Tag Archive: Libya


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Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman speaks during a news conference in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia Creates Anti-Terrorist Coalition to Save Face in Mideast

© REUTERS/ Saudi Press Agency

Politics

14:09 21.12.2015

Recently, Saudi Arabia announced it was creating a coalition of Muslim countries to fight terrorism. Such a plan was initiated by Riyadh’s intention to restore its position in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia’s call to arms has gained supporters. As of now, 34 nations have expressed their interest in joining the anti-terrorist Muslim coalition Riyadh is forming.Among them are countries with a majority of Shiite or Sunni population, including Jordan, the UAE, Palestine, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Qatar, Yemen, Turkey, a number of African Muslim nations as well as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia. Another 10 nations said they would be ready to join the coalition in the future.

Saudi Arabia’s Defense Ministry Mohammad bin Salman did not elaborate on what measures would be taken against terrorists. He only said that a headquarters will be established in Riyadh to “coordinate military operations.”

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‘Murderers’: Thousands gather in Montenegro capital to protest NATO membership (VIDEO)

© Ruptly
 
Shortly after Montenegro’s bid to join the North Atlantic Alliance was given the green light, thousands flooded the streets of the capital to protest the upcoming membership and remind people of lives taken during the NATO invasion of 1999.

Former Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic and opposition leaders called the rally on Saturday in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica. They gathered at least 5,000 supporters outside the parliament, according to the local Vijesti newspaper. The protesters held national flags while patriotic and pro-Russian chants ringing out from the assembled crowd.

Bulatovic, who was also prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1998 to 2000, told the rally that joining NATO would mean “blood of innocent people on our hands,” and emphasized his country had been against the alliance’s wars until recently.

“What has Afghanistan done wrong, what has Iraq done wrong? Why has Libya been destroyed, what’s happening today in Syria? Can we close our eyes to that?” he said.

 

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Benghazi attack could have been prevented if US hadn’t ‘switched sides in the War on Terror’ and allowed $500 MILLION of weapons to reach al-Qaeda militants, reveals damning report

  • Citizens Committee on Benghazi claims the US government allowed arms to flow to al-Qaeda-linked militants who opposed Muammar Gaddafi
  • Their rise to power, the group says, led to the Benghazi attack in 2012
  • The group claims the strongman Gaddafi offered to abdicate his presidency, but the US refused to broker his peaceful exit
  • The commission, part of the center-right Accuracy In Media group, concluded that the Benghazi attack was a failed kidnapping plot
  • US Ambassador Chris Stevens was to be captured and traded for ‘blind sheikh’ Omar Abdel-Rahman, who hatched the 1993 WTC bombing plot

By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.

‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.

She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.

‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..

‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’

The weapons were intended for Gaddafi but allowed by the U.S. to flow to his Islamist opposition.

 

The Citizens Committee on Benghazi released its interim findings on April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pictured are (L-R) Clare Lopez, Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic, Admiral (Ret.) James 'Ace' Lyons, former CIA officer Wayne Simmons and civil rights attorney John Clarke

The Citizens Committee on Benghazi released its interim findings on April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pictured are (L-R) Clare Lopez, Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic, Admiral (Ret.) James ‘Ace’ Lyons, former CIA officer Wayne Simmons and civil rights attorney John Clarke

 

On September 11, 2012 armed terror-linked militias attacked U.S. diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans and driving the United States out of that part of the country

On September 11, 2012 armed terror-linked militias attacked U.S. diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans and driving the United States out of that part of the country

 

‘The White House and senior Congressional members,’ the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, ‘deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’

‘Some look at it as treason,’ said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission’s research.

Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic, another commission member, told reporters Tuesday that those weapons are now ‘all in Syria.’

 

‘Gaddafi wasn’t a good guy, but he was being marginalized,’ Kubic recalled. ‘Gaddafi actually offered to abdicate’ shortly after the beginning of a 2011 rebellion.

‘But the U.S. ignored his calls for a truce,’ the commission wrote, ultimately backing the horse that would later help kill a U.S. ambassador.

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The New American

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inside of U.S. compound in Benghazi the day after the Sept. 11, 2012 attack: AP Images

In its clumsy attempt to absolve President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from responsibility for the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, the New York Times has reignited intense scrutiny and debate over the fiasco and the administration’s lies and cover-ups in its aftermath.

On December 28, the Times opened a new chapter in the ongoing furor over “Benghazigate” with an extensive, 7,000-word article by David D. Kirkpatrick entitled, “A Deadly Mix in Benghazi.” According to Kirkpatrick, his article is the result of “months of investigation by The New York Times,” which “turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.” Moreover, he says, the September 11, 2012 attack, which resulted in the murder of four Americans — Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods — “was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

It is not surprising that the Times, which has staunchly supported both President Obama and Hillary Clinton, would come to their aid once more, producing a piece that echoes and affirms the administration’s Benghazi talking points, even though the facts have discredited those talking points.

A number of critics have already pointed out that Kirkpatrick’s latest article is contradicted by earlier Times reports which acknowledge the al-Qaeda ties of some of the Libyan jihadist militias (that the Obama administration, incidentally, was supporting). See, for instance, Aaron Klein at World Net Daily here and here, and Thomas Joscelyn at The Weekly Standard here.

