The media has finally got a some blood in the water and the sharks are predictably circling.
It would seem logical that people would begin to tire of this story. That may not happen and more lies and coverups seem to be coming daily.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, I’m J.C. and I approve this message.
Benghazi Cover-Up – The Buck Stops Here!
Family Security Matters
On Wednesday, October 10, I spent four hours glued to the television, watching the Congressional hearing on the Benghazi attacks that killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. I am now no more enlightened than I was before about why the government blamed the attack on a concocted story about a crude, amateur video clip.
When I awoke on the morning following the late-night attack on our Consulate in Benghazi and heard the first reports of the murder of our Ambassador, the first thing that came to mind was al Qaeda and terrorism. Although I have been an intelligence analyst for over twenty-five years, this was not a great leap of intellectual prowess or the product of great expertise in the domain. It was well-known that al Qaeda has been very active in the region of Benghazi. And in case we had forgotten that fact, its off-shoot, Ansar al-Shariah, was quick to appear on international television from Benghazi to praise the attack and remind us of al Qaeda’s influence throughout the region. Complete article to follow:
The first descriptions of the military-style assault were vivid. They made crystal clear that this was a military-style attack, carried out by fighters carrying heavy weapons and mounting their attack in well-disciplined waves. The totality of the damage was testament to the planning and determination of the attacking force. The use of RPGs and truck mounted artillery, of flame accelerants (diesel fuel) to cause heavy smoke and nearly total damage from the heat of the flames, and the number of attackers (estimated at the time at about 100), all indicated a well-planned, well-coordinated, targeted attack by a terrorist organization.
Like our government, Gerard Direct also waited until we had our facts in order, before we published our first analysis. But when we published, we got it right. And that took only two days, not two weeks. Although many details were still missing, the broad evidence was clear, and we published our first full analysis on September 13, followed by a second, more complete report on September 14. 36 hours after the attack. In the first report, we not only reported that this was a terrorist attack, but that there had been multiple warnings prior to the attacks that had been ignored by the State Department.
Despite the fact that this information was already available in open source to private sector analysts, the State Department and White House spokespeople, whose resources include a massive intelligence network, access to the videos, cables, and interviews with survivors, got it wrong. From the beginning and for the two weeks that followed, the administration continually emphasized that the attack was a “spontaneous demonstration” which got out of hand, and they blamed the anger that provoked the attack on an amateur video that insulted Mohammed, That, at least, was the story they told the world, and repeatedly validated, and it was dead wrong.
Among the spokespeople who gave credence to the story included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, White House Spokesman Jay Carney, and the President himself. It took two weeks for the administration to admit that the assault on our Consulate was a terrorist attack and had nothing to do with the video.
SO HOW COME WE KNEW IT AND THEY DIDN’T?
GerardDirect is a just small firm that analyzes business and homeland security intelligence for large corporations. How is it possible that we were able to get the story right from the beginning and the State Department and the White House couldn’t? Surely they had better information than we had! How could they have been so wrong?
And what could possibly have motivated the Obama administration to continue to put forward such a lame explanation for the brutal murder of our Ambassador and three other Americans, in light of the wealth of information that emerged almost immediately after the event?
That is what the Congressional hearing on Wednesday was all about: to find out who knew what, and when did they know it? And it turns out that the administration knew quite a bit. So why did the administration continue to deliver to the American people a story they must have known was patently false from the beginning?
The outrage and relentless courage of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, headed by Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-CA) was heartening. Among the committee members who refused to back down from asking the tough questions were Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA), and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
The panel was divided. On the left were Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, who was the top security official at the US Consulate in Libya, and Eric Nordstrom, former regional security officer in Libya with the State Department. These men represented the people on the ground in Libya, who requested the extension of the security teams because of the enhanced danger, particularly in Benghazi, but were repeatedly refused. On the right, sat Charlene Lamb, Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for International Programs at the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomat Security, and Ambassador Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management at the State Department. Neither of them had ever been to Libya, and they represented the bureaucratic nightmare that Nordstrum, in his testimony, called “the Taliban in the building”.
