“Let’s say it was a video – but which one shall we say?” 3

The House Select Committee’s report on the lethal attack by Muslim terrorists on the US mission in Benghazi on 9/11/12, now released, is a damning indictment of the Obama administration, exposing its mendacity, incompetence, and callousness.

The whole document is a must read.

Everything in it needs to become common knowledge.

We select a section that seem to us particularly interesting and yet have seen no mention of elsewhere.

The report is titled:

Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi June 29, 2016

Betrayal in Benghazi: A Dereliction of Duty

We quote from pages 52 – 55:

Right around 8:00 p.m. Eastern time [on the night of the attack], Tripoli DCM (now Acting Chief of Mission) Greg Hicks spoke by phone with Secretary Clinton and her aides, telling them in no uncertain terms that it had been a terrorist attack and that the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube video was a “non-event” in Libya …

A State Department “Call Sheet” stamped with the 11 September 2012 date states clearly as well that “Armed extremists attacked U.S. Mission Benghazi on September 11, setting fire to the Principal Officer’s Residence and killing at least one [of the] American mission staff, Information Management Officer Sean Smith … ”

Further, Secretary Clinton was personally in contact with foreign leaders, including Libyan General National Congress President Mohammed Yousef el-Magariaf and Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Mohamed Qandil. At 6:49 p.m. Eastern time the night of 11 September, Clinton was on the telephone with Magariaf, discussing the attack and frankly discussing with him the Ansar al-Shariah claim of responsibility for it.

Nevertheless, Secretary Clinton spoke with President Obama around 10 p.m. Eastern Time, and shortly thereafter (at 10:08 p.m.) issued a formal State Department statement that blamed the attack on the YouTube video. The statement read, in part: “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” This State Department statement was coordinated with the White House. “Per Ben [Rhodes’] email below, this should be the USG comment for the night” …

Then comes a fact that seems to have been overlooked by commentators, but which makes it absolutely clear that the video story was concocted as a deliberate lie to mislead the public:

The cover-up in fact had begun even earlier, kicked off apparently while the battle was still raging in Benghazi, by a White House attempt to “reach out to U-tube to advise ramifications of the posting of the Pastor Jon Video”,  referring to a video by Oregon-based Pastor Jon Courson, entitled “God vs Allah”. 

The administration had already (by 9:11 p.m. Eastern Time, 11 September/ 3:11 a.m. Benghazi Time, 12 September) decided to blame an online video for the attack, but hadn’t quite settled on which video.

Ponder that. They hadn’t “quite settled” what video they would claim was responsible for provoking the attack in Benghazi!

Again, there was no question that Secretary Clinton knew it was an Islamic terror attack: she’d emailed her daughter Chelsea at 9:12 p.m. Eastern Time to tell her that an “Al Qaeda-like group” was responsible.

As the administration response to the Benghazi attack was taking shape, the one question never specifically asked by anyone seems to be about where Hillary Clinton, [Defense Secretary] Leon Panetta, General David Petraeus and President Barack Obama actually were throughout the night of 11-12 September 2012. In 2014, former national security spokesman Tommy Vietor told Fox News’ Bret Baier that President Obama was not in the Situation Room that night, but somewhere else in the White House. But aside from hints that emerge from various timelines and emails pried years after the fact from government databases, we still don’t know for sure where any of them, especially the President, were that night, or what they were doing.

The next morning, on 12 September, President Obama did appear and spoke in the White House Rose Garden about the Benghazi attack, saying “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.” Nevertheless, he refused to call the Benghazi attack forthrightly a terror attack, a pattern that would persist for weeks. 113 That same day, CBS’s Steve Kroft asked the president directly, “Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word “terrorism” in connection with the Libya attack. Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?” And Obama refused to answer the question directly, saying instead, “Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans.”

CBS sat on this exchange, refusing to air it even after the infamous moment in the 16 October presidential debate between Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. At that time, moderator Candy Crowley interjected to wrongly say that Obama had called the Benghazi attack an act of terror on 12 September. Then, on the afternoon of 12 September 2012, Clinton spoke by telephone with Egyptian Prime Minister Qandil. According to the official State Department record of that call (obtained by Judicial Watch), Clinton clearly told him,We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack — not a protest.” After PM Qandil replied back to her in a redacted segment, Clinton added, “Your [sic] not kidding. Based on the information we saw today we believe the group that claimed responsibility for this was affiliated with al Qaeda.”