It is also contradicted by a detailed report prepared by the Library of Congress entitled, Al-Qaeda in Libya: A Profile, issued in August, 2012, the month before the fatal Benghazi attack.

It is also interesting that the Times would once again try to lay the blame for the attack on a spontaneous riot incited by the anti-Muslim video and protests over the video in faraway Cairo, Egypt. This, of course, is a resurrection of the Barack Obama/Susan Rice/Hillary Clinton false narrative issued immediately after the fatal attack, which was an effort to cover up the fact that the event was a highly coordinated terrorist attack carried out by some of the very jihadists the administration was arming and aiding. The spontaneous riot narrative was also aimed at diverting attention from the fact that Secretary Clinton had failed to heed repeated warnings from Ambassador Stevens and State Department security personnel about the escalating danger in Benghazi and their appeals for additional security.

However, no credible evidence has been produced to support the claim that the anti-Muslim video precipitated, or contributed to, the Benghazi attack. And an in-depth analysis by Agincourt Solutions, a prominent social media monitoring firm, could find none of the alleged Internet traffic and postings in the Benghazi region that were supposedly responsible for stirring up the attackers.

Pre-emptive Defense for Hillary’s 2016 Presidential Run

The most transparent reason for the Times’  flimsy Benghazi whitewash is that the paper was trying to divert attention from Secretary Clinton’s central role in the whole sordid affair, so that a festering Benghazigate scandal would not derail her White House hopes for 2016.

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Library of Congress – Federal Research Division

Al-Qaeda in Libya: A Profile

PREFACE

This report attempts to assess al-Qaeda’s pres

ence in Libya. Al-Qaeda Senior Leadership

(AQSL) and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have sought to take advantage of the Libyan Revolution to recruit militants and to reinforce their operational capabilities in an attempt to create a safe haven and possibly to extend their area of operations to Libya. Reports have
indicated that AQSL is seeking to create an al-Qaeda clandestine network in Libya that could beactivated in the future to destabilize the government and/or to offer logistical support to al-Qaeda’s activities in North Africa and the Sahel.

AQIM has reportedly formed sleeper cells that are probably connected to an
al-Qaeda underground network in Libya, likely as a way, primarily,
to secure the supply of arms for its ongoing jihadist operations in Algeria and the Sahel. This report discusses how al-Qaeda and its North African affiliate are using communications media and face-to-face contacts to shift the still-evolving post-revolutionary political and socialdynamic in Libya in a direction that is conducive to jihad and hateful of the West.

The information in this report is drawn largely from the Internet and Western and Libyan online publications. Particular attention has been given to AQSL and AQIM sources, especially propaganda videos featuring their leaders and a written essay from ‘Atiyah al-Libi, an influential
Libyan al-Qaeda leader killed in Pakistan by a U.S. drone strike in August 2011. Although a wide range of sources were utilized, including those in French a nd Arabic, as well as in English,the information found was quite limited and largely presumptive. Given the scarcity of
information, further research is needed to better penetrate the organization of al-Qaeda’s clandestine network in Libya, its leaders, areas of concentration, and chain of command. The Web addresses presented in this report were valid as of August 2012.

Library of Congress – Federal Research Division Al-Qaeda in Libya: A Profile

1
1.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
x
Al-Qaeda has tried to exploit the “Arab Awake
ning” in North Africa for its own purposes
during the past year. Al-Qaeda Senior Leadersh
ip (AQSL), based in Pakistan, is likely
seeking to build a clandestine network in Libya
as it pursues its strategy of reinforcing its
presence in North Africa and the Middle East
, taking advantage of the “Arab Awakening”
that has disrupted existing counterterrorism
capabilities. Although AQSL’
s previous attempt
to co-opt the Libyan Islamic Fighting Gr
oup (LIFG) was inconclusive, the Libyan
Revolution may have created an environment
conducive to jihad and empowered the large
and active community of Libyan jihadists,
which is known to be well connected to
international jihad.
x
AQSL’s strategic goals remain restoration of the caliphate, instituting sharia, and ending the
Western presence in Muslim lands. Al-Qaeda’s
primary goal in Libya is to establish an
Islamic emirate as part of its overall
objective to reestablish the caliphate.
x
AQSL in Pakistan issued strategic guidance to
followers in Libya and elsewhere to take
advantage of the Libyan rebellion. AQSL’s strategic guidance was to:
¾
gather weapons,
¾
establish training camps,
¾
build a network in secret,
¾
establish an Islamic state, and
¾
institute sharia.
x
AQSL in Pakistan dispatched trusted senior ope
ratives as emissaries and leaders who could
supervise building a network. Al-Qaeda has esta
blished a core network in Libya, but it
remains clandestine and refrains
from using the al-Qaeda name.
x
Ansar al-Sharia, led by Sufian Ben Qhumu, a fo
rmer Guantanamo detainee, has increasingly
embodied al-Qaeda’s presence in Libya, as indi
cated by its active social-media propaganda,
extremist discourse, and hatred of th
e West, especially the United States.
x
Al-Qaeda adherents in Libya used the 2011 Revol
ution to establish well-armed, well-trained,and combat-experienced militias. Militia groups, led by Wisam Ben Hamid and Hayaka Alla have adopted similar behavior, with, however, fewer advertised grudges against the West.The only open-source materialthat has linked these groups,aside from their jihadist credentials and their defense of sharia, is their attachment to the flag that has come to symbolize al-Qaeda.

