Sunday, June 23, 2013
Part III Obama's Watergates: Benghazi, lies, deception, cover up--but why?
On September 11, 2012, something unprecedented in recent American foreign policy occurred. The United States Mission at Benghazi came under armed assault by jihadists of the Ansar Al-Sharia faction of the Libyan militias without any response on the part of the United States government or our military forces in the region. Not since the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran on 4 November, 1979 has the United States seemed so powerless to respond to an armed attack against what is considered U.S. territory.
At least 30 jihadis took part in the attack that started after 9 pm local time using AK47s, RPDs, RPGs and 82 mm mortars. The CIA annex about a block away also came under attack by the same group with the ensuing firefight lasting until after sunrise the next day. The jihadi militia personnel were ill-trained, but well armed with a decided superiority in numbers.
Ambassador Christopher J. Stevens was raped and killed by the jihadists. Sean Smith, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management, and CIA Global Response Staff members ex-Seals Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were also killed. Doherty and Woods were killed by a mortar round while defending the CIA complex later that same night. Another 10 State Department employees were wounded or injured in the attack. What followed in the immediate aftermath was a surrealistic rejection of reality and an attempt by the Obama Administration to cover up the event as being a spontaneous protest against an unknown and heretofore unknown You Tube video allegedly insulting the prophet Mohammed.
There was no military or other government response that night to Ambassador Stevens notification made to Gregory Hicks, Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya who was at Tripoli, that the U.S. Mission at Benghazi was under attack by armed jihadis: "Greg, we are under attack." Deputy Chief Hicks then contacted his superiors in Washington, D.C. and informed the State Department duty officer of the attack. Security camera feeds and the retasking of a British operated surveillance drone allowed real time visual transmission of the attack to the State Department, DOD, and the White House.
The attack happened very shortly after the 7:30 pm dinner with the Turkish Consel Ali Sait Akin. Post the notification by Ambassador Stevens to Deputy Chief of Mission Hicks, several requests for aid were made by the CIA personnel under attack at the CIA Annex just down the street from the Mission. The CIA personnel were repeatedly told to stand down by a still unidentified CIA superior and not to attempt rescue of the Mission personnel. Doherty and Woods disobeyed that order and rescued the State Department Mission personnel and the wounded and recovered Sean Smith’s body back to the CIA annex. Doherty and Woods were killed later that night while on the roof of the CIA annex returning fire and acting to spot the mortar emplacement that killed them.
It is alleged recently by some sources that the Turkish Consel was aware of the impending attack and failed to notify Ambassador Stevens demonstrating the Muslim Brotherhood has influence into NATO.
Very recently, Al Qaeda has claimed that the Ambassador Stevens was marked for death in retaliation for a drone strike against Abu Yahya al-Libi, the Libyan Al Qaeda leader in Libya. Al-Libi was killed by a drone strike on 4 June, 2012 in Waziristan, Pakistan. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Ladin’s successor, called for retaliation against the Americans for the death of al-Libi. The U.S. had placed a $1 million bounty on Al-Libi. An Al Qaeda website posting by Abdallah Dhu-al-Bajadin, a known Al Qaeda weapons expert, conveyed that Ambassador Stevens had been killed by lethal injection. The rape of Ambassador Stevens has never been denied by the State Department or the Obama Administration.
A 12 man security military security team led by COL Andrew Wood provided security for State Department personnel in Tripoli and sent personnel to the Benghazi Mission as required from 12 February to 14 August, 2012. They were withdrawn at the end of their tour and not replaced. The decision to discontinue U.S. armed personnel as security was made by SECSTATE Hillary Clinton. COL Wood testified to Congress that he had 24/7 communications capability with Special Operations Command, Africa (SOCAFRICA) and reported three times daily to SOCAFRICA superiors on his team’s activities in support of the State Department personnel. He further testified: "The security in Benghazi was a struggle and remained a struggle throughout my time there. The situation remained uncertain and reports from some Libyans indicated it was getting worse. Diplomatic security remained weak. In April there was only one US diplomatic security agent stationed there. The RSO struggled to obtain additional personnel there but was never able to attain the numbers he felt comfortable with."