Despite knowing that the attack at Benghazi was a pre-planned Islamic terror attack by a group affiliated with al-Qa’eda, the Obama administration decided to lie about it and tell the American people that the attack was the result of a video. Statements over the following days from Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, and from Clinton herself continued to push the narrative that the attacks were because of the YouTube video. On 14 September, Clinton attended the transfer of remains ceremony for those killed in Benghazi at Andrews Air Force Base. According to handwritten notes that Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, kept, Clinton told him, “We are going to have the filmmaker arrested who was responsible for the death of your son.” …

She said the same to the mother of Sean Smith, whose coffin was also being carried behind her as she spoke.

And on 15 September, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the filmmaker who produced “Innocence of Muslims”, was duly arrested in California, accused of violating his probation, and ultimately sentenced to one year in jail on unrelated charges. This looks to many like a clear case of official U.S. government submission to the Islamic Law on slander.

It was precisely that.

Of course the actual events in Libya were the most atrocious part of the story. They were caused by the foreign policy of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Neither of whom gave a damn for the hell that broke out in Benghazi that night, for the suffering and death of their ambassador, or of the men who died trying to protect him and the US mission.

Obama and Hillary Clinton cared only to save their own political reputations and stay in power. They deserve no power. Their reputations should be mud for all time.

Still missing, the truth about Benghazi 3

There needs to be a full  and careful investigation into what happened in Benghazi on 9/11/2012, when the representative of the United States, Ambassador Chris Stevens, and four other Americans were killed in an attack by Muslim terrorists.

They could have been saved, but were abandoned to die.

The Democrats are terrified that a full and careful investigation, with full disclosure of all the facts, and a comprehensive report will reveal gross dereliction of duty by President Obama, Hillary Clinton and her State Department, the CIA, and perhaps also a number of military commanders. 

Already it’s known that the administration made up stupid, childish lies to cover up its dereliction of duty.

You might say to us, “But haven’t there been numerous investigations and reports, all of them largely exonerating the administration?”

Yes, and all of them piecemeal, all of them inadequate, all of them poorly conducted, all of them propping up to one extent or another the stupid childish lies of the Obama gang.

And that even includes the last report, conducted by the Republican led House Intelligence Committee.

It makes one fear that even when the Republicans hold majority power in both houses of Congress, as they do from today, they will disappoint the hopes of the electorate who gave it to them by caving in to the bullying demands of the Democrats, and naively, or lazily, or disingenuously pass the lies that their stooges choose to tell.

This is from the Daily Signal by the meticulous journalist Sharyl Attkisson:

It neither “exonerates” nor “debunks.”

It specifically states that it is not the final word on Benghazi.

Yet national press outlets claimed all of the above about the House Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi released on Nov. 21.

The Washington Post stated that “the panel’s findings were broadly consistent with the Obama administration’s version of events,” though many of the administration’s versions of events have been discredited or proven incorrect.

USA Today portrayed the report as a sweeping effort that “cleared the Obama administration of any wrongdoing” and the Associated Press claimed the report concluded “there was no wrongdoing by Obama administration officials,” though it didn’t examine most aspects of the administration’s actions regarding Benghazi. For example, the committee did not attempt to dissect White House actions or decision-making. And it did not generally “assess State Department or Defense Department activities” . 

What the House Intelligence Committee did do was focus on a narrow slice of Benghazi: the intelligence community. As such, the report largely defends the CIA.

It is nothing more or less than another in a series of compartmentalized investigations into the Benghazi debacle.

The House Armed Services Committee focused on actions of the Pentagon, largely serving to defend military interests. The Accountability Review Board focused on actions of the State Department, though it chose not to interview some key players, such as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Each investigation occurred over a different time period amid two years of evolving accounts by Obama administration officials as new information filled in blanks or contradicted previous, official accounts. In some instances, investigations produced findings that contradicted one another or documentary evidence.

And no single investigation on Benghazi to date has heard from all relevant witnesses or had full access to complete information.

So why did some in the news media adopt the spin of Democrats such as Intelligence Committee Rep. Adam Schiff, who claimed the report “completely vindicated” the White House?

Some media even used the charged language of the Obama administration, disparaging those investigating the many contradictions and unanswered questions as “conspiracy theorists”.

