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Tag Archives: Benghazi

State Department Sought to Muzzle Contractors After Benghazi

According to Fox News:

Security at the State Department’s Benghazi compound was so dire that another contractor was brought in to clean up the mess just two weeks before the 2012 terror attack – and was later pressured to keep quiet by a government bureaucrat under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to two men from the American security company.

Brad Owens and Jerry Torres, of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, say they faced pressure to stay silent and get on the same page with the State Department with regard to the security lapses that led to the deaths of four Americans.

Two-Month Gap in Clinton Benghazi Emails

Uh oh. Where have I heard this kind of thing before?

The Daily Beast is reporting that there is a two-month gap in the emails Hillary Clinton has released to the House Benghazi Committee, covering a period that saw escalating violence in Libya and the grant of an exemption to Clinton aide Huma Abedin allowing her to work for Clinton privately at The Foundation while staying on at State.

From the Beast:

Among the approximately 2,000 emails that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has released from her private account, there is a conspicuous two-month gap. There are no emails between Clinton and her State Department staff during May and June 2012, a period of escalating violence in Libya leading up to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.

A State Department spokesman told The Daily Beast that for the year 2012, only those emails related to the security of the consulate or to the U.S. diplomatic presence in Libya were made public and turned over to a House committee investigating the fatal Benghazi assault. But if that’s true, then neither Clinton nor her staff communicated via email about the escalating dangers in Libya. There were three attacks during that two-month period, including one that targeted the consulate.

That two-month period also coincides with a senior Clinton aide obtaining a special exemption that allowed her to work both as a staff member to the secretary and in a private capacity for Clinton and her husband’s foundation. The Associated Press has sued to obtain emails from Clinton’s account about the aide, Huma Abedin.

An investigation by White House Dossier has found that there is in fact about 18 and a half minutes worth of emails missing from those provided to the Benghazi panel.

One of Clinton’s former staffers at State, her secretary, Rose Mary Woods, tells WHD that the emails were not provided because she inadvertently erased them while taking a phone call from Porky Pig.

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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