Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell, who was Deputy Director for Intelligence for Africom (Africa Command), at the time of the Benghazi attack, gets to the heart of the matter:
“Many with firsthand knowledge have recounted the heroism displayed by the brave Americans in Benghazi that night. They fought the way they trained. That is in the record. Outside of Libya there were discussions that churned on about what we should do. These elements also fought the way they were trained. Specifically, the predisposition to interagency influence had the military structure—in the spirit of expeditionary government support—waiting for a request for assistance from the State Department. There are accounts of time, space and capability discussions of the question, could we have gotten there in time to make a difference. Well, the discussion is not in the “could or could not” in relation to time, space and capability—the point is we should have tried. As another saying goes: “Always move to the sound of the guns,” Lovell said. “It is with a sense of duty as a retired General officer that I respectfully submit these thoughts and perspectives.”
Lovell also confirmed again that the 9/11 Benghazi attack was not a result of a demonstration but instead was a well planned out assault and said the situation of holding back help made the military feel “desperate.”
“We didn’t know how long this would last when we became aware of the distress nor did we completely understand what we had in front of us, be it a kidnapping, rescue, recovery, protracted hostile engagement or any or all of the above,” Lovell said. “But what we did know quite early on was that this was a hostile action. This was no demonstration gone terribly awry.” Continue reading
Sharryl Attkisson, who left CBS News because of their unwillingness to report on news harmful to the Obama administration, reports on the attempt by the Obama administration to intentionally lie to the American people about the Benghazi attack:
Newly-released documents reveal direct White House involvement in steering the public narrative about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, toward that of a spontaneous protest that never happened.
One of the operative documents, which the government had withheld from
Congress and reporters for a year and a half, is an internal September 14,
2012 email to White House press officials from Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s
Assistant and Deputy National Security Advisor. (Disclosure:Ben Rhodes
is the brother of David Rhodes, the President of CBS News, where I
was employed until March.)
In the email, Ben Rhodes lists as a “goal” the White House desire “To
underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a
broader failure or policy.”
The email is entitled, “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET”
and refers to White House involvement in preparing then-U.S.Ambassador
to the U.N. Susan Rice for her upcoming appearance on Sunday television
network political talk shows.
The Rhodes email states that another “goal” is “To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”
A court compelled the release of the documents, which were heavily-redacted, to the conservative watchdog group JudicialWatch, which has sued the government over its failed Freedom of Information responses. I have also requested Benghazi-related documents under Freedom of Information law, but the government has only produced a few pages to date.
Today, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the Rhodes email the “smoking gun” showing the “political manipulation by the White House” after the attacks. Continue reading
Well, it took over a year, but 60 Minutes last night ran a feature on the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012 that is absolutely damning for the Obama administration. With Lara Logan as the lead reporter, it revealed an administration indifferent to the security for our diplomats and who left men fighting for us in the aftermath of the attack to fend for themselves. It did not ask the key question of why no military assets were sent to rescue them. From the transcript of the report:
The same force that had gone to the compound was now defending the CIA Annex. Hours later, they were joined by a small team of Americans from Tripoli. From defensive positions on these rooftops, the Americans fought back a professional enemy. In a final wave of intense fighting just after 5 a.m., the attackers unleashed a barrage of mortars. Three of them slammed into this roof, killing former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
Lara Logan: They hit that roof three times.
Andy Wood: They, they hit those roofs three times.
Lara Logan: In the dark.
Andy Wood: Yea, that’s getting the basketball through the hoop over your shoulder.
Lara Logan: What does it take to pull off an attack like that?
Andy Wood: Coordination, planning, training, experienced personnel. They practice those things. They knew what they were doing. That was a– that was a well-executed attack.
We have learned there were two Delta Force operators who fought at the Annex and they’ve since been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cross — two of the military’s highest honors. The Americans who rushed to help that night went without asking for permission and the lingering question is why no larger military response ever crossed the border into Libya — something Greg Hicks realized wasn’t going to happen just an hour into the attack.