Read More Here  :  Library of Congress – Federal Research Division  PDF

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A Deadly Mix in Benghazi

December 28, 2013

A boyish-looking American diplomat was meeting for the first time with the Islamist leaders of eastern Libya’s most formidable militias.

It was Sept. 9, 2012. Gathered on folding chairs in a banquet hall by the Mediterranean, the Libyans warned of rising threats against Americans from extremists in Benghazi. One militia leader, with a long beard and mismatched military fatigues, mentioned time in exile in Afghanistan. An American guard discreetly touched his gun.

“Since Benghazi isn’t safe, it is better for you to leave now,” Mohamed al-Gharabi, the leader of the Rafallah al-Sehati Brigade, later recalled telling the Americans. “I specifically told the Americans myself that we hoped that they would leave Benghazi as soon as possible.”

Yet as the militiamen snacked on Twinkie-style cakes with their American guests, they also gushed about their gratitude for President Obama’s support in their uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. They emphasized that they wanted to build a partnership with the United States, especially in the form of more investment. They specifically asked for Benghazi outlets of McDonald’s and KFC.

The diplomat, David McFarland, a former congressional aide who had never before met with a Libyan militia leader, left feeling agitated, according to colleagues. But the meeting did not shake his faith in the prospects for deeper involvement in Libya. Two days later, he summarized the meeting in a cable to Washington, describing a mixed message from the militia leaders.

Despite “growing problems with security,” he wrote, the fighters wanted the United States to become more engaged “by ‘pressuring’ American businesses to invest in Benghazi.”

The cable, dated Sept. 11, 2012, was sent over the name of Mr. McFarland’s boss, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

Later that day, Mr. Stevens was dead, killed with three other Americans in Benghazi in the most significant attack on United States property in 11 years, since Sept. 11, 2001.

The Diplomatic Mission on Sept. 11, 2012

Four Americans died in attacks on a diplomatic mission and a C.I.A. compound in Benghazi.

As the attacks begin, there are seven Americans at the mission, including five armed diplomatic security officers; the information officer, Sean Smith; and Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Both Mr. Smith and Ambassador Stevens die in the attack.

The cable was a last token of months of American misunderstandings and misperceptions about Libya and especially Benghazi, many fostered by shadows of the earlier Sept. 11 attack. The United States waded deeply into post-Qaddafi Libya, hoping to build a beachhead against extremists, especially Al Qaeda. It believed it could draw a bright line between friends and enemies in Libya. But it ultimately lost its ambassador in an attack that involved both avowed opponents of the West and fighters belonging to militias that the Americans had taken for allies.

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

A fuller accounting of the attacks suggests lessons for the United States that go well beyond Libya. It shows the risks of expecting American aid in a time of desperation to buy durable loyalty, and the difficulty of discerning friends from allies of convenience in a culture shaped by decades of anti-Western sentiment. Both are challenges now hanging over the American involvement in Syria’s civil conflict.

The attack also suggests that, as the threats from local militants around the region have multiplied, an intensive focus on combating Al Qaeda may distract from safeguarding American interests.

In this case, a central figure in the attack was an eccentric, malcontent militia leader, Ahmed Abu Khattala, according to numerous Libyans present at the time. American officials briefed on the American criminal investigation into the killings call him a prime suspect. Mr. Abu Khattala declared openly and often that he placed the United States not far behind Colonel Qaddafi on his list of infidel enemies. But he had no known affiliations with terrorist groups, and he had escaped scrutiny from the 20-person C.I.A. station in Benghazi that was set up to monitor the local situation.

Mr. Abu Khattala, who denies participating in the attack, was firmly embedded in the network of Benghazi militias before and afterward. Many other Islamist leaders consider him an erratic extremist. But he was never more than a step removed from the most influential commanders who dominated Benghazi and who befriended the Americans. They were his neighbors, his fellow inmates and his comrades on the front lines in the fight against Colonel Qaddafi.

To this day, some militia leaders offer alibis for Mr. Abu Khattala. All resist quiet American pressure to turn him over to face prosecution. Last spring, one of Libya’s most influential militia leaders sought to make him a kind of local judge.

Fifteen months after Mr. Stevens’s death, the question of responsibility remains a searing issue in Washington, framed by two contradictory story lines.

One has it that the video, which was posted on YouTube, inspired spontaneous street protests that got out of hand. This version, based on early intelligence reports, was initially offered publicly by Susan E. Rice, who is now Mr. Obama’s national security adviser.

The other, favored by Republicans, holds that Mr. Stevens died in a carefully planned assault by Al Qaeda to mark the anniversary of its strike on the United States 11 years before. Republicans have accused the Obama administration of covering up evidence of Al Qaeda’s role to avoid undermining the president’s claim that the group has been decimated, in part because of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The investigation by The Times shows that the reality in Benghazi was different, and murkier, than either of those story lines suggests. Benghazi was not infiltrated by Al Qaeda, but nonetheless contained grave local threats to American interests. The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs.

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Libya Warnings Were Plentiful, but Unspecific

 

Mohammad Hannon/Associated Press

Investigators had little access to the American Mission compound in Benghazi immediately after the September attack.

