campaigning was paramount,the Al Qaeda role in the Benghazi attack had to be airbrushed out by the White House–with the aid, of course, of an adoring media.
Thus the terrorist assassins became, in the Obama narrative, just an unruly mob, fired up by some dumb Mohammed video made in California. Once that cover story was settled upon, that was the beginning of the cover-up of Benghazi.
As the rubble in Benghazi was still smoldering, the President declared, on September 12, 2012, “We will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.” And then he was aboard Air Force One, off to Las Vegas, for a rally and fundraiser.
The immediate question, of course, is what Obama left behind in Washington D.C. that day. Increasingly, it appears that he left his underlings in Washington to work out the new and dishonest Benghazi narrative–the cover-up. The goal was to insulate the President from all this bad news–he had nothing to do with it. Isn’t it interesting, for example, that no photos were ever released of the President working on the Benghazi crisis on the night of the attacks? Nope, with the November election just six weeks away, the White House strategy was clear: The President was to kept far, far away from anything that might make the votes wonder if they had the right commander-in-chief.
Thus we come to the more important question–the ultimate question: What did the President know? (and when did he know it?)
Everything else, in the long run, flows from that. Obama might not know it or think it, but he is, as JFK said more than a half-century ago, “the responsible officer of this government.” That is, the President is primary in the Benghazi saga; inquiries into the role of anyone else–including the former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton–are decidedly secondary or even tertiary. In an investigation such as this, we shouldn’t be looking to the capillaries, or even the arteries; we should be going right to the heart–Obama. If others wish to obscure his role, well, we must seek to clarify his role.
Yet even as we keep our focus on the President, we still have to understand how his men and women acted on his behalf.
The first document of the cover-up, of course, were those dozen-times rewritten Benghazi talking points, the ones that Susan Rice used to mislead the nation on September 16, 2012–five ways to Sunday, one might say. We might immediately note that the Mohammed video never appears in those “talkers.” It was only in the days to come that the blame-the-video narrative was repeated by not only the President, but also the Vice President, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and everyone else in the administration. So there’s a mystery to be unraveled? Who dropped the Mohammed video argument into the national dialogue?
So who was ultimately in charge of those talking points? Not Hillary Clinton, nor her State Department. Instead, the buck seems to have stopped at the White House–but nowhere near the President, of course.
Instead, it was a second-tier functionary at the National Security Council who took the lead. The key figure seems to be one Ben Rhodes, whose title is deputy national security adviser for strategic communications and speechwriting–which should be translated to, “spinning and talking-point massaging.” He was the main rewrite guy.
But here’s where the cover-up gets even more interesting. How so? Because, after all, Rhodes is not in charge of the NSC. And if the actual head of the NSC doesn’t leap to mind, well, that’s proof that the plan is working. What plan? The plan to keep Tom Donilon out of the news and out of the line of fire.
The Benghazi cover-up at the White House was, in fact, a double cover-up. As we have seen, the President was to be insulated from Benghazi. But so, too, was someone else. That someone else is Thomas E. Donilon, the national security adviser at the White House, who is, of course, Ben Rhodes’ boss at the National Security Council. So if Rhodes is doing something as vital as managing the Benghazi message, we can be reasonably sure that Donilon was all over it. We can be reasonably sure of it, that it, but what we can’t actually see it, because Donilon has chosen to become politically invisible. Yes, if you and I haven’t heard much of Donilon lately, that’s not an accident; even though he is very ambitious, he has always been a behind-the-scenes player. And he’s been very behind-the-scenes for these past eight months.
I consider Donilon to be the greatest spinner and string-puller working in Washington today, and those talents have been good for his career. He started out as a political hack who then parlayed those talents into a gig that made him millions at Fannie Mae . And while the Fannie scandal has destroyed many Beltway careers, and deservedly so, Donilon managed to worm his way up into the highest rung of US national-security policymaking.
Yet not surprisingly, Donilon’s rise has been terrible for the country. I have warned about Donilon extensively in the past, noting, in particular, his skill as a master-leaker and news master-manipulator. In particular, Donilon has been in the middle of the Stuxnet leaks from last year–the leaks designed to make the Obama administration look tough against Iran. And although many Washington leaders, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein(D-CA) were forthright in expressing their concerns about the leaks, and in suggesting that the White House was involved, nothing happened to anyone in the White House–certainly not Donilon. So perhaps that’s how Donilon developed the hubristic arrogance to think that he could leak and spin anything, even Benghazi.