Here are just some of the facts that came out in Wednesday’s hearing that should have motivated the State Department to keep their personnel safe but didn’t:
1. THE STATE DEPARTMENT HAD 0VER 230 WARNINGS BEFORE THE ATTACK Between June 2011 and September 11, 2012, there were 230 “incidents” (threats, warnings, and physical attacks) against Western targets in Libya, prior to the one that destroyed the Consulate and took the lives of four Americans. These included violent attacks against UK diplomats, the Red Cross, and even an earlier bomb attack against the American Consulate in Benghazi!
2. SEVERAL REQUESTS FOR SECURITY PERSONNEL REFUSED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT Senior diplomatic officers, Lt. Colonel Andrew Wood and Eric Nordstrom, attached to the US Embassy in Libya, were among those who testified on Wednesday. They recounted how they had made several requests for extending the assignments of the existing security team, and how they were turned down by the bureaucrats in the State Department in Washington.
In Wednesday’s hearing, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb admitted that she had turned down the requests, and that she had never been to Libya to see the situation there for herself. Lamb told Nordstrom, when he requested the extension of the security team, “Don’t bother to make another request, because I will just turn it down”.
So in August, the State Department refused to alter its scheduled rotation of a 16-man Special Ops team that had been assigned to diplomatic security in Benghazi, in August, only weeks before the attack. Leaving with them was a six-man security team from the State Department.
According to Nordstrom, the request for more security was blocked by a department policy to “normalize operations and reduce security resources.” In all, 22 security personnel, who could have made the difference between life and death, were transferred out of Libya, despite the urgent requests of two security officers for an extension of their assignments.
The desperately needed security personnel were replaced by ill-prepared Libyan guards and a handful of British mercenaries. And the State Department authorized a rise in “danger pay” for the remaining American security staff, acknowledging that there was, in fact, a heightened danger for US personnel stationed in Libya. Just not enough to ensure their safety.
Just two days before the attack, Ambassador Chris Stevens’ security concerns were again outlined in a cable, approved by Stevens, and sent on the day of the attack. The dispatch contained a number of examples of the chaotic situation unfolding on the ground in Libya.
3. SUB-STANDARD SECURITY FOR BOTH EMBASSY AND CONSULATE Neither the US Embassy in Tripoli nor the US Consulate in Benghazi met minimum federal standards for facility security. These requirements for embassies and consulates abroad, called the Inman Standards, are security-driven design and building benchmark requirements for the security of all embassies and consulate compounds. Not only did neither facility in Libya meet those minimal standards despite the known threats against them, there were no plans to improve the security to what would be minimally required.
4. STATE DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL IN DC WATCHED THE ATTACK IN REAL TIME One of the most shocking reports given at Wednesday’s hearing came from DAS Lamb, who gave a blow-by-blow account of the attack, taken from the live video feeds and telephone calls that recorded and relayed the events of the attack in real time. She was among those following the events that night, and her report was a detailed chronology of what actually happened at the Consulate. Among the items in her report was that one hour before the first attack, Ambassador Chris Stevens walked a guest from the Turkish mission to the front gate, where all was quiet. An hour later, the violent assault began. Lamb read her report of the events in a dispassionate, monotone recounting of the events. (You can watch the entire four-hour video here (see playlist on right of screen) or Lamb’s report here.)
This is important, because despite the hard evidence in front of them, the first official story from the State Department – and the one that the administration stuck to for two weeks following the attack – was specific and, according to UN Ambassador Rice, based on “fact”. Rice, Carney, Clinton, and Obama, all made it clear that the attack was the result of a “spontaneous demonstration” which got out of control, and that the anger was caused by an amateur video that insulted Mohammed. It was clear, however, from Lamb’s report that no demonstration took place even one hour before the attack, and that the attack itself came suddenly and with massive, well organized violence.