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON — In the months leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the Obama administration received intelligence reports that Islamic extremist groups were operating training camps in the mountains near the Libyan city and that some of the fighters were “Al Qaeda-leaning,” according to American and European officials.

The warning about the camps was part of a stream of diplomatic and intelligence reports that indicated that the security situation throughout the country, and particularly in eastern Libya, had deteriorated sharply since the United States reopened its embassy in Tripoli after the fall of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government in September 2011.

By June, Benghazi had experienced a string of assassinations as well as attacks on the Red Cross and a British envoy’s motorcade. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the September attack, e-mailed his superiors in Washington in August alerting them to “a security vacuum” in the city. A week before Mr. Stevens died, the American Embassy warned that Libyan officials had declared a “state of maximum alert” in Benghazi after a car bombing and thwarted bank robbery.

In the closing weeks of the presidential campaign, the circumstances surrounding the attack on the Benghazi compound have emerged as a major political issue, as Republicans, led by their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, have sought to lay blame for the attack on President Obama, who they argued had insufficiently protected American lives there.

Interviews with American officials and an examination of State Department documents do not reveal the kind of smoking gun Republicans have suggested would emerge in the attack’s aftermath such as a warning that the diplomatic compound would be targeted and that was overlooked by administration officials.

What is clear is that even as the State Department responded to the June attacks, crowning the Benghazi compound walls with concertina wire and setting up concrete barriers to thwart car bombs, it remained committed to a security strategy formulated in a very different environment a year earlier.

In the heady early days after the fall of Colonel Qaddafi’s government, the administration’s plan was to deploy a modest American security force and then increasingly rely on trained Libyan personnel to protect American diplomats — a policy that reflected White House apprehensions about putting combat troops on the ground as well as Libyan sensitivities about an obtrusive American security presence.

In the following months, the State Department proceeded with this plan. In one instance, State Department security officials replaced the American military team in Tripoli with trained Libyan bodyguards, while it also maintained the number of State Department security personnel members at the Benghazi compound around the minimum recommended level.

Questions at Home

But the question on the minds of some lawmakers is why the declining security situation did not prompt a fundamental rethinking of the security needs by the State Department and the White House. Three Congressional investigations and a State Department inquiry are now examining the attack, which American officials said included participants from Ansar al-Shariah, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Muhammad Jamal network, a militant group in Egypt.

“Given the large number of attacks that had occurred in Benghazi that were aimed at Western targets, it is inexplicable to me that security wasn’t increased,” said Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the senior Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, one of the panels holding inquiries.

Defending their preparations, State Department officials have asserted that there was no specific intelligence that warned of a large-scale attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, which they asserted was unprecedented. The department said it was careful to weigh security with diplomats’ need to meet with Libyan officials and citizens.

“The lethality of an armed, massed attack by dozens of individuals is something greater than we’ve ever seen in Libya over the last period that we’ve been there,” Patrick F. Kennedy, the State Department’s under secretary for management, told reporters at a news conference on Oct. 10.

But David Oliveira, a State Department security officer who was stationed in Benghazi from June 2 to July 5, said he told members and staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that he recalled thinking that if 100 or more assailants sought to breach the mission’s walls, “there was nothing that we could do about it because we just didn’t have the manpower, we just didn’t have the facilities.”

In developing a strategy to bring about the fall of Colonel Qaddafi, Mr. Obama walked a fine line between critics of any American involvement in Libya and those like Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who advocated a stronger American leadership role. Mr. Obama’s approach — a NATO air campaign supported by the United States — was a success.

After Colonel Qaddafi’s fall, Mr. Obama proceeded with equal caution. He approved a plan to send to Tripoli a 16-member Site Security Team, a military unit that included explosive-ordnance personnel, medics and other specialists. “Day-to-day diplomatic security decisions were managed by career State Department professional staff,” said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

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RT

 

Published on Dec 4, 2013

Amid the power struggle in Libya, tribal groups are largely being left to fend for themselves. Some are being targeted by militias, for allegedly supporting the slain Colonel Gaddafi. Paula Slier reports on the plight of one embattled minority.

RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air

 

 

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Benghazi Insiders Fear CIA: “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”

Lily Dane
Activist Post

A few days ago, President Obama, White House press secretary Jay Carney, and several Democratic members of Congress referred to the Benghazi attack as a “phony scandal.”

CNN is now reporting that “dozens of CIA operatives were on the ground during the Benghazi attack.” The fact that the CIA was in Benghazi is not new information; the second part of the Benghazi attack was on the CIA annex there (of course, that part of the tragedy was not well publicized).

The bigger – and more telling – part of the CNN report is this:

Sources now tell CNN that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing remains a secret. The CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.

The Obama administration is working awfully hard to keep information about a “phony scandal” from becoming public knowledge, aren’t they?

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings.

The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.

It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”

Another says, “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”

According to former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer, the frequency of the polygraph testing is unusual. “Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that. If somebody is being polygraphed every month, or every two months it’s called an issue polygraph, and that means that the polygraph division suspects something, or they’re looking for something, or they’re on a fishing expedition. But it’s absolutely not routine at all to be polygraphed monthly, or bi-monthly.”