As an aside, to see Donilon in action, we might take another look at that famous Sit Room photo from May 1, 2011. Look closely at the picture: Who’s the dominant figure? It’s not Obama; he’s hunched down on the side. No, the alpha male in the shot is the bluff fellow in the blue-green shirt, his arms sternly folded across his chest–Tom Donilon. These things don’t happen by accident; it’s Donilon, not the others, who runs the Sit Room, and he is smart enough to know where to stand. Does that seem petty? Sure it does. Is it petty? Sure it is. Welcome to Washington.
However, Donilon’s skills seem to have stopped there, with his ability to look commanding in a photo. By contrast, his command of American foreign policy and national security is considerably weaker–more like atrocious.
Donilon could have gone to the President after Benghazi and suggested that course-correction. Donilon could have said, “Mr. President, the situation has changed. You must face up to the challenge of terror and confront it head on.” Once again, not only would such a new and resolute course of action have been the right thing to do, but it would have proven to be, as a residual result, good politics for Obama, as well. Yet Donilon, whom I have known for 35 years, isn’t that smart. If he ever knew that JFK had said, in the wake of the Bay of Pigs back in 1961, “I am the responsible officer,” he obviously failed to grasp the positive impact of forthright candor.
Lacking any larger vision of his own job, Donilon just defaulted to what he knew best–conniving and cover-upping. And conniving and cover-upping not only for Obama, but also for himself. Instead, he was the offstage orchestra conductor, and the maestro; he orchestrated a campaign to of minimize, marginalize, misdirect, and mislead the country.
Yet even Donilon could also see that the Benghazi cover-story effort was not going to be a particularly happy experience for anyone. And so Donilon himself went underground–a hard feat for a national security adviser. Yet Donilon, the “invisible man” when he wants to be–and with the help of a dependent and subservient press–has so far gotten away with it. Thus it’s Ben Rhodes getting kicked around, not his boss.
If the only issue were who is getting credit when things are good (Donilon and Bin Laden), and discredit when things bad (Rhodes and Benghazi), then West Wing power games would be, well, a somewhat amusing little game.
However, as we know, the stakes are much higher than any mere game, In fact, the echoes between Benghazi and Watergate are eerie, indeed. Yet the stakes are, in fact, much higher because they go to not only the credibility of the presidency, but also to the security of the country.
Yet as we learned in Watergate–or should have learned, anyway–a complicated cover-up conspiracy cannot succeed. So Tom Donilon and his tactics are not only a cancer on the presidency, but they are also, by now, a threat to Obama’s credibility and legacy.
Most of all, though, Donilon and his ways, now metastasized across the federal government, are a threat to the United States of America.
Next: The Eerie Parallels Between Benghazi and Watergate
You can read Cadell’s very enlightening article in it’s entirety here:
Yes, there is more than one scandal brewing in a White House cauldron of LIES! Let’s begin at the beginning. What was Amb Stevens doing in Benghazi in the first place with little or no security just the bare minimum of locals providing protection?
In order to get to the bottom of this mystery, the daily news reports are forced to work backwards until they arrive at the beginning. In my opinion, we must establish why Christoper Stevens was asked to go to Benghazi (at the May 2012 Correspondent’s Dinner) by Obama? That answer has been bandied about in several reports but nothing concrete has yet been established except for the fact it was about GUNS- Were those gun made in the USA? Were they leftover guns from Kadaffi’s storehouse? Why was it imperative to use the Ambassador to collect those guns? Obama asking him to accept the mission at the Correspondents Dinner? (these questions have yet to receive clear concise answers. So they remain at the forefront of our questions list until they are answered as the beginning of the ‘Benghazi Odyssey” of Chris Stevens.)
Here is a recent compilation posted in The New Yorker by Alex Koppelman, entitled “Spinning Benghazi”. I suggest you open the links (as you go) for the details before you continue reading if you are not aware of all the facts as this story is pieced together.
It’s a cliché, of course, but it really is true: in Washington, every scandal has a crime and a coverup. The ongoing debate about the attack on the United States facility in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, and the Obama Administration’s response to it, is no exception. For a long time, it seemed like the idea of a coverup was just a Republican obsession. But now there is something to it.
