Friday, August 2, 2013

CNN bombshell: Dozens of CIA operatives were on the ground during the Benghazi attack, agency in panic over revelations

by Allahpundit / HotAir

What kind of panic are we talking about here? Actual quote from agency “insider” communications obtained by CNN: “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”

The word of the day is “unprecedented.” Phony scandal no more:
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…
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…
Another [insider] says, “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”
Among the many secrets still yet to be told about the Benghazi mission, is just how many Americans were there the night of the attack.
A source now tells CNN that number was 35, with as many as seven wounded, some seriously.
While it is still not known how many of them were CIA, a source tells CNN that 21 Americans were working in the building known as the annex, believed to be run by the agency.
Thirty-five Americans on the ground, 21 at the CIA annex. Maybe the skeletal security crew at the consulate wasn’t as skeletal as thought. Is that what happened here — not so much a security vacuum as a security presence so secret that it couldn’t be revealed publicly, despite the White House being pounded over its failures for months afterwards? None of which is to say that they shouldn’t have had more security; the consulate and annex were overrun regardless, no matter how many people were there. But maybe that helps explain why the formal security presence wasn’t bigger: There was a lot of CIA in the area and maybe the White House didn’t want to attract attention to what they were doing there by inserting a squad of Marines to patrol the grounds. We already had an inkling of that, in fact, per this interesting but vague WSJ story from last November, which argued that the CIA’s role in the city appeared to be more important than thought. (“The consulate provided diplomatic cover for the classified CIA operations.”) CNN itself followed up in May by reporting that “the larger mission in Benghazi was covert” and alleging that there were more Americans there tied to the CIA — 20 of 30 in all — than to State’s diplomatic presence.

But what were they doing there to justify such agency paranoia now about people blabbing? Former CIA analyst Robert Baer tells CNN that agents are typically polygraphed ever few years, not every month. What could be so tippy top secret that it needs to be kept under wraps even if it means threatening agents’ families to buy their silence? On Twitter, Lachlan Markay points to this Business Insider piece, also from May, speculating that weapons were involved. Which isn’t surprising — everyone knows the feds are trying to round up loose arms from Qaddafi’s stockpiles before jihadis get hold of them. What’s surprising is where the weapons might, might have been headed. To a depot back in the U.S.? Maybe not:
Also in October we reported the connection between Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who died in the attack, and a reported September shipment of SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles (i.e. MANPADS) and rocket-propelled grenades from Benghazi to Syria through southern Turkey.
That 400-ton shipment — “the largest consignment of weapons” yet for Syrian rebels — was organized by Abdelhakim Belhadj, who was the newly-appointed head of the Tripoli Military Council.
In March 2011 Stevens, the official U.S. liaison to the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan rebels, worked directly with Belhadj while he headed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
Stevens’ last meeting on Sept. 11 was with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and a source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi “to negotiate a weapons transfer in an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists.”
Syrian rebels subsequently began shooting down Syrian helicopters and fighter jets with SA-7s akin to those in Qaddafi’s looted stock.
This theory seems sound enough to CNN that they actually mention it in today’s bombshell, albeit as something that’s being kicked around on the Hill. Is that what happened here? The White House decided to secretly start arming the rebels a year ago with the sort of SAMs that everyone fears might eventually be used to shoot down western airliners? Did Congress, or at least the intel committees, know about it? Do note: Even now, after the U.S. announced that it would arm the rebels openly last month, we’re supposedly withholding SAMs from them because they’re too dangerous. If the “secret weapons shipments” theory is true, then in fact we’ve been giving them the dangerous stuff for at least a year. Beyond that, anyone recognize the name Abdelhakim Belhadj? I’ve written about him before. Belhadj is no “moderate” of the sort we’re allegedly working with within the rebel ranks.

He’s a hardcore jihadi who fought with Bin Laden in Afghanistan. If he was the point man on helping to transfer dangerous weapons to the Syrian rebels, there’s even less reason to think that they ended up in “moderate” hands rather than in the hands of the mujahedeen.

One other point. As far as I know, it’s a lingering mystery as to how the jihadis who attacked the consulate in Benghazi knew where the CIA annex was. The consulate’s a public presence so it’s a sitting duck. The annex kept a lower profile, even though it was close by, and yet the attackers zeroed in on it later in the evening of 9/11/12. Why? Could be it was as simple as knowing that there was another building in the neighborhood that had lots of Americans working at it and therefore that building was worth hitting too. Or maybe they just noticed suspicious traffic to the annex on the evening of the attack and decided to take a closer look. But if the “secret weapons shipments” theory is true, it could also be that bad actors in the city had actually dealt with the CIA there about getting arms to Syria and therefore knew full well where the annex was and who was inside. If that’s what happened, it’s like Afghanistan in microcosm in terms of jihadis ultimately biting the American hand that fed them.