The number of Americans who were in Benghazi the night of the attack remains a secret. A source told CNN that the number was 35. It is still not known how many of them were CIA, but a source says that there were 21 Americans working in the annex.

U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, whose district includes CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, said:

I think it is a form of a cover-up, and I think it’s an attempt to push it under the rug, and I think the American people are feeling the same way. We should have the people who were on the scene come in, testify under oath, do it publicly, and lay it out. And there really isn’t any national security issue involved with regards to that.

Wolf has repeatedly asked to establish a committee to investigate the failures that occurred in Benghazi, and to find out exactly what the State Department and CIA were doing there. Wolf said he was contacted by CIA operatives and contractors who wanted to talk shortly after the tragedy, but that has stopped:

Initially they were not afraid to come forward. They wanted the opportunity, and they wanted to be subpoenaed, because if you’re subpoenaed, it sort of protects you, you’re forced to come before Congress. Now that’s all changed.

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Issa subpoenas State Dept. documents on Benghazi talking points

By Molly K. Hooper 05/28/13 01:23 PM ET

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has subpoenaed State Department documents related to the Benghazi talking points, according to a letter sent to Secretary of State John Kerry obtained by The Hill.

In the letter, Issa states that the department’s release of 100 emails earlier this month was “incomplete.” Issa demands that Kerry produce “relevant documents through subpoena. The enclosed subpoena covers documents and the communications related to talking points prepared for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and used by Ambassador Susan Rice during her September 16th, 2012, appearances on CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, and CNN.”Issa said that the documents released on May 20 did not answer “critical” questions posed by the committee as it investigates what happened during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the aftermath of that terror attack that killed former U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stephens and three other Americans.

More than one week after the attack, Rice took to the airwaves to blame the attack on a protest over an anti-Islam video, denying that it had anything to do with terrorism, despite the CIA’s belief that the attack was caused by terrorists.

Read Full Article  Here

Flag of U.S. - Israeli - Saudi Allegiance photo Flagofamericanisraelisaudiallegiance_zpsef286a11.jpg

Flag of U.S. – Israeli – Saudi Allegiance  

~Desert Rose~

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In Wake of US-Israeli Attack on Syria, UN Reveals Terrorists Not Government Used Sarin Gas

So-called “red line” both drawn and then crossed by US-Saudi-Israeli axis and their terrorist proxies. 

May 6, 2013 (LD) – The reasoning behind recent US-Israeli attacks on Syria has been undermined further as the UN reveals Western-backed terrorists, not the Syrian government, deployed sarin gas during the 2 year conflict. Reuters reported in their article, “U.N. has testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas: investigator,” that:

U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.

The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.

“Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.

Why the Small Amounts of Sarin Cited by Washington, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv are a Set Up 

The small amounts of sarin gas reportedly used would defy any tactical or strategic sense had they been deployed by the Syrian government to tip the balance in the destructive 2-year conflict. According to the US military’s own assessments of chemical weapon use during the 1980’s Iran-Iraq War, only under ideal conditions and with massive amounts of chemical agents can tactical and strategic outcomes be achieved – and that conventional weapons were still, by far, superior to chemical weapons of any kind.

A document produced by the US Marine Corps, titled, “Lessons Learned: The Iran-Iraq War” under “Appendix B: Chemical Weapons,” provides a comprehensive look at the all-out chemical warfare that took place during the devastating 8 year Iranian-Iraqi conflict. Several engagements are studied in detail, revealing large amounts of chemical agents deployed mainly to create areas of denial, not mass casualties.

The effectiveness and lethality of chemical weapons is summarized in the document as follows (emphasis added):

Chemical weapons require quite particular weather and geographic conditions for optimum effectiveness. Given the relative nonpersistence of all agents employed during this war, including mustard, there was only a brief window of employment opportunity both daily and seasonally, when the agents could be used. Even though the Iraqis employed mustard agent in the rainy season and also in the marshes, its effectiveness was significantly reduced under those conditions. As the Iraqis learned to their chagrin, mustard is not a good agent to employ in the mountains, unless you own the high ground and your enemy is in the valleys.

We are uncertain as to the relative effectiveness of nerve agents since those which were employed are by nature much less persistent than mustard. In order to gain killing concentrations of these agents, predawn attacks are best, conducted in areas where the morning breezes are likely to blow away from friendly positions.

Chemical weapons have a low kill ratio. Just as in WWl, during which the ratio of deaths to injured from chemicals was 2-3 percent, that figure appears to be borne out again in this war although reliable data on casualties are very difficult to obtain. We deem it remarkable that the death rate should hold at such a low level even with the introduction of nerve agents. If those rates are correct, as they well may be, this further reinforces the position that we must not think of chemical weapons as “a poor man’s nuclear weapon.” While such weapons have great psychological potential, they are not killers or destroyers on a scale with nuclear or biological weapons.

Clearly, the minute amounts of sarin the West has accused the Syrian government of using, makes no tactical, political, or strategic sense. However, these small amounts of sarin gas, now suspected to be the work of Western-backed terrorists, would have been perfect for establishing a pretext for Western military intervention, and in fact, have been in part cited by the US and Israel in their latest, unprovoked aerial assault on Damascus.

The terrorists operating in Syria possess the means and motivation to carry out such an operation, as do their Western sponsors.