The Ansar al-Sharia militia included individuals who were employed at the time by the State Department as contract security for the facility, giving the jihadis insider knowledge of the layout, personnel numbers, and security systems. COL Andrew Wood had warned the State Department of the likelihood of an attack in the near future when his security detail was relieved at the end of July, 2012. Even in the face of intelligence from several sources, including the interim Libyan government that indicated that further attacks against U.S. and British personnel were likely, the security at the Mission in Benghazi was allowed to become the responsibility of hired Libyan jihadi militia personnel, many of whom were known to be associated with Al Qaeda affiliated Ansar al-Sharia. U.S. security personnel were withdrawn.
The Administration’s Response
The Obama Administration’s response has been without credibility. The first response was by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the day after the attack on the U.S. Mission at Benghazi. SECSTATE Clinton claimed that the attack had been a protest that got out of hand over an unknown You Tube video of a parody on Islam by an unknown film maker in the U.S. For the next two weeks, this claim was repeated by the President and by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice who was pressed into service to give Hillary’s incredible claim credibility. President Obama followed through and continued what became obvious as an outright lie. Even SECDEF Leon Panetta supported the outright lie being promoted by the Administration regarding the Benghazi attack. The CIA, in its initial press release claimed that the attack on the Benghazi Mission was a terrorist attack, but retracted its position to conform to the President’s, Clinton’s and Rice’s outright lies. In the face of four Americans in service to this country being killed, the Obama Administration, as it did in Fast and Furious, chose to lie and to cover up the attack. Since, the Administration has continued its obfuscation, lies and innuendo, choosing to attack those who have come forward to testify and to single them out for retribution for testifying to Congress.
Congressional Hearings have revealed that there were orders given at the highest levels to stand down any attempted U.S. military response to the attack at the time of the attack. The identity of those giving the orders has not been forthcoming. As with Fast and Furious, documents have not been forthcoming, and those that have been provided are so heavily redacted that there are unintelligible. This is the response from the "most transparent" Presidential Administration in history.
What were the military options available for any military response to the attack on the Mission at Benghazi?
How long would it have taken to get assistance there from the nearest U.S. military presence in the region?
Only the President of the United States can order American troops to cross the border from one country to another. Only the President. Given that authority, the order to stand down had to come from either the White House directly, or through SECDEF Leon Panetta.
Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks has testified that his pleas for assistance for Benghazi were met with silence on the part of the State Department, his plea to AFRICOM was met with an intent to respond, but someone ordered AFRICOM to stand down as well. Only orders from the President of United States can cause U.S. troops to be moved across the border of one country to another. Therefore, the order to stand down any military response had to come from the White House. Hicks testified before Congress that he requested a military response to the attack by a Special Operations team led by LTC Gibson, which was located in Tripoli at the time. Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA) ordered LTC Gibson to stand down and not to respond to the attack. It is reported that LTC Gibson was "furious" with the stand down order.
No member the United States military, no matter the branch or the MOS, would have refused a mission to go to the aid of those under attack in Benghazi.
Those who have served in any capacity in the military know that when push comes to shove, and the excrement hits the proverbial fan, all become infantry. That means, mechanics, cooks, typists, whatever, they grab a rifle and go to fill the gap in the line. Any Marine at NAS Sigonella would have been more than qualified to answer the attack on the Mission at Benghazi, no matter whether mechanic, cook or clerk typist. All Marines are infantry.
NAS Sigonella has Marine security and infantry elements assigned to AFRICOM. In October, 2011 Marines assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 12 comprising 125 Marines tasked with training militaries in the Sahel, a region of northern Africa, deployed from Camp Lejune, NC to their new barracks at NAS Sigonella. SPMAGTF 12 is comprised of combat ready, infantry qualified Marines who would be deployed in their training role in platoon sized elements. How many of the 125 Marines were available to respond from NAS Sigonella, Sicily on the night of September 11, 2012 is unknown. NAS Sigonella is about 460 miles from Benghazi, or two hours by C130.