On Friday, ABC News’s Jonathan Karl revealed the details of the editing process for the C.I.A.’s talking points about the attack, including the edits themselves and some of the reasons a State Department spokeswoman gave for requesting those edits. It’s striking to see the twelve different iterations that the talking points went through before they were released to Congress and to United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who used them in Sunday show appearances that became a central focus of Republicans’ criticism of the Administration’s public response to the attacks. Over the course of about twenty-four hours, the remarks evolved from something specific and fairly detailed into a bland, vague mush.
From the very beginning of the editing process, the talking points contained the erroneous assertion that the attack was “spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved.” That’s an important fact, because the right has always criticized the Administration based on the suggestion that the C.I.A. and the State Department, contrary to what they said, knew that the attack was not spontaneous and not an outgrowth of a demonstration. But everything else about the changes that were made is problematic. The initial draft revealed by Karl mentions “at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi” before the one in which four Americans were killed. That’s not in the final version. Nor is this: “[W]e do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qa’ida participated in the attack.” That was replaced by the more tepid “There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.” (Even if we accept the argument that State wanted to be sure that extremists were involved, and that they could be linked to Al Qaeda, before saying so with any level of certainty—which is reasonable and supported by evidence from Karl’s reporting—that doesn’t fully explain these changes away.)
Democrats will argue that the editing process wasn’t motivated by a desire to protect Obama’s record on fighting Al Qaeda in the run-up to the 2012 election. They have a point; based on what we’ve seen from Karl’s report, the process that went into creating and then changing the talking points seems to have been driven in large measure by two parts of the government—C.I.A. and State—trying to make sure the blame for the attacks and the failure to protect American personnel in Benghazi fell on the other guy.
But the mere existence of the edits—whatever the motivation for them—seriously undermines the White House’s credibility on this issue. This past November (after Election Day), White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”
Remarkably, Carney is sticking with that line even now. In his regular press briefing on Friday afternoon (a briefing that was delayed several times, presumably in part so the White House could get its spin in order, but also so that it could hold a secretive pre-briefing briefing with select members of the White House press corps), he said:
“The only edit made by the White House or the State Department to those talking points generated by the C.I.A. was a change from referring to the facility that was attacked in Benghazi from “consulate,” because it was not a consulate, to “diplomatic post”… it was a matter of non-substantive factual correction. But there was a process leading up to that that involved inputs from a lot of agencies, as is always the case in a situation like this and is always appropriate.”
This is an incredible thing for Carney to be saying. He’s playing semantic games, telling a roomful of journalists that the definition of editing we’ve all been using is wrong, that the only thing that matters is who’s actually working the keyboard. It’s not quite re-defining the word “is,” or the phrase “sexual relations,” but it’s not all that far off, either.
For reading about the incestual press aiding in the coverup read here:
MSNBC host and commentator Touré fired a clear and distinct shot at Dr. Ben Carson Friday, hammering the African-American Presidential Medal of Freedom winner for daring to challenge the Obamadoxy parroted by Touré and progressive journalists bent on supporting the President’s policies at all costs.
Dr. Ben Carson splashed onto the national stage with his blistering criticism of ObamaCare last month at the National Prayer breakfast, with President Obama seated just a few feet away. Carson is a heroic surgeon, Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, who performed groundbreaking medical miracles at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is a brilliant and passionate advocate for free market principals, individual responsibility, and the freedoms and liberty embodied in resistance to bloated big government programs like ObamaCare. He also happens to be black. Therefore, he must be stopped, now.
Like Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice, Colin Powell (until he got the message) and Herman Cain before him, Carson will now be the target of the most vile and reprehensible kinds of criticism from black progressives like Touré and his colleague Al Sharpton. A black man who doesn’t blindly support the president and the big government programs that has created a dependency on government that has crippled America’s underclass is susceptible to name calling that, otherwise, would not be tolerated in American political discourse.
On his show, Touré said this of Carson:
“Carson is a brilliant medical thinker but he’s got intellectual tumors like a flat tax, which is regressive, and ignorant in the face of wealth inequality where the top 1% own 35% and the bottom 60% own 2.3%. I doubt Jesus would tax them equally. Just as I doubt the GOP would entertain a white non-politician with unserious ideas. But Carson has joined the GOP’s version of affirmative action, where blacks that can speak conservative game get raced to the front of the line because then people get to put a bumper sticker on their car that say, ‘How could I be racist? I would have voted for Carson!’ Which would fit nicely over the bumper sticker saying, ‘How could I be racist? I would have voted for Cain?’ Which fit nicely over the bumper sticker saying, ‘How could I be racist? I would have voted for Allen West!’”