Where Did Western-backed Terrorists Obtain Sarin? 

A number of methods could have lent sarin gas to terrorists operating in Syria – from Turkey, Israel, and the US simply handing select units the chemical agent in a clandestine operation, to Libyan terrorists confirmed to have been flooding into Syria for the past 2 years, bringing looted chemical stockpiles with them after NATO’s disastrous invasion in 2011 left them in the hands of a sectarian extremist regime.

Image: (via the Guardian) “Chemical containers in the Libyan desert. There are concerns unguarded weapons could fall into the hands of Islamist militants. Photograph: David Sperry/AP”

….

Indeed, Libya’s arsenal had fallen into the hands of sectarian extremists with NATO assistance in 2011 in the culmination of efforts to overthrow the North African nation . Since then, Libya’s militants led by commanders of Al Qaeda’s Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) have armed sectarian extremists across the Arab World, from as far West as Mali, to as far East as Syria.

Libyan LIFG terrorists are confirmed to be flooding into Syria from Libya. In November 2011, the Telegraph in their article, “Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group,” would report:

Abdulhakim 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. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there.”

Another Telegraph article, “Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels,” would admit

Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested “assistance” from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers.
“There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”

Later that month, some 600 Libyan terrorists would be reported to have entered Syria to begin combat operations and have been flooding into the country ever since.

Image: Libyan Mahdi al-Harati of the US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf)-listed terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), addressing fellow terrorists in Syria. Harati is now commanding a Libyan brigade operating inside of Syria attempting to destroy the Syrian government and subjugate the Syrian population. Traditionally, this is known as “foreign invasion.” 

….

In Time’s article, “Libya’s Fighters Export Their Revolution to Syria,” it is reported:

Some Syrians are more frank about the assistance the Libyans are providing. “They have heavier weapons than we do,” notes Firas Tamim, who has traveled in rebel-controlled areas to keep tabs on foreign fighters. “They brought these weapons to Syria, and they are being used on the front lines.” Among the arms Tamim has seen are Russian-made surface-to-air missiles, known as the SAM 7.

Libyan fighters largely brush off questions about weapon transfers, but in December they claimed they were doing just that. “We are in the process of collecting arms in Libya,” a Libyan fighter in Syria told the French daily Le Figaro. “Once this is done, we will have to find a way to bring them here.”

White House releases additional documents related to Benghazi response

 photo WhiteHousereleasesadditionaldocumentsrelatedtoBenghaziresponse_zpsf87a1d23.jpg

One hundred pages of emails were passed out by the White House Wednesday as the Obama administration tried to put an end to the long simmering dispute over what took place when the American compound in Benghazi was attacked. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

Under increasing scrutiny from congressional Republicans, the White House on Wednesday released copies of emails and other additional supporting documents related to its response to last fall’s attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

The White House released the materials in the wake of Republicans’ clamor for more information about how the Obama administration crafted its explanation for the incident, which came at the height of last year’s campaign season, and resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The emails convey different parts of the administration — the White House, the State Department, and the CIA — trading drafts of talking points for use not just by representatives of the administration, but also by members of Congress.

Read part one of the White House emails (.pdf)

From the very first draft, the talking points included references to “Islamic extremists” who might have participated in the attack.

The most significant changes involved removing references to Ansar al-Sharia to not hinder the investigation into the attack, and changing reference to the Benghazi location to a “mission” or “diplomatic post,” rather than a consulate.

Those talking points, though, were subjected to scrutiny and a series of tweaks from different agencies to ensure the talking points did not get out in front of investigators, who did not yet appear to have a full grasp of the underpinnings of the attack at that point.

Read Full Article and Watch Video Here

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Did the White House selectively leak e-mail to distort Benghazi timeline story? Update: Axelrod: Release all the Libya e-mails

posted at 9:21 am on May 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

In order to understand just how badly the White House may have fumbled this ball, let’s go back to last week.  Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard reported from Congressional sources on a White House-State Department e-mail string that made clear that the administration wanted the talking points on Benghazi massaged to protect sources and its own political goals.  ABCs Jon Karl later reported from the e-mails themselves, showing that the White House and State Department went through 12 versions of talking points before settling on the final version, which CIA Director Davod Petraeus called “useless” and advised against using.

Yesterday, however — not too long before Jay Carney’s press briefing at the White House — Jake Tapper got a leaked version of an e-mail sent by Ben Rhodes that seemed to contradict the reporting from Hayes and Karl:

CNN has obtained an e-mail sent by a top aide to President Barack Obama about White House reaction to the deadly attack last September 11 on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that apparently differs from how sources characterized it to two different media organizations.

The actual e-mail from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes appears to show that whomever leaked it did so in a way that made it appear that the White House was primarily concerned with the State Department’s desire to remove references and warnings about specific terrorist groups so as to not bring criticism to the department.

During the press conference, Carney seized on this report to claim that the Benghazi story was a trumped-up non-story:


Read Full Article Here

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MSNBC Panelists Agree That Benghazi Scandal Makes White House Look Terrible

AIMArchives

Published on May 14, 2013

Guests n MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner were in general agreement that the Benghazi scandal makes the White House look terrible, with one even bringing up the possibility of impeaching Obama.

