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Benghazi Consulate Scandal Grows

by Keith Koffler on October 2, 2012, 2:47 pm

The scandal involving the possible failure of the Obama administration to adequately provide for the security of the Benghazi consulate, where U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed Sept. 11, took a new turn today as Republicans revealed that the mission in Libya was denied resources in response to requests for more protection.

In a letter to Secretary of State Clinton, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said he will hold a hearing Oct. 10 to consider the pre-attack security situation in Benghazi, where threats to foreigners had been on the rise.

Based on information provided to the Committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012 . . .

In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi. The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington.

The letter demands that State Department officials appear before the committee and that State produce documents describing its actions and the information it had prior to the attack.

In an article today, Wall Street Journal foreign affairs opinion writer Brett Stephens referred to the Benghazi attack as Obama’s “3 am phone call,” a reference to the foreign crisis call then-candiate Hillary Clinton predicted Obama would get as president and be unprepared to respond to.

Except it occurred at 5 pm, Stephens notes.

That’s when the White House was made aware of an attack on the consulate and decided not too send in reinforcements for fear of upsetting the Libyans. He quotes Wall Street Journal reporting:

There was no serious consideration at that hour of intervention with military force, officials said. Doing so without Libya’s permission could represent a violation of sovereignty and inflame the situation, they said. Instead, the State Department reached out to the Libyan government to get reinforcements to the scene.

With important information like this emerging, White House and Obama campaign charges that Republicans are trying to politicize the crisis won’t work.

Instead, the Obama campaign now has its own 3 am phone call to deal with.

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ArnoldLayne October 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm

The Obama cover-up, exposed by one John Batchelor:

My information is that Chris Stevens and the whole consulate was betrayed by Libyan officials to the very gangs that the CIA is recruiting to fight with the so-called “Free Syrian Army.” My information is that the FSA is a cut-out for Turkish Intelligence. My information is that the White House chose to misinform the American people about the Benghazi attack, because it does not want to answer questions about the Libyan program to pay Cyrenaica jihadists to fight in Syria for a sham constructiion called the “Free Syrian Army.” The Responsibility to Protect doctrine used in Libya is now doubly exposed as fail at Benghazi and fail in Syria. The second Obama administration has committed itself to betrayal after betrayal.

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Susan October 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Samantha Power, wife of Cass Sunstein the regulatory czar, advised Obama on the implementation of the Soros-funded “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine in Libya. She is a member of his national Security Council and back in 2002 suggested Israel be forced (militarily) to accept Palestinian statehood.

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Conservative61 October 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Just in case 0bama doesn’t go down in flames next month, NOW is the time to lay the groundwork for impeachment. There are countless charges to be named, so just add this to the list.

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GotFreedom October 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Nixon lied. . .nobody died!

Obama lied (and ignored the requests for additional security and. . .). . .4 people died!

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Mike Lester October 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Stop me if you’ve heard this: political correctness will get somebody killed.

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Just2old October 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Foreign policy via wishful thinking will get thousands killed!

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Sadie October 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I just went slumming and went to the alphabet sites to check if any were covering Benghazi. I am sure they’re still “evolving” on the story. sarc off.

“If a tree falls in the forest…” or if a news agency doesn’t report on a story, does it mean it never happened.

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AZ Granny October 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Jake Tapper at ABC has a report buried in the political page, not the front page. The WH won’t comment on whether Stevens requested more security. It’s kind of curious because otherwise they’re always quick to deny something.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/10/white-house-has-no-comment-on-house-gopers-assertions-that-libyan-mission-requested-security-prior-to-91112-attack/

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AZ Granny October 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm

This story keeps getting stranger and stranger. State dept, according to the Wall Street Journal report (linked above) thought it would take 2, 4 or 6 hours to send in aircraft from Sicily, 450 miles away? 6 hours? Seriously? I’ve seen fighter jets fly pretty darn fast and as a kid heard many break the sound barrier. Besides, a commercial airline could go that distance in less than 6 hours. So why didn’t the US send any help to Libya? Why did the State dept deny requests for more security? When Stevens asked for more security and it was denied, why wasn’t he moved to a safer area? Why did the State dept/Obama dismiss his concerns? What was their motive for leaving Stevens in danger? What about the dozen CIA agents working there in Benghazi. Didn’t they get any intelligence about the pending attack and share that with Stevens? Where did these terrorists get their weapons? Did the US supply weapons during the Arab spring that are being used against us now? What more don’t we know? Why did Obama and his administration think they could cover this up? It’s obvious Obama blamed the video to try and cover up or avoid this scandal. He should be in jail, not at a swanky resort complaining it’s a “drag” preparing for the Wed. debate.

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Sadie October 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm

AZ – Strange, indeed. Even stranger, when I began reading your second sentence I read (thought I saw) Stalin dept. not State.

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Susan October 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Excellent questions, AZ Granny. It is chilling that those in power seem to have so little respect for human life. I don’t want to believe America’s leaders would knowingly allow these four men to be savagely murdered without lifting a finger to help them, but can’t deny the truth.

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AZ Granny October 2, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Yes, it is chilling, Susan. Another question I have is why did the State dept contract with the security company to provide security guards for Stevens but not allow the guards to carry ammo? And their security at the embassy consisted of cameras and barbed wire fencing. Nothing more than that and unarmed guards. There were 13 incidents leading up to 9/11 and nobody thought Stevens needed more security? That’s criminal stupidity, if not incompetence.