Lara Logan: You have this conversation with the defense attache. You ask him what military assets are on their way. And he says–
Greg Hicks: Effectively, they’re not. And I– for a moment, I just felt lost. I just couldn’t believe the answer. And then I made the call to the Annex chief, and I told him, “Listen, you’ve gotta tell those guys there may not be any help coming.”
Lara Logan: That’s a tough thing to understand. Why?
Greg Hicks: It just is. We–, for us, for the people that go out onto the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they’re coming to get us. That our back is covered. To hear that it’s not, it’s a terrible, terrible experience. Continue reading
More news in regard to one of those phony scandals that President Obama doesn’t want to talk about. This is from that right wing news source CNN:
CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack.
Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya.
Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.
CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out. Read: Analysis: CIA role in Benghazi underreported
Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings.
The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.
It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.
In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”
Another says, “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.” Continue reading
The Battling Boys of Benghazi
We’re the Battling Boys of Benghazi,
no fame, no glory, no paparazzi,
Just a fiery death in a blazing hell,
defending the country we loved so well.
It wasn’t our job, but we answered the call,
fought to the consulate, and scaled the wall.
We pulled twenty countrymen from the jaws of fate,
led them to safety, and stood at the gate.
Just the two of us, and foes by the score,
but we stood fast, to bar the door,
Three calls for reinforcement, but all were denied,
so we fought and we fought, and we fought till we died.
We gave our all for our Uncle Sam,
but Barack Obama didn’t give a damn.
Just two dead SEAL’s, who carried the load,
no thanks to us — we were just “bumps in the road.”
Anonymous Marine Officer Continue reading
Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom is always brilliant but he outdoes himself in a remarkable post where he explains just how ominous for the Republic the Benghazi scandal is:
I have very little I wish to say today, so sick to my stomach am I from hearing yesterday’s testimony on Benghazi, wherein career civil servants were very obviously, and oftentimes visibly, working to restrain their anger, outrage, and outright disbelief at what their own government had done (and hadn’t done) to secure the lives of Americans.
In short, the subtext of yesterday’s testimony was precisely this: it does matter. And those Democrats who have spent the last 24 hours trying to dismiss or diminish or deflect the testimony as a non-story — a tack that the mainstream press has aided them with, failing for the most part to even mention the hearings, much less provide any in-depth coverage of the revelations, save for the occasional story informing us that there were no revelations — are no better than any third-world goosestepping apparatchik whose job it is to provide cover for a Dear Leader.
They sicken me in a way I cannot even put into words — and that’s saying something, given my occasionally-documented facility with the language. These people are monsters of a sort, but even that appellation can do their rank cynicism and their easy disregard for conscience no real justice.
And the media, without doubt co-conspirators in what is a major scandal — and an even more major cover-up — are so committed to progressive activism, and to their own self-styled righteousness and compassion (which, relying on a surreal tautology and the anti-foundationalism at the heart of their ideology, they presume to claim is a function of their progressivism: they are good, so therefore what they do is good; and what they do is good because it’s being done by good people), that they have found a way to convince themselves that their biases, be it by omission or by massaging of the facts to report that there’s nothing new to report, are somehow noble and are in the service of a Greater Good. Continue reading
The Benghazi hearings in the House have gotten under way with a bang, especially from Gregory Hicks, the number 2 American diplomat in Libya at the time of the Benghazi attack:
The No. 2 diplomat in Libya during the Benghazi attack testified Wednesday that he and many others knew the Sept. 11 assault was terrorism from the moment it happened, and he was shocked when the Obama administration said otherwise.
Hicks was the first person who was in Libya during the attack to testify publicly before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is investigating the Obama’s administration’s handling of security in Libya and response to the attack.
