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60 Minutes: Ample Warning Benghazi Attack was Coming

Updated November 9, 2013

UPDATE: CBS has withdrawn this story, saying it was given false information by a key source, Morgan Jones.

There were clear warnings that an attack on the U.S. Benghazi mission was in the works, lending legitimacy to questions by Congressional Republicans about who in Obama administration knew and why nothing was done about it.

According to a CBS News “60 Minutes” report that aired Sunday night, American officials on the ground in Benghazi were aware al Qaeda was ubiquitous in the city, that it was likely to attack the Benghazi outpost, and that security at the mission was woefully inadequate to deal with it.

Republicans seeking to probe Benghazi have been accused of staging a partisan “witch hunt” designed to undermine Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ leading presidential prospect, who was Secretary of State at the time of the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack. But if Clinton, President Obama or their senior aides were aware of the problems in Benghazi and took no action, then serious offenses were committed at the top rungs of the administration – and Congress is duty-bound to find out about it.

The reporting, by star CBS reporter Lara Logan, also provides further fuel for questioning why the administration was still insisting an anti-Muslim videotape had prompted the attack when it there was abundant evidence that the incident was long in the planning and that it had finally been carried out.

Lieutenant Colonel Andy Wood, a Green Beret commander who was one of the top U.S. security officials in Libya, said the attack on the Benghazi mission was no surprise at all.

Al Qaeda had used a “familiar tactic” – posting its intentions online. It had vowed to attack the Red Cross, the British, and then the Americans in Benghazi. The group had already checked the first two boxes. America was next. And Washington, according to Wood, was aware of this.

Wood said he raised his concerns with the late Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack.

Andy Wood: I made it known in a country team meeting, “You are gonna get attacked. You are gonna get attacked in Benghazi. It’s gonna happen. You need to change your security profile.”

Lara Logan: Shut down–

Andy Wood: Shut down–

Lara Logan: –the special mission–

Andy Wood: –“Shut down operations. Move out temporarily. Ch– or change locations within the city. Do something to break up the profile because you are being targeted. They are– they are– they are watching you. The attack cycle is such that they’re in the final planning stages.”

A U.S. security officer in Benghazi – who uses the pseudonym Morgan Jones – said one unmistakable red flag was the black flag of al Qaeda, which could be seen flying from the rooftops of Libyan government buildings. He noticed that the armed Libyan militia tasked to defend the mission were incompetent and warned repeatedly that they would head for the hills the moment an attack occurred.

He thought this would be an easy assignment compared to Afghanistan and Iraq. But on his first drive through Benghazi, he noticed the black flags of al Qaeda flying openly in the streets and he grew concerned about the guard forces as soon as he pulled up to the U.S. compound.

Morgan Jones: There was nobody there that we could see. And then we realized they were all inside drinking tea, laughing and joking.

Lara Logan: What did you think?

Morgan Jones: Instantly I thought we’re going to have to get rid of all these guys . . .

Lara Logan: You also kept saying, “If this place is attacked these guys are not going to stand and fight?”

Morgan Jones: Yeah. I used to say it all the time. Yeah, in the end I got quite bored of hearing my own voice saying it.

Andy Wood: We had one option: “Leave Benghazi or you will be killed.”

Logan also uncovered that the U.S. was aware that a top al Qaeda operative was in Libya and busy at work. She asked Greg Hicks, the foreign service officer who was in Tripoli the night of the attack and who has testified before Congress, about it.

We have learned the U.S. already knew that this man, senior al Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Libi was in Libya, tasked by the head of al Qaeda to establish a clandestine terrorist network inside the country. Al-Libi was already wanted for his role in bombing two U.S. embassies in Africa.

Greg Hicks: It was a frightening piece of information.

Lara Logan: Because it meant what?

Greg Hicks: It raised the stakes, changed the game.

But apparently not in Washington.

The 60 Minutes report also offers details of the night of the attack. The segment appears below.

21 thoughts on “60 Minutes: Ample Warning Benghazi Attack was Coming”

    1. And for the hundredth time… Where was the president?

      This was an excellent report by 60 minutes. Maybe since it wasn’t Fox, more people with pay attention this time.

