Dereliction of duty 2

The night the US mission in Benghazi was attacked, Ambassador Stephens was hideously murdered, and three other Americans were killed …

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not concerned …

and nor was President Obama.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta seems to be telling the truth – until he says: “Nobody knew really what was going on there.”

This is from a Washington Times report published December 11, 2012:

Live video from a drone flying over the U.S. Consulate during the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, was monitored at a Defense Department facility, but was not fed  to the White House, senior officials say.

The Obama administration has declined to respond to media requests for details about who was watching the live video,  but a senior defense official told The Washington Times that “the surveillance aircraft captured footage of events on the ground” and “it wasn’t available that night at the White House”.

“Not available” because not asked for. The Commander in Chief was otherwise engaged.

Panetta had met with Obama at 5 o’clock  for a half-hour pre-scheduled 30-minute session, where, Panetta said, they “spent about 20 minutes talking about the American embassy that was surrounded in Egypt and the situation that was just unfolding in Benghazi”. So the President knew that the Benghazi mission and the ambassador were under attack, but throughout that night he made no enquiries about how the crisis was developing.

Will Obama ever be held to account for his gross and callous dereliction of duty on that fatal night?

Yet more about Benghazi – but still not enough 3

Needless to say, the poster above is addressed to Obama. Aptly.

To add to the information we have posted (see for instance immediately below) on the subject of the Benghazi betrayal, here are some new and interesting items from an article by Arnold Ahlert.

General Carter Ham, top commander in Africa, tries to defy an order not to respond to request for help from Benghazi, and is instantly fired:

The decision to stand down as the Benghazi terrorist attack was underway was met with extreme opposition from the inside. The Washington Times‘s James Robbins, citing a source inside the military, reveals that General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, who got the same emails requesting help received by the White House, put a rapid response team together and notified the Pentagon it was ready to go. He was ordered to stay put. “His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow,” writes Robbins. “Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.”

Did General Petraeus have anything to do with refusing to send help?

A spokesperson, “presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus,” released the following statement: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”

Ambassador Stevens was not only sending arms to jihadists already fighting in Syria, he was also actively recruiting jihadists to go there. He was riding the tiger!

“Egyptian security officials” revealed that Ambassador Christopher Stevens “played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.” Stevens was reportedly a key contact for Saudi Arabian officials, who wanted to recruit fighters from North Africa and Libya, and send them to Syria by way of Turkey. The recruits were ostensibly screened by U.S. security organizations, and anyone thought to have engaged in fighting against Americans, including those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, were not sent to engage Assad’s regime. Yet … reality is far different. The rebels the administration armed to fight Gaddafi, as well as those we may have armed to fight Assad, do include al-Qaeda members, and fighters from other jihadist groups as well.

Yes, Stevens worked with men who later killed him:

Business Insider reveals ”there’s growing evidence that U.S. agents – particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens – were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels”, and that, beginning in March 2011, Stevens was “working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – a group that has now disbanded, with some fighters reportedly participating in the attack that took Stevens’ life.” In November 2011, the Daily Telegraph reported that “Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, ‘met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,’ said a military official working with Mr Belhadj.”

Stevens’s death did not stop the flow of arms from Libya to Turkey destined for Syria which he had helped to organize. Most of the weapons had come originally from the erstwhile Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe:

Three days after the attack in Benghazi, it was revealed that ”a Libyan ship carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria…has docked in Turkey,” with a cargo that “weighed 400 tons and included SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.” Business Insider speculates the weapons came “most likely from Muammar Gaddafi’s stock of about 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles – the bulk of them SA-7s – that the Libyan leader obtained from the former Eastern bloc.” The Insider then reaches a devastating conclusion. “And if the new Libyan government was sending seasoned Islamic fighters and 400 tons of heavy weapons to Syria through a port in southern Turkey – a deal brokered by Stevens’ primary Libyan contact (meaning Belhadj) during the Libyan revolution – then the governments of Turkey and the U.S. surely knew about it.”