The Huffington Post claimed the Intelligence Committee report “torched conspiracy theories.” AP and USA Today claimed it “debunked a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies.” Slate likewise stated that the committee had “debunked Benghazi conspiracies.”

The articles advance limited and sometimes inaccurate representations of the committee report. They fail to acknowledge the countless documented instances in which the Obama administration provided false or conflicting information about Benghazi, and hid information entirely from public view.

At times, the committee report — as it defends the intelligence community’s performance during Benghazi — flies in the face of evidence. It relies heavily on witnesses who have previously given inaccurate information or testimony: then-CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

1) The committee concluded, “the CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi.” Yet security was insufficient to prevent terrorists from overrunning the CIA Annex, killing two of the four Americans who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2012.

2) The committee found “no evidence” of a “stand down order.” But that is at direct odds with testimony from some eyewitnesses. Three security operators stated they were given a “stand down” order in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.

3) The committee appeared to focus on technical utterance of the words “stand down” and “order” rather than the spirit of the allegation: that willing responders were delayed or prevented from providing urgent help. For example, the committee acknowledged that CIA Annex team members “wanted urgently to depart the Annex” to “save their State Department colleagues” but that the chief of base in Benghazi “ordered the team to wait” to assess the situation. Also, the committee didn’t address the case of the Foreign Emergency Support Team in the United States, which began “packing its bags” to respond to Benghazi, only to have the State Department block its deployment.

4) The committee found “no evidence” of “denial of available air support” and stated that, “the CIA received all military support that was available”.  But testimony provided earlier to the House Armed Services Committee acknowledged that the military could have launched an F-16 fighter jet and decided against it. …

The president’s principle military adviser, Maj. Gen. Darryl Roberson, previously acknowledged in testimony to another congressional committee that military aircraft could have buzzed the hostile Benghazi crowd to try to scatter it. “So there is a potential you could have flown a show of force and made everyone aware that there was a fighter airborne,” Roberson conceded to the House Armed Services Committee.

Further, there were U.S. military assets in Djibouti that remained untapped. A former U.S. ambassador to East Africa stated, “The [Benghazi] compound was under siege for almost nine hours. The distance of 1,900 miles is within the range of the ‘combat ready’ F-15s, AC-130s and special forces.”

5) The committee found “no evidence of an intelligence failure”. Yet there was obviously an intelligence failure, since terrorists bearing heavy arms and rocket-propelled grenades preplanned and successfully executed multiple attacks on the Benghazi compound and Annex.

Another intelligence failure documented by the committee is the flawed analysis by a Washington, D.C.-based CIA officer who reportedly convinced Morell to advance the YouTube video narrative even though the CIA station chief on the ground in Libya had said that was not the case.

6) The committee accepted Morell’s claim that the talking points were not on the agenda of a Sept. 15, 2012, White House Deputies Committee meeting prior to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice’s advancing the incorrect spontaneous protest narrative on Sunday TV talk shows. However, internal emails show that Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes specifically convened the meeting to discuss various agencies’ disputes about the talking points.

7) The committee accepted Morell’s testimony that changes to the talking points were “in no way due to White House political influence” and were just “a reflection of how little we knew at the time”. However, documents show the State Department had voluminous information about terrorist links and had already notified Libya, in no uncertain terms, that Ansar al-Sharia was responsible for the attacks.

Still, this report is better in some respects than the earlier ones. Sharyl Attkisson explains:

Though the Washington Post claimed the committee’s findings were “broadly consistent with the Obama administration’s version of events,” they differed in many substantive respects.

1) The Obama administration initially claimed no security requests were denied. But the committee confirmed the State Department repeatedly denied security requests.

2) The Obama administration initially claimed there was “a robust American security presence inside the compound, including a strong component of regional security officers”.  But the committee found there was a handful of State Department diplomatic security agents who were apparently unarmed when attacked.

3) The Obama administration repeatedly blamed the attacks on a mob motivated by a YouTube video and initially claimed there was no meaningful evidence of terrorist involvement. But the committee stated that all of the Obama administration officials interviewed “knew from the moment the attacks began that the attacks were deliberate terrorist attacks against U.S. interests. No witness has reported believing at any point that the attacks were anything but terrorist acts”.

4) The Obama administration initially claimed, in March 2013, that government press officials made no changes to the Benghazi talking points. But the committee found that CIA public affairs officials made three critical changes to the talking points.