Hicks said he felt he was subject to retaliation for criticizing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice’s appearances on talk shows five days later in which she insisted the attack emerged from a protest against an anti-Islam video gone awry. Several days later, the State Department acknowledged there was no protest and it was a terrorist attack.
When Hicks returned to Washington for the funeral of ambassador Chris Stevens, who died along with three other Americans in the attack, Jones “gave me a blistering critique of my management style,” he said.
Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away
From Leon Panetta’s testimony yesterday on Benghazi:
Under questioning from Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Panetta says that President Obama knew “generally” what US military assets were deployed in the region, but did not ask for specifics. He left the strategy, according to Panetta, “up to us,” meaning himself and military leadership. Panetta says that after the initial briefing, which took place at about 5 pm Washington time, he had no further communications at all with President Obama that night. The president never even called to ask how the attack was progressing. No one from the White House ever called later that night, according to Panetta, to inquire about the attack. President Obama went to bed that night not even knowing whether the Americans under assault had survived the attack. Continue reading
Stomach churning . The video above shows General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, today attempting to evade any responsibility for the lack of action that claimed the lives of the two heroic Seals during the Benghazi September 11-12 attack.
“I had, through General Ham,” responded Dempsey, referring to the commander of AFRICOM. “But we never received a request for support from the State Department, which would have allowed us to put forces–”
David Petraeus, with little left to lose now, begins the process of the unraveling of the truth about Benghazi:
Former CIA Director David Petraeus testified in a closed-door hearing Friday morning that his agency determined immediately after the Sept. 11 Libya attack that “Al Qaeda involvement” was suspected — but the line was taken out in the final version circulated to administration officials, according to a top lawmaker who was briefed.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who spoke to reporters after Petraeus testified before the House Intelligence Committee, indicated he and other lawmakers still have plenty of questions about the aftermath of the attack.
Petraeus was heading next to the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify. At the same time, lawmakers unexpectedly convened a briefing with top members of various committees to examine a Sept. 25 letter to President Obama that asked a series of classified questions on Benghazi.
Petraeus’ testimony both challenges the Obama administration’s repeated claims that the attack was a “spontaneous” protest over an anti-Islam video, and according to King conflicts with his own briefing to lawmakers on Sept. 14. Sources have said Petraeus, in that briefing, also described the attack as a protest that spun out of control. Continue reading
According to the Washington Post, Petraeus was hoping to keep his job as CIA Director and thought the affair would not become public knowledge:
But some of his closest advisers who served with him during his last command in Iraq said Monday that Petraeus planned to stay in the job even after he acknowledged the affair to the FBI, hoping the episode would never become public. He resigned last week after being told to do so by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. on the day President Obama was reelected.
“Obviously, he knew about the relationship for months, he knew about the affair, he was in it, so yes, he was not going to resign,” said Peter Mansoor, a retired Army colonel and Petraeus’s executive officer during the Iraq “surge,” who spoke Monday with the former general for about half an hour. “But once he knew it was going to go public, he thought that resigning was the right thing to do. There is no way it would have remained private.” Continue reading
As scandals go, the Benghazi-Petraeus-Broadwell-Kelley matter is scaling the heights of the truly bizarre. Here are the latest developments worthy of the pen of Flaubert.
1. Jill and the G-Man-Allegedly the FBI agent in charge of the initial investigation of the anonymous e-mails purportedly sent by Paula Broadwell to Jill Kelley warning her to stay away from Petraeus, became infatuated with Kelley and sent her a photo of himself shirtless. He was removed from the case supposedly when his higher-ups determined that his objectivity had been compromised. (Do you think?) He supposedly was the FBI whistleblower who contacted Republican Congressman David Reichert and Eric Cantor with allegations that the government was dragging its feet on the case out of political considerations so that it would not surface before the election.
2. Jill and the Lawyers-Kelley has supposedly engaged the services of a high-priced lawyer and a PR flack.
The PR flack formerly represented Monica Lewinsky. Now why should she need them? Read on.
