Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Back to Benghazi

The story has not made its way into the mainstream media. We owe it to the London Daily Mail.

A new independent commission has issued a report about what happened in Benghazi. I have no way to judge whether it is right or wrong, or how much of it is true.

In the absence of a full Congressional investigation, we are left pondering. As long as no one in power addresses the basic question, we will be reading more and more theories.

Certainly, the Obama administration story about the video has already been discredit. And yet, no one understands why Speaker John Boehner has not empowered a select committee to investigate Benghazi.

The Daily Mail reports:

The group [The Citizens Committee on Benghazi] has called for a Select Congressional Committee to investigate the Benghazi episode. A total of 189 House members have signed on to a bill that would create the committee, which would be bipartisan and have sweeping powers to subpoena the executive branch.

House Speaker John Boehner, Lopez said Tuesday, 'he blocked it. One has to wonder if he and Congress have had some sort of briefing on what happened.'

Who knows what is being covered up? Why knows why Boehner refuses to move forward. The stonewall invites conspiracy theories. The fact that they are conspiracy theories, or, in this case, that they expose foreign policy malfeasance at the highest levels of the Obama administration does not prove them right or wrong.

The commission is suggesting that the Obama administration got itself caught up in the Arab Spring movement to overthrow dictators and armed the enemies of Col. Gaddafi, even though they were al-Qaeda.

According to the Daily Mail:

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn't been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.

'The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,' Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.

She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.

'Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,' Lopez claimed. 'They were permitted to come in. ... [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..

'The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.'

The weapons were intended for Gaddafi but allowed by the U.S. to flow to his Islamist opposition.

As for what happened to Ambassador Stevens, the commission says:

Admiral James 'Ace' Lyons told the group that he believes the raid on the Benghazi compound was intended as a kidnapping exercise, aimed at snatching U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and demanding a prisoner swap for the 'blind sheikh' Omar Abdel-Rahman.

Abdel-Rahman is serving a life sentence in federal prison for planning the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center garage in New York City. He also masterminded a plan, later foiled, to blow up the United Nations, both the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the George Washington Bridge and a federal building where the FBI had a base of operations.

A senior FBI source, Lyons said Tuesday, 'told me that was the plan.'

Could we have mounted a counterattack? Did we have the resources to attempt a rescue?

The Daily Mail writes:

The attack, history shows, grew in intensity and resulted in the deaths of Stevens and three other U.S. personnel.

Lyons also said U.S. claims that it lacked the resources to mount a counterattack in time to save lives is false.

'I'm going to tell you that's not true,' he said. 'We had a 130-man unit of forces at Sigonella [AFB in Italy]. They were ready to go.'

'The flight time from Sigonella to Benghazi is roughly an hour.'

As I say, I have no way of knowing how much of this report is right and how much of it is wrong. I post it for your interest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw this tonight also, initiated by nonprofit AIM:
Announcement was last July:

It would be interesting to see how the members were chosen. I don't know the proper procedure for creating a citizen's committee, but I'm somehow betting there were not a lot of democrats on that list, although it would be good to be wrong.

I'm a member of Minnesota Citizen's league,, and participated on one study on the risks of our declining electrical infrastructure, and we offered the "correct" outcome of recommending more infrastructure investment to go into upgrading the system, ha!