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Gregory Hicks (Whistleblower) Embarrassed By Blame Placed On YouTube Video. Benghazi Hearing


Published on May 8, 2013

Trey Gowdy (R-SC) used his short time addressing former deputy chief of mission for the U.S. in Libya, Gregory Hicks, to establish the fact that the American diplomatic staff in Libya were “embarrassed” by the White House’s effort to blame the Benghazi attack on an inflammatory YouTube video. Gowdy established that the State Department had informed the Libyan government on the day after the attack that “Islamic terrorists” were likely behind the assault.

“When Ambassador [Christopher] Stevens talked to you perhaps minutes before he died, as a dying declaration, what did he say to you?” Gowdy asked.

“He said, ‘Greg, we’re under attack,” Hicks replied.

Gowdy and Hicks established that there was no demonstration outside the consulate that day. He noted that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice proceeded to blame the attack on a video. When asked what his reaction to Rice’s statements was, Hick’s replied, “I was stunned. My jaw dropped. And I was embarrassed.”

RELATED: LIVE STREAM: Witnesses Testify At House Committee Hearing On Benghazi

Gowdy read from a portion of an email form an aide to former Sec. Hilary Clinton which stated that the State Department had informed the Libyan government that the individuals who carried out the attack were linked to “Islamic terrorists.”

“Mr. Hicks, I want to know, number one, why in the world would Susan Rice go on five Sunday talk shows and perpetuate a demonstrably false narrative?” Gowdy asked. “And secondarily, what impact did it have on the ground in Benghazi the fact that she contradicted the president of Libya?”

Hicks declined to answer the first question, but said Rice’s statements helped facilitate introducing FBI investigators into Libya. Bureacuracy in Llbya hampered the investigation’s progress, however, and the crime scene was left unsecured for 18 days.

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US officials blocked rescue effort while Benghazi burned, Congress told

Diplomat Gregory Hicks accuses State Department of cover-up in evidence that may yet hurt Hillary Clinton’s White House bid

Gregory Hicks testifies to the congressional hearing

Gregory Hicks claimed he was scolded for giving critical evidence to investigators without the presence of a ‘minder’ from State. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

While US diplomats were pulling bodies from a burning Libyan consulate and frantically smashing up hard drives last 11 September, their superiors blocked rescue efforts and later attempted to cover up security failings, according to damaging new evidence that may yet hurt Hillary Clinton‘s presidential hopes.

In vivid testimony to Congress on Wednesday, Gregory Hicks, deputy to murdered US ambassador Christopher Stevens, revealed for the first time in public a detailed account of the desperate few hours after the terrorist attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi.

He also said that Stevens went to Benghazi to beat a 30 September deadline to convert the mission to a permanent posting. There was additional time pressure because Clinton planned to visit Libya later in the year and to announce the opening of the post, Hicks said.

But Hicks and two other state department witnesses also singled out the government response for criticism. Until now that criticism had been largely dismissed as a partisan effort by Republican congressman to smear former Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time.

Hicks claimed Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, telephoned him to complain that he had given critical evidence to congressional investigators without the presence of a “minder” from the state department. “A phone call from that senior a person is generally considered not to be good news,” said Hicks, who said he had since been demoted. “She was upset. She was very upset.”

The career diplomat also alleged he was actively discouraged by officials from asking awkward questions about why other top Clinton aides, including the UN ambassador Susan Rice, initially blamed the attack on a spontaneous protest that got out of control. He described that briefing he described as “jaw-dropping, embarrassing and stunning”. It is now thought the attacks, involving up to 60 heavily armed militia, were co-ordinated by Ansar al-Sharia, a group affiliated to al-Qaida, and timed to coincide with the 11th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

The allegations of a state department cover-up follow equally embarrassing claims that military leaders blocked efforts to dispatch special forces troops to the Benghazi consulate.

In testimony that first emerged on Monday, Hicks claims that four special forces soldiers with him in Tripoli were “furious” when they were told by superiors in Washington that they could not join a relief flight to Benghazi organised by the Libyan government in the hours after the initial attack.

Mark Thompson, a former marine who heads the foreign emergency support team, also alleged that the White House blocked his efforts to dispatch a specialist group from the US that is designed to respond to incidents such as the Benghazi attaack.

Hicks said he was told that US air force jets based in Italy could have reached the consulate in “two to three hours” but were blocked, out of fear of offending the Libyan government, and because a refuelling tanker could not be found.

Pentagon officials have repeatedly argued that none of the available military assets could have reached Benghazi in time to prevent the death of ambassador Stevens and three other consular staff. But Hicks insisted even if they had been too late, better attempts should have been made. “People in peril in future need to know that we will go to get them,” he said. “That night we needed to demonstrate that resolve even if we still had the same outcome.”

Hicks also rejected the defence given by Hillary Clinton when pressed on the initial delay in attributing the attack to terrorists, arguing the US undermined its Libyan allies who were rightly pointing to Ansar al-Sharia.

“President Magarief was insulted in front of his own people, in front of the world. His credibility was reduced. His ability to govern was [damaged]. He was angry … He was still steamed about the talk shows two weeks later. I definitely believe it negatively affected our ability to get the FBI team quickly to Benghazi.”