3. Jill and the Marine-Marine Corp four star General John Allen is apparently under investigation for 20 to 30 thousand pages of e-mails and correspondence between him and Jill Kelley, the “unpaid social liaison” at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. Allen is currently the commander of the International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan, effectively the commander in chief of American and Nato forces in that country. Both Allen and Petraeus served at the base, home of Central Command for the Middle East, prior to Petraeus being put in command in Afghanistan in 2010. Continue reading
The truth about the Benghazi debacle keeps coming out drip by drip:
1. Paula Knows-At the beginning of the post we see the alleged mistress of David Petraeus telling an audience at a symposium in late October this bombshell:
”A group of Delta Force operators are very…the most talented guys we have in the military. They could have come and reinforced the consulate and CIA annex that were under attack,” said Ms. Broadwell. “Now I don’t know if a lot of you have heard this, but the CIA annex had actually had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to get these prisoners back. It’s still being vetted.”
This is the first I have heard about this. Was Petraeus sharing highly classified information with his paramour?
2. Video Schmideo-The above detail from the mouth of Broadwell makes nonsense of the administration claim that the Mohammed video caused this. That was a lie and the Administration knew it was a lie.
3. Libyan Prisoners-Libyan prisoners? What sort of involvement is the administration getting us into in Libya? The CIA has denied this, but right now I will take the word of the alleged mistress of the former CIA Director over that of the CIA flack who issued the denial. Continue reading
Well, I have to hand it to the Obama administration. Obama reelected on Tuesday, they are already getting a start on the scandals that tend to plague most second term Presidents. The resignation of CIA Director, retired General David Petraeus, over an alleged affair, a week before he was to testify before a Senate committee on Benghazi, brings to three the number of high-ranking officers connected with Benghazi, or its aftermath, who have seen their careers abruptly cut short.
Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette was relieved of his command of the Stennis strike group in the Mediterranean in late October. Such a removal is unprecedented. The Navy denies that the removal was in regard to Benghazi, and indeed the Stennis was in the Pacific on 9/11/12. However the Navy has issued a fairly cryptic statement that the removal was for “inappropriate leadership judgment” during the deployment of the Stennis to the Middle East and has stressed that this does not involve any improper personal conduct by the Admiral. All very mysterious.
The Combatant Commander of Africa Command on 9/11/12, General Carter F. Ham abruptly retired on October 18. Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz reported that in an interview he had with General Ham in Libya that the General told him that in regard to the Benghazi attach he had never been asked to provide military assistance. The internet is ablaze with rumors that General Ham attempted to send assistance to Benghazi during the attack and was told to stand down. Thus far the General has remained mum.
In regard to General Petraeus there are many questions. Allegedly the affair came to light months ago when the FBI caught his alleged paramour attempting to access his e-mails. One might be curious as to why the FBI was involved in this and the answer is quite simple. The FBI and the CIA have been at war with each other since the creation of the CIA’s predecessor the OSS in World War II and routinely keep track of the higher-ups in each organization. (Yeah, I know: our tax dollars at work.) Apparently the affair has been known for at least several months, and I find it hard to believe that both the CIA and the FBI did not know of the affair before Petraeus was onfirmed as CIA Director, the background checks for such a position being extremely comprehensive. This all raises the question as to why the affair triggers a resignation now. His wife Holly works for the White House and unless she was in the dark on the affair, and considering how gossipy the military community tends to be I find that hard to believe, presumably the affair was known at the White House.
Petraeus is up to his arm pits in Benghazi, having denied that it was the CIA that failed to provide military assistance to the two brave Seals, Ty Woods and Greg Doherty, who died heroically leading the defense at Benghazi. Now that he is retired, his deputy Mike Morell will testify next week. Eventually I assume Petraeus will also testify, he has indicated post resignation that he is eager to testify, but now the story in much of the Mainstream Media will be pertaining to his affair rather than to his testimony. Continue reading