Had the State Department responded appropriately to the security requests of its personnel, the attack might never have happened. According to Col. Wood, the security team that was removed from the compound had served as a serious deterrent, and could have prevented the horrific consequences of the September 11 attack. The team’s removal made the consulate a soft target, and contributed to the loss of our personnel.
WHERE DOES THE BUCK STOP?
The lack of regard for the truth in reporting both the details and the true cause of the attack to the American people was shocking.
The lack of respect for our fallen Ambassador and the three other Americans who were not even given a day of national mourning was appalling.
Blaming the attack on a rude video clip for nearly two weeks after the Benghazi attack instead of on a cascade of bad decisions by the State Department was insulting to the American people.
And the blatant and wanton disregard for the safety of their own personnel by State Department officials, which resulted in the death of our Ambassador and three other brave Americans, should be actionable. All contributed to a scandal which is far worse than any that have come before it – because the lies, the callous disregard, and the disrespect all resulted in the murder of four Americans who should have been supported by the security teams they requested. The ultimate cover-up that kept the truth from the American people is inexcusable and unforgiveable.
I have yet to hear anyone in the chain of command take responsibility for the events of September 11, 2012. It was too easy to blame the hapless producer of a stupid video, and, when that failed, to shy away from any responsibility whatever for the failed security that could have protected our personnel. That there is so little outrage is difficult to understand. Have we become so cynical and blasé that even the wanton, targeted murder of our Ambassador in cold blood raises barely an eyebrow?
That the Benghazi attacks were not the fault of a video was clear from the beginning. The fault lies with an administration that cares more for political victory than for the responsibilities of office. It lies with a bureaucracy that is so overblown and full of its own importance that it cannot manage to effectively manage the responsibilities that should be its primary concerns. And it is the fault of a flawed foreign policy that fails to take into account the driving ambitions of a radical culture that is determined to destroy our own hard-won freedoms in favor of their repressive and depraved seventh century society.
For these reasons:
I CALL FOR THE RESIGNATION OF DAS LAMB, who refused to authorize the requested security to protect our officials in Libya from an increasingly dangerous situation that they recognized but she refused to acknowledge, security that could have saved the lives of the four Americans who died there.
I CALL FOR THE RESIGNATION OF SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON, who perpetuated the lie that blamed the violence on the video trailer, giving it credence and deflecting responsibility from the administration, and empowered the organizers of other attacks on our embassies around the world and put many more of our diplomats at enhanced risk.
I CALL FOR THE RESIGNATION OF UN AMBASSADOR SUSAN RICE, who repeatedly gave authority to the lie, repeating as fact on five national television interviews nearly a week after the attacks took place, that the video clip was the only cause, and that the attacks had nothing to do with 9/11, or with our failed foreign policy.
And finally, I CALL FOR THE RESIGNATION OF PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, on whose watch this attack against US sovereignty took place, and who refused to take or assign any responsibility for anything that happened that night in Benghazi. He dishonored Ambassador Stevens, the President’s personal representative to Libya, and the three other government personnel who were murdered that night, by prioritizing his re-election campaign above national concerns at a time of crisis and loss. Instead of remaining in Washington to provide leadership during the developing emergency, the President flew to Las Vegas for a fund-raiser within hours of hearing the news, referring to the murder of our Ambassador as a “bump in the road”. As President of the United States and leader of the free world, he should have declared the attack an act of terrorism, and called for a day of national mourning to honor our fallen heroes.
Even at this late date in a hotly contested campaign for the White House, the sitting President’s first responsibility is to lead the nation, particularly in times of crisis. As the Middle East continues to dissolve into revolution, and as the threats against US interests continue to grow, our President has abdicated his responsibilities in favor of celebrity parties and light-weight television interviews. Enough is enough! The buck needs to stop here. And now.
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