5) Morell initially claimed he had no idea who changed the Benghazi talking points. But the committee confirmed that Morell was directly involved in making and overseeing key talking points changes to remove mention of terrorism and al Qaeda.

6) The Obama administration initially claimed the attacks were an outgrowth of protests. But the committee found “there was no protest”.

Although USA Today claimed the committee “cleared the Obama administration of any wrongdoing,” the actual report makes numerous references to administration officials doing things wrong.

1) The committee confirmed that the Obama administration’s public narrative blaming the attacks on a YouTube video was “not fully accurate”.

Was there any truth in it at all? We think it highly unlikely. What follows confirms our belief:

2) The committee stated that the process to develop the inaccurate talking points was “flawed” and “mistakes were made.

3) The committee found that Morell wrongfully relied on his incorrect analyst in Washington, D.C., instead of his correct chief of station in Libya, who explicitly stated the attacks were “not spurred by local protests”.

No local protests spurring the attack? So the administration’s stupid and childish claim that there were protests against an obscure anti-Muslim video was simply not true.

Furthermore, the “Additional Views” appendix to the committee report, submitted by Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and three other Republicans, found the following:

4) Morell “operated beyond his role as CIA deputy director and inserted himself into a policy-making and public-affairs role” when he removed references to terrorism from the talking points.

5) Morell provided testimony that was “at times inconsistent and incomplete”.

6) The Obama administration failed to exert “sufficient effort to bring the Benghazi attackers to justice”.

7) The Obama administration’s response to the attacks was marred by “inadequate interagency coordination” and “devoted inadequate resources to this effort and lacked a sense of urgency”.

8) Senior State Department officials, including then-Secretary Clinton, placed U.S. personnel “at unnecessary risk” by dismissing “repeated threat warnings” and denying requests for additional security. 

9) Senior U.S. officials perpetuated the “YouTube” narrative that “matched the administration’s misguided view that the United States was nearing a victory” over al-Qaeda.

10) The administration’s “failed policies continue to undermine the national security interests” of the United States.

11)There was a “failure of senior U.S. officials to provide for the defense of U.S. interests against a known and growing terrorist threat”.

12) The State Department “failed to provide sufficient security for its facility in Benghazi”.

13) The Obama administration perpetuated a “false view of the terrorist threat” that “did not comport with the facts”. 

Even as some news reports stated that Republicans had in essence “exonerated” the Obama administration on all counts, Chairman Rogers attempted to correct the mischaracterizations.

In an op-ed published Dec. 10, Rogers stated, “Some have said the report exonerates the State Department and White House. It does not.”

He went on to state that his committee looked only at narrow questions as they pertain to the intelligence community. For that reason, he said, the committee did not interview key eyewitnesses from the Department of Defense and the State Department.

It remains unclear how so much news reporting could miss the mark as far as it did.

One news article claimed the Intelligence Committee report concluded [UN Ambassador] Rice innocently relied on bad intelligence on Sept. 16 when she advanced the spontaneous protest [on numerous TV channels]. Yet the actual report clearly states that the committee has no idea what the White House communicated to Rice before she presented the talking points.

The “tallking points’ were the stupid and childish lie about the video.

A news article unequivocally stated that “it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call” on the nature of the attacks. Yet the report is clear that it did not examine the role of political appointees or figures in the White House, State Department or Defense Department.

In reporting on the House Intelligence Committee’s Benghazi report, numerous news outlets headlined that there have been seven investigations on Benghazi and that an eighth is underway — the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

The implication is that Benghazi has been more than thoroughly examined and those who support continued inquiry are beating a dead horse.

Indeed, eight investigations might be overkill if each had been comprehensive and duplicative, and had turned up no new information. But each has uncovered new facts or different versions of facts as Obama administration accounts have continue to evolve.

The necessity of further investigation isn’t a function of how many probes have been held, but of their depth and quality as well as the contradictions unearthed and the quantity of outstanding questions.

In those respects, one could easily argue there haven’t yet been enough investigations into Benghazi.

So no report has yet done the job. Dare we hope that the  House Select Committee on Benghazi will do it?  The head of it, Trey Gowdy (R-SC], has “vowed to keep digging” until “we have a complete understanding of what happened”.

Maybe – just maybe – the truth about Benghazi will yet be told.