      1. CBS? Fox? NBC? ABC?
        to the WH: doesn’t matter who…what difference does it make??
        The media obviously is out to get this President.

        We know where he was…he was in complete control…of his REM sleep.

  1. The CBS report only touched on the facts that those of us who have followed this outrageous and sickening event already knew.
    What they didn’t expose was who in particular was responsible for the lack of interest in the dangers exposed by those in Benghazi, or that it was a political decision to hide the fact that terrorism was not “on the run” as MrObama claimed.

    My memory isn’t the best, but nowhere in that report are the names of Clinton, Panetta, or Obama mentioned, nor is the State Department accused by name.
    The only government entity called out is the DoD, which those unfamiliar with government acronyms wouldn’t understand who they are.
    There were no video clips of the three individuals claiming the attack was the result of an obscure video, the DoD wasn’t asked for their reponse, but there was plenty of reference to a vague “government” as being responsible.

    Tucked away inside all of the bare account of the incident is that AmbStevens was missing less than an hour after the event started. Also missing, but not mentioned was the envoy for Turkey who was meeting with the Amb at the time.
    We know where AmbStevens was, we know what happened to him, but the CBS account doesn’t go there. We don’t know what happened to the Turkish envoy.

    A complete, investigative report would have named the people responsible for the lies, the coverup, and untimately, the loss of life in Benghazi. CBS chose not to do that.

    1. Excellent dissection of the 60 Minutes report. I’m sorry I didn’t watch because their ‘reports’ are generally too superficial. and you confirm my view. I don’t think Darryl Issa can handle all of these scandals on his own, and special select committees need to be formed.

    2. AFR radio reported this morning that Boehner is reluctant to appoint a special committee for the investigation because he may have been involved in the cover-up.

    3. I posted the video to my FB page and added the infamous Hillary aka Liar ..”What difference……”

      Justice, if there’s any to be had, will have to come from the voices, who have no qualms about naming names. It certainly appears that she wants to run in 2016 and reminding the LIV of Benghazi and Sandy Berger’s ‘visits’ to the National Archives is a start.

  2. The CBS report just proved Benghazi wasn’t a “phony scandal” and vindicated both Romney and Fox News, unfortunately, a year too late.

    The warnings were there, now the question is, why didn’t the administration close the embassy and move them to a safer location? Or beef up security? Or something?

    Either the most corrupt or inept President we’ve ever had and now we’re expected to trust him with our healthcare?

  3. Love that Obama is making a campaign trip to Boston on Wednesday, exactly when Sibelius is testifying.

    Sorry, Mr. President, that attempt at distraction won’t come close to working.

    You might try to stop spinning and being up front with the American people, for a change.

  4. There is a British subject eyewitness who was on the ground at the time and who has just spoken out. If Obama is going to stonewall and refuse to allow American eyewitnesses to testify, Congress should start by calling foreign testimony. It would be a worse mistake than electing Obama to allow Hillary Clinton to become President and Commander in Chief.

      1. You can deal with ‘posting too fast’. Just hit reply again, and your response will come up. Then you hit reply a second time and it works.

  5. The report also did not include the fact that Hillary Clinton continuously refused to provide more security b/c she wanted the US to have a ‘low profile’ in Libya. In other words, she didn’t want the US to look like bullies. The Libyan ‘guards’ were unarmed.

    The two questions that will never be answered:
    1.) Who gave the stand-down order;
    2.) Where was Obama after he told Panetta to ‘do whatever they could to protect our people’ and then, in the words of Panetta, ‘he left it up to us’. There were no follow-up instructions or phone calls.

    Obama can now claim that he captured the senior AlQaeda leader, Abu Anas al-Libi. and what happened over a year ago is ‘old news’.

  6. The report was shocking–even now. And disgusting. And heartbreaking. It tied up so many threads…and I don’t want to hear that tepid word “accountable.” Bite me on that word!

  7. CBS,,,About a year too late in reporting this story!! But, at least, one of the big main stream media powers are beginning to let the truth be known!! Better late, than never,,,Thanks CBS for attempting to bring answers and closure to those families that lost loved ones!!!

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