What other conclusion is possible? A US ambassador doesn’t make a massive interference in the affairs of foreign countries without his government knowing what he’s doing. His mission is to implement his government’s policy by whatever means it instructs him to use. That was what the Banghazi mission was chiefly established for:

Far from just a diplomatic mission in Libya, the evidence suggests that one of the explicit functions of the U.S. “consulate” was to oversee the transfer of Libyan weapons from the Gaddafi regime’s stockpile … to the opposition in Syria.

*

Who would have given the direct order – presumably handed down in the first place from the Commander-in-Chief – for summarily replacing General Carter Ham with his second in command? Would it be the Defense Secretary?

It was Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who announced General Ham’s replacement – as quietly as he could, in the stealthy mode that characterizes all releases of information about the Benghazi disaster.

James S. Robbins at the Washington Times, quoted by Arnold Ahlert above, further reports:

On October 18, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta appeared unexpectedly at an otherwise unrelated briefing on “Efforts to Enhance the Financial Health of the Force.” News organizations and CSPAN were told beforehand there was no news value to the event and gave it scant coverage. In his brief remarks Mr. Panetta said, “Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.” This came as a surprise to many, since General Ham had only been in the position for a year and a half. The General is a very well regarded officer who made AFRICOM into a true Combatant Command after the ineffective leadership of his predecessor, General William E. “Kip” Ward. Later, word circulated informally that General Ham was scheduled to rotate out in March 2013 anyway, but according to Joint doctrine, “the tour length for combatant commanders and Defense agency directors is three years.” Some assumed that he was leaving for unspecified personal reasons.

On October 25  Panetta had this to say:

The basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place. And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.

James Robbins comments:

The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.

General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.

This version of events contradicts Mr. Panetta’s October 25 statement that General Ham advised against intervention. …

He conjectures further:

Maybe Ham attempted to send a reaction force against orders, or maybe he simply said the wrong thing to the wrong people. Perhaps he gave whomever he was talking to up the chain a piece of his mind about leaving Americans to die when there was a chance of saving them. At the very least U.S. forces might have made those who killed our people pay while they were still on the scene. The Obama White House is famously vindictive against perceived disloyalty – the administration would not let Ham get away with scolding them for failing to show the leadership necessary to save American lives. The Army’s ethos is to leave no man behind, but that is not shared by a president accustomed to leading from that location.

Loyal Leon Panetta is walking the razor’s edge between the truth and the Obama version of it.

Guardedly, with hooded eyes, Panetta answered an unwelcome question by declaring – two weeks or so after the the Benghazi disaster – that “it was a terrorist attack because a group of terrorists obviously conducted that attack.”

So according to the Defense Secretary an attack must be identified as a terrorist attack if terrorists carry it out. Reason would make the case the other way about: if a terrorist attack takes place, you can then rightfully call the attackers “terrorists”. Panetta’s way, if the attack had been mounted by say the Libyan police force, it would not have been a terrorist attack even if they used the method of terrorism.

And let’s look again at the other statement that emerged from this verbal acrobat’s mouth, about why no help was sent to the Americans in peril – a statement that we know contained at least one lie:

The basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place. And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.

That’s a basic principle of armies, or just of the US army? That you don’t deploy “into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on”? Isn’t it enough to know that it’s harm’s way? How much does a fighting force need to know about an armed attack before it can act in defense? In other words, what is an army for? (Yes, yes, we know that in Afghanistan US armed forces were compelled to do social work, but that hasn’t become the official job description – yet.)

And there’s another lie Panetta told, about not having “some real-time information about what’s taking place”. Masses of information was pouring into Washington – as well as reaching General Ham somewhere in Africa – from the CIA center itself right from the very beginning of the onslaught, and also from a drone overhead starting soon after it began.

When will we learn the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Probably  never. The investigating committee set up by Obama cannot be relied on to reveal it.

But lots of individuals know parts of the story. Will some of them speak?

General Ham has been removed from his command, but he is still alive and still has the power of speech. Our hope is that he will come forward and tell what he knows.