Read Full Article Here

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Gregory Hicks (Whistlesblower) Benghazi Testimony Pt1

Les Grossman


Published on May 8, 2013

Hicks said that the day of the attack was a routine day until they say news of the earlier Cairo embassy-storming attempt. He informed his superior, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens of the attempt.

Later in the day he received a message the attack had started. He went to the tactical operations center, while on the phone with the ambassador. The call was cut due to poor cell performance. After reaching the center, Hicks received more information about the attack and next called the annex chief to activate their emergency response team.

He then called the operations center at the State Department to report the attack and their response. He then called senior officials in Libya to request assistance from the local government. After that was done he reported it to Washington.

According to Hicks, the night unfolded in four phases. There was an attack on the diplomatic annex. The villa was invaded were several of the casualties were. The 6 person response team from Bengazhi managed to temporarily clear the diplomatic compound. The body of Shawn Smith was pulled out during this time. There was a second wave of attackers and the teams evacuated to another location.

The second phase commenced when the team returned to the annex later in the night. They suffered several probing attacks but repelled them. The Tripoli response team begins to arrive during this phase.

Phase three is when the ambassador’s body was recovered. Reports came out that the ambassador was taken to hospital that was suspect to be controlled by Islamic militants. Hicks received conflicted reports of the location of the ambassador. He then received reports that the embassy in Tripoli was under attack and the staff prepared to evacuate. He is also keeping Washington informed

At 2:00 A.M. he receives a call from Sec. of State Clinton; They mostly talked about the search of the ambassador and the need to evacuate. Clinton agrees with evacuation. The PM of Libya called around 3:00 A.M. to inform Hicks of the ambassadors’ death. Hicks immediately telephoned Washington of the news.

The team destroyed all of the information in the annex as is standard US diplomatic procedure. They decided to evacuate at dawn and arrived at another compound. The mortar attack started when they arrived. The attack killed several.

Hicks claims that they were in them process of evacuating to a plane but the security officer who was in charge did not have authorization to go ahead.

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Reps. Chaffetz & Lynch Clash Over Intimidation Of Benghazi Witnesses On Fox News Sunday

Published on May 5, 2013

Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) paid a visit to Fox News Sunday this week to talk Benghazi. Speaking of the investigation into the review and the charge that witnesses have been blocked from testifying, the pair clashed over the arguments, with Lynch asserting that Democrats have been left out of the whole process.

“The Republicans control the House,” Lynch said. “We don’t have the ability to hold a hearing. The Democrats have been completely kept out of this whole process. This has been a one-sided investigation, if you want to call it that. … I think it’s disgraceful.”

Chaffetz said that witnesses have “absolutely” been threatened and intimidated from coming forward. They’re “scared to the death” of what the State Department is doing, he asserted. Lynch jumped in to argue that Chaffetz’s assertions were “completely false” — that the attorneys have not asked for the information yet and, in fact, the State Department would cooperate.

Not surprisingly, Chaffetz was insistent about his story, further adding that Democrats are more than welcome to participate in the process. But they simply haven’t. The congressmen refuted nearly every point they made to each other, neither agreeing on much about where the situation stands.

Chris Wallace later jumped in to pose the question about how much then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew about the security requests (which she said she never saw). Every cable that goes to the department, he told Chaffetz, has Clinton’s name on it — so that’s not necessarily a way to argue that Clinton should have seen that cable. Chaffetz by asking for the release of the unclassified document.

Clinton, he argued, “claims” to take full responsibility for what happened, but simultaneously “pleads ignorance.”

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Diplomat: State Lawyers Told Me Not to Speak to GOP Lawmaker Probing Benghazi

May 8, 2013

Hicks, Thompson and Nordstrom at Benghazi hearing

Former deputy chief of mission in Libya Gregory Hicks, center, prepares to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on May 8, 2013. He is flanked by fellow witnesses Mark Thompson, deputy coordinator for operations in the State Department’s counterterrorism bureau, and Eric Nordstrom, formerly the department’s regional security officer in Libya. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) – A senior U.S. diplomat in Libya was instructed by State Department lawyers – for the first time in his 22-year foreign service career – not to speak to a visiting lawmaker who was investigating last September’s attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, a congressional panel heard Wednesday.

“I was instructed not to allow the RSO [regional security officer], the acting deputy chief of mission and myself to be personally interviewed by Congressman Chaffetz,” Gregory Hicks, who was the number two official at the embassy in Libya at the time of the attack, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who chairs the committee’s subcommittee on national security, homeland defense and foreign operations, visited Libya to investigate the Sept. 11 attack in which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed.

“So, the people at State told you, ‘Don’t talk to the guy who’s coming to investigate’?” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked Hicks during Wednesday’s hearing.

“Yes, sir,” Hicks replied.

“Have you ever had anyone tell you, ‘Don’t talk with the people from Congress coming to find out what took place’?”

“Never.”

“Never,” Jordan continued. “And you’ve had dozens and dozens of congressional delegations that you’ve been a part of.”

“Yes, sir.”

“First time it’s ever happened.”

“Yes, sir.”

Hicks confirmed in response to further questioning that, when Chaffetz arrived in Libya a State Department lawyer had sought to be present at every meeting with the congressman.

Read Full Article Here

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Whistleblower on Amb. Rice’s 5 Talk Shows: “I Was Stunned. My Jaw Dropped. I Was Embarrassed.”