Yes, any black friend will do, no matter how far outside the political system they emerge from and no matter how unserious their ideas are. Because it’s all make believe. None of them will ever get a nomination for the Presidency, just as the GOP will never get black votes, because the only thing they care about is winning and not the economic or social needs of black people. But in the meantime, imagine away you guys.
At CPAC Carson said, ‘Let’s say you magically put me in the White House.’ But, my brother, no magic is required to accomplish that. As soon as the sequester ends, you could take a White House tour.
Let’s be clear: Touré holds black men up to a different (lower or higher, not sure) standard when they criticize the President. He expects black people to think a certain way and pounces when they step out of line and express a different set of ideas than what Touré believes they should believe, due to their skin color. Because Carson is a black man, he is therefore the beneficiary of affirmitive action, in Touré’s mind, and if he dares to present an opposing view from MSNBC’s Obamadoxy, he is an Uncle Tom and betrayer of his race.
In short, Touré has a special contempt for black men who criticize President Obama. There may be many different interpretations of the definition of racial prejudice and/or racism, but my understanding of racism is that it is the belief that humans are divided into distinct groups based upon their skin color and genetic make-up, and those groups are expected to behave and think in certain ways (inferior or superior) solely based upon their race. Touré’s special loathing of Dr. Carson may not be based upon his race, but it certainly appears to be. And if that doesn’t fall under the description of racism, then I would really appreciate it if Touré could explain the distinction to me, because I’m having trouble seeing it.
Hillary WILL run in 2016, claims wealthy Greek donor (who says Bill told him)
By Leslie Larson
13 February 2013
A wealthy Democratic donor is fanning the flames of speculation that Hillary Clinton is indeed running for president.
Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopoulos says Bill Clinton has confirmed the presumed plan that the former Secretary of State will make a bid for the White House again.
The millionaire told the Greek Reporter that Clinton’s husband revealed his wife’s political ambition, as the power couple gear up for a 2016 race.
‘Hillary will be our next President and she will be a great one,’ Mr Tsakopoulos told the Greek Reporter at a private gala event in California over the weekend.
‘I talk to her husband, and he confirmed it. She will run,’ he added. Reps from the Clinton camp have publicly addressed his statements.
Hillary Clinton’s political plans are considered the worst kept secret in Washington.
Though the 65-year-old, who left the State Department in January, claims she has no set agenda for the future it has been widely thought that she still has her eye on the Oval Office.
Just days after she handed over the reins of the State Department to former Mass. Sen. John Kerry, she launched a new website with the mysterious web address http://www.hillaryclintonoffice.com.
The website features a glamorous photo of the diplomat but provides no information on its purpose, other than the option for a visitor to enter their contact information.
She has long stated that she would be taking time to rest and not focusing on her long-term plans.
In December, she suffered a concussion and was hospitalized briefly for a blood clot near her brain.
She previously sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, against then Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)
She and her husband fought tooth and nail against the rising Democratic star, who ultimately proved victorious.
Though the indefatigable political pair had to lick their wounds when Mr Obama secured the Democratic presidential nomination, they eventually got in line to support the party and then Sen. Clinton (D-NY) was appointed Secretary of State under the 44th president.
But she has maintained a powerful circle of supporters who have continued to express their hope that she would run again.
Obama Sequestration Request Calling For Short-Term Budget Fix To Delay Automatic Cuts
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for a short-term deficit reduction package of spending cuts and tax revenue that will delay the effective date of steeper automatic cuts now scheduled to kick in on March 1. Obama said the looming cuts would be economically damaging and must be avoided.
The president reiterated his insistence on long-term deficit reduction that combines taxes and cuts, a blend that faces stiff resistance from anti-tax Republicans in Congress.
Obama made his case Tuesday afternoon in the White House briefing room, just minutes after the Congressional Budget Office released revised budget projections that showed the deficit will drop to $845 billion this year, the first time during Obama’s presidency that the red ink would fall below $1 trillion. The budget office also said the economy will grow slowly in 2013, hindered by a tax increase enacted in January and by the automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect this spring.
It is those cuts that Obama is seeking to put off with less onerous measures. Neither the president nor White House aides specified what those measures should be.