Aviano, AFB in central Italy is home to the 31st Security Squadron equipped with standard infantry weapons and trained in combat tactics. The personnel of the 31st should have been considered in the response, although, by C130, they would have taken the longest to land at Benghazi airport being over 1,000 miles from Benghazi, taking perhaps 6 hours by C130, including aircraft and personnel prep time.
The U.S. Army Italy has several bases with deployed units. At Vinceza in central Italy there is the 66th Military Intelligence Group and two Army transportation units between Vinceza and Livorno, not to mention the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America(!) . (Nothing is more frightening than a bunch of Girl Scouts armed who have not made their cookie sale quota and who are armed with M4s.) All kidding aside, there are combat qualified personnel at either of these installations who could have been tapped for an emergency relief mission.
The U.S. had military tactical strike aircraft available. A squadron of F16s are stationed at Aviano, AFB, which could have been on station over the Benghazi Mission within 2 hours of launch. Marine or Navy F18 Hornet fighter/attack aircraft stationed at NAS Sigonella could have been on-station overhead in Benghazi within the hour from time of launch. On afterburners, even less time for both Aviano’s F16s and NAS Sigonella’s F18s.
Given the relatively undisciplined nature of the jihadist militias, two F16s or F18s making low altitude high speed passes may have been sufficient to cause the jihadis to retreat. Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks testified his belief that the presence of U.S. military aircraft overhead would have been effective in causing the militias to break off their attack.
Therefore, the claim that any response to the jihadi attack had to be made by SOF units that were allegedly unavailable is specious and a red herring designed to detract from the fact that there were several "regular" military assets actually available. The SOF team in Tripoli led by LTC Gibson, the USAF 31st Security Forces Squadron at Aviano, members of at least two Army transportation and logistics battalions at Livorno and Vinceza, and the SPMAGTF 12 Marines. Any of which could have been cobbled together as a relief force of platoon size (36 troops) with vehicles and moved by C130 to Benghazi before the battle for the Mission and the CIA Annex had petered out.
It has been alleged that LTG Carter Ham, then CO of AFRICOM, was summarily relieved of his command and placed under house arrest for his refusal to follow orders to stand down any attempt at relief of the Benghazi Mission and the CIA personnel under attack. It is known that LTG Ham was relieved of his command shortly thereafter and denied the command of NATO that he was to be his next assignment. LTG Ham retired after his return stateside. His testimony has yet to be heard by Congress.
It is known that the State Department in D.C. was watching the attack unfold from the beginning through security feeds throughout the Mission complex. There was a drone tasked to overwatch within the first hour of the attack. Drones were on station throughout the night. Were the visual feeds extended to the White House Situation Room? Is there any reason to believe that given the nature of the situation that the visual feeds were not extended to the White House?
What was the purpose of the U.S. Mission at Benghazi?
Although not admitted directly by the Administration, it was reported in the NY Times and by Sharyl Attkisson of CBS that the U.S. Mission in Benghazi was engaged in . . . gun running. The U.S. was supplying weapons paid for by Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia to the Sunni militias in Libya and Syria. These weapons were also making their way into western Africa to Mali and further south. It is believed that the dinner meeting between Ambassador Stevens and the Turkish Consel Ali Sait Akin concerned weapons shipments. It is now known that amongst the weapons being provided to the various Sunni, Al Qaeda affliated militias were older model SA-7 Strella and more advanced SA-24 MANPADs, Russian man portable anti-aircraft missiles out of Libyan stores. The missiles were being infiltrated into Syria through the Turkish border.
The CIA personnel at Benghazi were involved in accounting for the Libyan MANPAD stores to prevent them from from falling into the militia’s hands wholesale. The CIA is trying to control the proliferation of MANPADs, and the State Department under SECSTATE Hillary Clinton and her successor John Kerry are proliferating use of the missiles to extreme Al Qaeda jihadist militias throughout northern and western Africa and the conflict in Syria.
Russian General Nikolai Makarov has been stirring the pot by alleging that the Obama Administration has been supplying Stingers to the Syrian Rebels.