Sadie, maybe I should have typed Stalin dept. I get the feeling more and more every day that’s where we’re headed. :(

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Star October 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I can’t get that pathetic video of his bloody body, arm flopping, being dragged along. Now THAT is a video…

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drk October 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Stevens was just making noise.

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Just2old October 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Not any more…

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Lizzy October 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Fear of upsetting the Libyans will come as cold comfort to the families of the four men senselessly murdered on that night. Also their sacrifice wasn’t even
worth skipping a trip to Vegas he makes Carter look like a statesman at least
he cared Obama comes first always this was too much.

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RickW October 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Gee Barry, were you afraid to call on the SEALS? Too ashamed about the way you outed them during your victory lap about Bin Laden? They still would have gone, you know. Thats the kind of men they are.

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Girly1 October 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Watergate looks like child’s play compared to this gang. The WH should be declared a crime scene and all perps frog-marched out in handcuffs.

Obama destroying records in cyber-bonfire:
http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/obama-destroying-records-in-cyber-bonfire/

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Lizzy October 2, 2012 at 11:31 pm

I bet they’ve got an industrial size shedder in the new secret bunker
along with all the swag they are hiding till they pack up and leave in the dark of night.

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RickW October 3, 2012 at 8:13 am

Lizzy, they will make Bill and Hillary’s departure look polite. “How come we can’t get Air Force One too? Let Romney buy his own damm plane!”

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blondie October 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm

What other President could survive these scandals? Its a scandal a day with this guy. Heres five!

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/10/02/a-guide-to-the-obama-administrations-five-major-scandals-for-mainstream-media-dummies/?singlepage=true

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Shofar October 3, 2012 at 9:36 am

Having worked in executive protection as a part of my professional life, and being responsible for making sure various individuals did not have to worry about their personal safety, the more I read about Benghazi, the more failures I keep seeing.

State sends a person who is known to be gay to a part of the world that is intolerant of the gay lifestyle, it was a known fact that Stevens lived a closeted gay life, the order not to carry live ammo, the denial of request to up the security of the embassies and consulate, and now a seeming refusal to allow reinforcements to be deployed to a hot spot brings more questions than I can even fathom.

First off, when your primary (the person you are protecting) expresses a concern for his/her safety, you have a responsibility to do a thorough reassessment of the conditions on ground. Sometimes your primary might be hyper vigilant, and paranoid, and it is your job as part of the protection detail to ensure that they are reassured that they, and their family if applicable, are safe. Secondly, all primaries are instructed that in the event of a situation, they no longer have any authority with regards to what happens during that situation. The protection officers take control, and it does not matter if it is POTUS or the mayor of a city, they are to shut up and do as they are told. That is something that leads to a lot of interesting conversations post incident. If you are working a uniform protection detail it is a lot easier due to the fact that the uniform in and of itself lends authority. If you are in civies that leads to an entirely different level of vigilance and perspective. A simple side arm is not enough when you know that you might be in a hot spot situation, and the detail should have been armed with automatic weapons. If something does start, the detail has the responsibility to literally take physical control of the primary, and hold on to them as long as possible. Comms should be secured, and if things go south, any requests for additional assistance are to be answered immediately.

I know that we have been contracting out much of the security in various locations, but to use locals as part of the security detail is just plain stupid. You do not know where their loyalties lie, and that leaves your primary vulnerable to injury or death.

The idea that it would take too long for assistance to arrive from Sicily to do any good is false. A 747, such as AF1 could make the trip in an hour or less. A C-130 has a cruise speed of approx. 330 mph, it should have taken a MARSOC contingent less than two hours to be on the ground in Benghazi if the order had been given. Once the protection team realized that they were in trouble, and requested assistance, a full deployment should have been ordered. You never question the ground teams request for help under any conditions, you just go.

All that said, it brings up some further questions on the handling of the Benghazi situation. Why was there a denial of aid? If the argument was that it would violate the sovereignty of Libya, to hell with that, the consulate and embassy are considered sovereign territory of the US, and any unit that would have been deployed could have dropped into the consulate’s grounds, or damned near them. If it was a concern that it would appear as an act of aggression on the part of the US, that is also a lie, as we have the right to protect our people under any circumstance. My thinking is that Stevens may have known that there was something amiss with US policy in Libya, and may have in fact been trying to get information that could have ended up being embarrassing to the administration. For him to have gone to Benghazi, knowing the threat level had increased dramatically, most if not all of the other facilities for Western governments had already closed down, leads me to think that there was something particular that he was looking at. A primary usually will not deliberately place themselves into a situation that is potentially lethal. They understand (hopefully) the risks, and will not allow themselves to be put at risk no matter what. So what brought Stevens to the consulate? Why was there a denial of help? Why was there not a sufficient amount of security assigned? Why was there not live ammo allowed in the area/situation? For me, this sounds like an orchestrated assassination, using the locals as the fall guys. If you have someone that you need retired, what better way than to have an outside group or “mob” to do the job, and then lay blame on some stupid movie?

The Congress needs to do an independent evaluation of EVERYTHING that occurred in Benghazi, and not rely on the FBI, NSA, DS or CIA for information. There are too many organizations involved that could be compromised with regards to the intelligence before, during and after the killing of Stevens and the others.

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sandiego1969 October 26, 2012 at 11:22 am

Instead, the State Department reached out to the Libyan government to get reinforcements to the scene.

We asked the Libyans to give our embassy security reinforcements? This is what happens when someone who once read a book about being president gets elected. What seems to be good practice in theory costs American lives in practice when two seals fight on their own for over 4 hours to rescue the embassy staff and end up dead for their devotion to duty and country.

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