“There’s no reason that the jobs of thousands of American who work in national security or education or clean energy, not to mention the growth of the entire economy, should be put in jeopardy just because folks in Washington couldn’t come together to eliminate a few special interest tax loopholes or government programs that we agree need some reform,” he said.
Obama said Congress needs more time to work out a 10-year plan worth more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction. Obama did not place a time span or a dollar amount on the short-term plan. Officials said he will leave that to Congress.
His request comes as some congressional Republicans were signaling that they might allow the automatic cuts to kick in as the only viable means of achieving deficit reduction, even though it cut into programs they support, such as defense.
The president’s request would continue what has become a common practice in Washington – dealing with fiscal issues in small steps in hopes that over time Congress and the administration are able to agree on broader and more lasting policies. In his remarks, Obama alluded to the incremental nature of the work ahead.
“Let’s keep on chipping away at this problem together, as Democrats and Republicans, to give our workers and our businesses the support that they need to thrive in the weeks and months ahead,” Obama said.
read the rest :
The Obama administration announced January 23rd it will release its proposed budget Feb. 13, a week later than scheduled.
“As in previous years, the date was determined based on the need to finalize decisions and technical details of the document,” said an announcement from the Office of Management and Budget.
(OMB also announced it will not be providing free bound copies of the document to the media, calling it a cost-saving measure.)
Congressional Republicans blasted the delayed budget. Under federal law, the president must submit a budget by the first Monday in February. As a result, that last day before the deadline has become the de facto date.
But Obama violated the law last year with a one-week delay, and he’s doing it again this year.
“This will mark the third time in four years the president has missed his statutory requirement to present a budget on time, while trillion-dollar budget deficits continue to mount,” said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Ryan added: “As the President announces another missed deadline, tomorrow marks the 1,000th day Senate Democrats have gone without any budget at all.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, called it “an inauspicious way to launch his State of the Union address.”
“In this, the final year of his term, one would think he would be ready and eager to lay out his detailed plan for our nation’s financial future,” Sessions said. “He speaks of the American people’s economic suffering, yet he would, at such a time, delay fulfilling this fundamental duty on their behalf.”
And Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a former White House budget director in the Bush administration, suggested Obama get off the campaign trail.
“I’m incredibly concerned that, with a record national debt now equal to 100% of our GDP, the president is unable to put forward a plan to address Washington’s out of control debt and deficits,” Portman said. “If I were advising President Obama, I’d recommend less time campaigning and more time spent addressing the impending fiscal crisis. We need a budget with a responsible spending restraint and pro-growth reforms, and WE NEED IT NOW!
Closer look at the president’s role in Libya aftermath
What was he doing during and after attack?
GRETA ASKS WEST:
McCain Presses Hillary for More Information:
@ minute 5:22 on the Greata video… West explains in clear concise language the chain of command when the president gives an Execute Order to the Joint Chiefs. The Generals are saying this Order was never given to them to send help to the distressed Americans in Libya.
Although now, Obama is saying HE GAVE the ORDER to send HELP.
West says the chain of command goes this way : “The president “GIVES THE ORDER”, the ORDER is written down by the National Security Council Adviser”… and the Joint Chiefs follow through deciding what assets from where will be sent to help out Americans in distress.
What Bing West is saying is, He wants to see the written order to execute the president’s directive to send HELP to Benghazi… supposedly, now, what Obama is claiming IS, he did GIVE THE ORDER to send HELP when our Ambassador was pleading for help.
All West is saying is …WHERE IS THAT WRITTEN ORDER? WE WANT TO SEE IT! Mr. President.. produce the ORDER!
West also let the cat out of the bag- @ 4:33 Hillary did send help (in spite of the stand down order) The State Dept did send a plane carrying 6 Americans to help the distressed Ambassador and the 3 former Seals who risked all to protect the Ambassador. (I just knew it..I just did.. I hope this shocker puts all the judgmental naysayers to SHAME!)
NOW THIS VIDEO NEEDS TO GO VIRAL!
anyone reading this… PLEASE, send this video to every blog you know and get this information out there… The military is willing to stand up to OBAMA.. PLEASE HELP THEM DO IT!
MEDIA IGNORE HILLARY’S BOMBSHELL BENGHAZI CLAIM
by Aaron Klein
Aaron Klein is WND’s senior staff reporter and Jerusalem bureau chief. He also hosts “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s WABC Radio.
JERUSALEM – During the Senate hearing on Benghazi yesterday, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed she did not know whether the U.S. special mission attacked on Sept. 11 was involved in gun-running.
