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Tag Archives: Benghazi

Blumenthal Told Hillary Benghazi was Planned

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received information from Sidney Blumenthal, just two days after the Sept. 11, 2011 Benghazi attacks, stating that the assault was a premeditated terrorist attack, in contradiction of Obama administration assertions at the time that attacks were committed by a mob angry about an anti-Muslim video.

Blumenthal was one of Clinton’s unofficial sources of information about Libya, and she took his missives seriously. From the New York Times, which got a hold of a couple of the Sidneygrams:

The day after the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on American outposts in Benghazi that killed Mr. Stevens and three other Americans, Mr. Blumenthal sent Mrs. Clinton a memo with his intelligence about what had occurred. The memo said the attacks were by “demonstrators” who “were inspired by what many devout Libyan viewed as a sacrilegious internet video on the prophet Mohammed originating in America.” Mrs. Clinton forwarded the memo to Mr. Sullivan, saying “More info.”

The next day, Mr. Blumenthal sent Mrs. Clinton a more thorough account of what had occurred. Citing “sensitive sources” in Libya, the memo provided extensive detail about the episode, saying that the siege had been set off by members of Ansar al-Shariah, the Libyan terrorist group. Those militants had ties to Al Qaeda, had planned the attacks for a month and had used a nearby protest as cover for the siege, the memo said. “We should get this around asap” Mrs. Clinton said in an email to Mr. Sullivan. “Will do,” he responded. That information contradicted the Obama administration’s narrative at the time about what had spawned the attacks. Republicans have said the administration misled the country about the attacks because it did not want to undermine the notion that President Obama, who was up for re-election, was winning the war on terrorism.

It occurs to me that the Blumenthal missive could help explain why Clinton didn’t appear on the Sunday talk shows that week touting the administration’s line that the attack was spontaneous, leaving the job instead to then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice. She may not have felt comfortable spinning a message she knew might not be correct.

Charge: Benghazi Boiler Room Operation Hid Documents

A top former State Department official is charging that senior aides convened an after-hours Foggy Bottom operation to sift through Benghazi-related documents and separate out those that might be damaging to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The documents were supposed to be turned over the the Accountability Review Board, an internal State Department probe that has been criticized for not addressing the potential culpability in the Benghazi matter of Clinton or President Obama.

Sharyl Attkisson broke the story in The Daily Signal:

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.

At the time, Maxwell was a leader in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), which was charged with collecting emails and documents relevant to the Benghazi probe . . .

When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.

“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisors.

“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ”

A few minutes after he arrived, Maxwell says in walked two high-ranking State Department officials.

Maxwell said he has spoken to House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who sits on the House Oversight Committee.

Maxwell does have an axe to grind. He said he was “scapegoated” by the State Department when he was implicated in security lapses that led up to the attacks. He was later cleared. But as a veteran, senior State Department official, he also is a credible witness.

No doubt there will be subpoenas flying toward any others who might have been in the room.

And let’s all be thankful Attkisson has been freed from her former overlords at CBS and can continue her aggressive coverage of the administration’s scandals.

The Real Meaning of the Khattala Capture

With tears of gratitude for manna brought from heaven via U.S. special forces, the White House is embracing  with all its might a rare piece of good news and an unusual Mission Accomplished Moment, the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala, mastermind of the Benghazi attack.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, because it’s his job, hyped the capture as a “milestone.” And Obama said Tuesday that other bad guys need to be very afraid:

It’s important for us to send a message to the world that when Americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible and we will bring them to justice. And that’s a message I sent the day after it happened. And regardless of how long it takes — we will find you.

But Khattala’s denouement, which will feature a trial in criminal court with all the protections of the U.S. justice system, including an expert legal defense, will neither scare anyone who means to do us harm nor benefit Obama politically.

Because the context of the capture says everything to the world about Obama.

We picked up one particularly bad guy at almost the same time we released FIVE of them, hardened Taliban killers, for a soldier who deserted the U.S. Army. The world must see a very soft U.S. leadership indeed.

What’s more, Obama’s braggadocio, that we’ll take whatever time’s needed to settle scores, ironically highlights that WE NEEDED A LOT OF TIME to settle this one.

What does it say about the focus on the administration that it took more than two and a half years to grab Khatala, who reportedly was living fairly openly in the vicinity of the scene of the crime and even took expresso with journalists?

The White House thinks this as a bullseye. The rest of the world is more likely to view it as a lucky shot.

Here’s James Rosen of Fox News trying to get State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki to explain why it took so long to pick up Khattala. She can’t.

Clinton: I Had My Doubts About That Video

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this evening that she wasn’t sure an anti-Muslim video prompted the Benghazi attacks, saying she personally vacillated about the cause even though the State Department blamed the video.

Clinton made the remarks during an appearance tonight on Fox News:

This was the fog of war. My own assessment careened from the video had something to do with it, the video had nothing to do with it — it may have affected some people, it didn’t affect other people.

Clinton added: “There’s no doubt terrorists were involved.”

Clinton suggested a State Department statement the night of the attacks blaming the assault on the video was based on intelligence findings.

Here’s some of her interview.

U.S. Captures Senior Benghazi Suspect

From the Washington Post:

U.S. Special Operations forces captured one of the suspected ringleaders of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi in a secret raid in Libya over the weekend, the first time one of the accused perpetrators of the 2012 assaults has been apprehended, according to U.S. officials.

The officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured Sunday near Benghazi by American troops, working alongside the FBI, following months of planning, and was now in U.S. custody “in a secure location outside Libya.” The officials said there were no casualties in the operation, and that all U.S. personnel involved have safely left Libya.

Abu Khattala’s apprehension is a major victory for the Obama administration, which has been criticized for having failed so far to bring those responsible for the Benghazi attacks to justice . . .

The State Department designated Abu Khattala a terrorist in January, calling him a “senior leader” of the Benghazi branch of the militant organization Ansar al-Sharia, a group that arose after the 2011 fall of the Libyan regime of Moammar Gaddafi.

This will help President Obama, but surely not as much as the White House thinks. It’s taken more than two and a half years to bring anyone to justice, and the questions about Benghazi have less to do with why we hadn’t apprehended anyone then what U.S. officials did the night of the raid and why we weren’t prepared for it.

Anyway, I’m glad to see it. Kudos to all our service men and women and law enforcement officials who seized this guy, and yes, congrats to Obama and the administration for sticking with this and seeing it through.

Americans Think Obama, Hillary Lying on Benghazi

Democrats want to know why there’s a special committee on Benghazi? Hear’s why.

From a Fox News poll out last night:

Fifty-four percent of voters think the Obama administration has been deceitful about the events surrounding the Benghazi attacks. Half say the same about former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton (50 percent).

In addition, by a 51-39 percent margin, voters say the White House knowingly lied about the attacks to help President Obama’s re-election campaign.

Even some Democrats agree:

Among Democrats, 25 percent say Obama has tried to deceive on Benghazi and 23 percent think the White House lied to help the campaign.

What a sad state of affairs. While Democrats are trying to build the line that with the Benghazi committee, Republicans are politicizing the deaths of four Americans, the country believes that in fact this is exactly what President Obama and Hillary Clinton did.

The Ben Rhodes Benghazi email makes clear that the whole focus of the Obama PR team was to protect the president, not get accurate information out to the public about the tragedy.

The panel will ensure we get to the bottom of just how egregious the administration’s behavior was. And even more importantly than the videotape deception, it will hopefully find out whether those four Americans were needlessly left to die by a passive response or worse, a response that took politics into account.

How Reagan Handled Scandal

One of the great ironies of the Obama White House is that it’s filled with the very type of zealots Obama and his aides think inhabit the Tea Party.

The viciousness with which they attack Republicans – attacks laced with suggestions of racism, misogyny, and so forth – as well as the lies and the dedication to ruling by fiat all suggest an administration populated by true believers willing to sacrifice any principle to the cause.

Reagan and MeeseThis was, for me, the most startling aspect of the Benghazi email written by national Ben Rhodes. In the aftermath of the killing of four American officials – a most dreadfully serious matter – the urgency in the White House was to protect the president’s image, not to find and present accurate facts to the American public.

Writing today in the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan contrasts Obama’s handling of Benghazi with the Reagan administration’s approach to its own scandal, the Iran-Contra affair. Noonan, who worked for Reagan, demonstrates that the Reaganites, though committed conservatives, were not zealots, and were willing to take responsibility for their conduct:

The attorney general, Ed Meese, launched a review of the affair. It was a real investigation, and he went public with his findings. The national security adviser who oversaw the operation had left, but his replacement resigned and his deputy was fired.

The president delivered a national address. Two congressional committees launched investigations. Networks covered the hearings live. Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post said it was the most fun he’d had since Watergate.

Reagan waived executive privilege so his aides would testify. He announced a special commission to investigate everything. There was a full housecleaning. Colin Powell was brought in to run the National Security Council, and Mr. Shultz given full authority for all dealings with Iran. Ultimately Reagan dumped his chief of staff.

The Iran-Contra affair did not spring from low motives. There was no hope of partisan gain, it wasn’t a political play.

All involved were trying—sometimes stupidly, almost childishly—to save lives, and perhaps establish a new opening with Iran. They had good reasons, but the actions were bad, and everyone involved paid a price.

Compare that with how the Obama White House has handled Benghazi. It’s all been spin, close ranks, point fingers, obfuscate, withhold documents, accuse your accusers of base motives. Nobody in the administration has paid a price.

The Obama people are drunk with self-righteousness, leftism, and hero-worship. They could not possibly admit to wrongdoing or serious mistakes, and even if they did, they would never allow repellent, bone-headed Republicans to investigate them.

But, with the press having fallen down on the job, a serious probe by a congressional panel led by an experienced prosecutor is exactly what they’ll get.

Hillary: Enough Benghazi Investigations

Because what difference at this point does it make, dammit! During a question and answer session at the Ford Foundation in New York today, ABC’s Robin Roberts – who serves as the go-to gal for President Obama when he needs a nice, relaxing interview – practiced pitching softballs to the batter on deck, Hillary Clinton, offering… Continue Reading

White House Suggests it Won’t Cooperate with Benghazi Panel

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today indicated the White House will refuse to cooperate with a new House committee tasked with investigating Benghazi. “We have always cooperated with legitimate oversight,” Carney said this afternoon during the daily White House briefing. Asked whether the panel qualified as “legitimate,” he said: “I think if you look at… Continue Reading

Politico: Gowdy to Head Benghazi Committee

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) will chair the House special committee tasked to investigate Benghazi, according to Politico. Gowdy, 49, a former federal prosecutor who is in only his second term in Congress, has proven himself one of the toughest cross examiners on the House Oversight Committee, which has been looking into a variety of scandals… Continue Reading