In the mean time, the Chicago Tribune dutifully reports that the Obama Administration is not supplying U.S. made Stinger MANPADs to the Syrian rebels, quoting SECDEF Panetta and others of the Obama Administration who were careful not to say that they were supplying Russian made MANPADs from Libyan stores.
Does the right hand know what the left is doing in the Obama Administration?
What did the President know, and when did he know it?
President Obama has feigned ignorance of what happened at Benghazi. Yet, he was one of the first to mouth the lies of the attack merely being a protest that evolved into something much worse. This President, who had to be fully informed, in this day and age it is simply not credible to believe that he was not immediately informed of and continually updated on the events unfolding at Benghazi, let American personnel . . . die.
There is no other way to put it. He is the Commander-in-Chief. You do not leave your people hanging. Yet, this President did exactly that and made excuses. He expects Americans to believe that he was not informed, that he did not know, that he went to bed early while Americans were under armed attack at a U.S. diplomatic mission in a foreign country. Yet, he makes the personal decision as to whom the drones target for killing and when the killing is to be done.
His position is simply without substance, logic, truth, merit, or basis in fact. He is the President. It is his job to "take charge", no matter the time of day or night.
Is it believable that SECSTATE Hillary Clinton or SECDEF Leon Panetta left the President out of the information loop on Benghazi?
No more so that his good friend Eric Holder left Obama out of the loop regarding Fast and Furious.
Between Fast and Furious, dead U.S. personnel now number 4 for Benghazi. The body count for Fast and Furious is 2 dead U.S. law enforcement personnel as a result of illegal gun running. This does not count the dozens of dead innocents in Mexico who have died from the illegal gun running and the violation of Mexico’s sovereignty with the illegal gun running. For Fast and Furious, the Mexican casualty count is still ongoing. This Administration is covered in blood.
Was SECSTATE Hillary Clinton responsible for Benghazi?
This Administration has pursued a policy of accommodation and non-confrontation with the Islamic states and movements. This Administration has ignored the slavery that is rampant in the ME under Islam. This Administration, like Bush, has ignored the fate of Christians who have become the targets of hate and violence all through the Middle East without one word of objection or concern expressed by the Obama Administration.
This Administration has sought accommodation with our enemies, has provided weapons to Al Qaeda affiliated militias in Libya, Syria and northern and western Africa.
This Administration’s policy of accommodation with the Muslim Brotherhood, Islam and radical Islamic militias actively engaged in fighting U.S. forces or opposed to the U.S. and openly allied with Al Qaeda has resulted in destabilizing every country from Afghanistan West to Nigeria.
Who has been responsible for this policy? President Barack Obama. SECSTATE Hillary Clinton is the Secretary of State who promotes the President’s foreign policy. This is not to state that she is not responsible, this is simply recognizing that President Obama is in charge and ultimately responsible for his policies.
SECSTATE Hillary Clinton in response to questioning by Sen. Ron Johnson, R WI: "Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?"
SECSTATE Clinton has yet to ask the families of those who were killed and injured that night "what difference does it make?"
Clinton could not even provide an accurate count of the personnel evacuated from the Mission at Benghazi in her testimony before Congress. Her answers demonstrated her arrogance and self assurance that she would be protected by the press and by Obama. Clinton holds herself unaccountable, as do the rest of the Obama Administration officials, above the law and unaccountable for their decisions and conduct. It was SECSTATE Hillary Clinton’s decision not to continue the armed security contingent that was commanded by COL Andrew Wood in the face of recommendations by former Libya Ambassador Cretz to the contrary and warnings by him of the potential for attacks against U.S. personnel in Benghazi.
This is the contempt that this Administration has for the rule of law, for its personnel in harm’s way, for our military, for our Constitution, and for us, the American People. This is an Administration that holds itself above the law, an Administration that aids and abets our enemies by giving them weapons and material aid, an Administration that ignores the sovereignty of our neighbors and causes the murder of Mexico’s citizens through its illegal acts.
This Administration is now up to its arm pits in blood. The blood of Americans it abandoned to die, and the blood of Americans and Mexicans who died as a result of illegal gun running into Mexico to the drug cartels with the full knowledge of the DOJ and BATF.
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