The remarks were perhaps the most important and telling of the entire hearing since they address a possible motive behind the jihadist attacks.
Yet Clinton’s answers were largely unreported by U.S. news media.
The exchange on the subject took place with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Paul asked Clinton: “Is the U. S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya?
“To Turkey?” Clinton asked. “I will have to take that question for the record. Nobody has ever raised that with me.”
Continued Paul: “It’s been in news reports that ships have been leaving from Libya and that may have weapons, and what I’d like to know is the annex that was close by, were they involved with procuring, buying, selling, obtaining weapons, and were any of these weapons being transferred to other countries, any countries, Turkey included?”
Clinton replied, “Well, senator, you’ll have to direct that question to the agency that ran the annex. I will see what information is available.”
“You’re saying you don’t know?” asked Paul.
“I do not know,” Clinton said. “I don’t have any information on that.”
That section of the exchange with Paul was almost entirely ignored by media, which instead focused on the Republican senator’s earlier statement that if he were president he would have relieved Clinton of her post.
WND has filed numerous reports quoting Middle East security officials who describe the mission in Benghazi as a meeting place to coordinate aid for the rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East.
In September, WND also broke the story that the slain U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens, played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian security officials.
In November, Middle Eastern security sources further described both the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi as the main intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels that was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Many rebel fighters are openly members of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida.
Among the tasks performed inside the building was collaborating with countries, most notably Turkey, on the recruitment of fighters – including jihadists – to target Assad’s regime, the security officials said.
According to the 39-page report released last month by independent investigators probing the attacks at the diplomatic facility, the U.S. mission in Benghazi was set up without the knowledge of the new Libyan government, as WND reported.
“Another key driver behind the weak security platform in Benghazi was the decision to treat Benghazi as a temporary, residential facility, not officially notified to the host government, even though it was also a full-time office facility,” the report states. “This resulted in the Special Mission compound being excepted from office facility standards and accountability under the Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act of 1999 (SECCA) and the Overseas Security Policy Board (OSPB).”
The report, based on a probe led by former U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering, calls the facility a “Special U.S. Mission.”
During the Libyan revolution against Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, the U.S. admitted to directly arming the rebel groups.
At the time, rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi acknowledged in an interview that a significant number of the Libyan rebels were al-Qaida fighters, many of whom had fought U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but he added that the “members of al-Qaida are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.”
Media cover up?
From the beginning, U.S. media reports on the events in Benghazi have been misleading.
The vast majority of media coverage worldwide refers to the U.S. facility that was attacked as a “consulate,” even though the government itself has been careful to call it a “mission.”
A consulate typically refers to the building that houses a consul, who is the official representative of the government of one state in the territory of another. The U.S. consul in Libya, Jenny Cordell, works out of the embassy in Tripoli.
Consulates at times function as junior embassies, providing services related to visas, passports and citizen information.
On Aug. 26, about two weeks before his was killed, Ambassador Stevens attended a ceremony marking the opening of consular services at the Tripoli embassy.
The main role of a “consulate” is to foster trade with the host and care for its own citizens who are traveling or living in the host nation.
Diplomatic missions, on the other hand, maintain a more generalized role. A diplomatic mission is simply a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organization present in another state to represent matters of the sending state or organization in the receiving state.
However, according to the State Department investigation, the building was a “U.S. Special Mission” set up without the knowledge of the Libyan government.
Two days before the November presidential election, CBS posted additional portions of a Sept. 12 “60 Minutes” interview in which Obama made statements that contradicted his earlier claims about the attack.
In the released portions of the interview, Obama would not say whether he thought the attack was terrorism. Yet he would later emphasize at a presidential debate that in the Rose Garden on the day of the attack, he had declared it an act of terror.
Reuters was also implicated by WND for possibly false reporting.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Reuters quoted a purported civilian protester by his first name who described a supposedly popular demonstration against an anti-Muhammad film outside the U.S. building.
Immediately following the attack, President Obama and other White House officials claimed anti-American sentiment fueled by the obscure anti-Muhammad video on YouTube sparked civilian protests outside the U.S. mission that devolved into a jihadist onslaught.
However, vivid accounts provided by the State Department and intelligence officials later made clear no such popular demonstration took place. Instead, video footage from Benghazi reportedly shows an organized group of armed men attacking the compound, officials said.