Exit question: What was the CIA doing in Benghazi?

Bill Kristol has about had it with Ted Cruz.

In a radio conversation Thursday morning, the Weekly Standard founder and multi-platform pundit made sure to establish a base coat of respect, even admiration for the energetic and courageous conservatism of Texas’ freshman Senator.

But he grows weary of what he perceives as attacks from the Defund Obamacare chorus that anyone preferring another path must be an unfit warrior in the battle against the fraudulently-named Affordable Care Act.

The community distancing from the Defund movement contains people I have long respected, from Bill Bennett to Charles Krauthammer to Texas’ other Senator, John Cornyn.

All point to the near certainty that the defund effort will fail on the Senate floor, and succeed only in marginalizing the Republican party with another government shutdown PR disaster.

They have a point. And it’s probably not helpful to refer to them as members of a “surrender caucus.”

But rather than quibble over the word choices of Cruz, Utah Senator Mike Lee and others rallying around them, I prefer to examine why I will stand with the defund effort until it breathes its last.

Massive tyranny requires bold response. Obamacare is not just another big-government bad idea that can be whittled and trifled with by detail guys like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. It is a scourge of epic proportions, the most stunning hijacking of our economy and our liberties in modern times.

Parsing the poisonous pages of the Affordable Care Act gives the impression that this is just another in a series of noble pushbacks that Republicans will mount in the Obama era.

It is no such thing. It is an attack that necessitates a reply that reflects our outrage.

We all know it passed, and that it is “the law of the land.” Well, here’s another matter of law-- Congress holds the purse strings, even to measures that have passed. If they can legally turn off the money spigot to fend off this nightmare, that is as legitimate an exercise of public will as its hasty, ramshackle passage in March 2010.

Now to the skeptics’ points:

“It cannot succeed.” Perhaps not, but it will succeed in doing two things-- galvanizing the passions of a dispirited GOP base that is sick of tepid party leadership that has ushered us into our current mess as surely as liberal Democrats have done.

And it will provide that lost, precious commodity: clarity. We will know who the fighters are. Not just the talkers, the arguers, the pontificators and posturers, but the warriors willing to suit up and stare down this administration on every hill. This is a virtue that can separate bold leaders from colleagues who are ideologically similar but stylistically quieter.

“The government shutdown will hurt the Republicans.” In the short term it may, but the harshest licks will come from people who will savage the party anyway, no matter what it does.

Among the Americans who may blanch at the brief spectacle of a shutdown, some may actually come to understand, even admire the fire of leaders who stand up for what they believed in as they argue that a few days of government stoppage are a paper cut compared to the national evisceration that lies ahead if this law takes hold.

“This will hurt GOP Senate chances in 2014.” For every fence-sitting voter left cold by the defunders’ passions, I would suggest there are two dispirited or non-voting Republicans who will thank God some in the party are finally sprouting some spine.

Defunding naysayers will continue to protest the criticisms leveled by those walking the point on the Obamacare battlefield. But what they should worry about most is the mood of the electorate.

While pragmatists wring their hands about the dozens of strategies they will try to employ in 2014, protesting the coarseness of their more intrepid colleagues, millions of voters are looking for a new kind of leadership, unapologetic and fearless.

So let’s try this: Instead of name-calling, the Defund Caucus members should patiently but assertively explain why they are more than willing to spend 2014 chipping away at Obamacare, but only after spending some of 2013 trying to stop it in its tracks.

In return, skeptics should stop fussing about how futile the effort is, cowering over how the big, bad media will say mean things about the effort.

My own state of Texas provides an example of the inspirational value of standing and fighting against long odds.

If you are fuzzy on what actually happened at t Alamo, the bottom line is that it was a massacre.

Nearly 200 Texas freedom fighters were annihilated by a Mexican force almost ten times larger.

But their refusal to surrender was an example of courage that spread to countless hearts across Texas, inspiring vast numbers to join the fight. The following month, in April 1836, Mexico was forced to surrender at the Battle of San Jacinto, where Sam Houston’s forces brought the enemy to its knees in under twenty minutes.

But the part of my state’s history that will stick with you most is the letter written by 26-year-old Alamo commander William Barret Travis, who wrote a letter while under siege, to be shared with “The People of Texas and all Americans in the World.”

Knowing a violent death was likely days away, he wrote:

“Fellow citizens and compatriots;

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man.

The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat...

“I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country.

Victory or Death.”

Now tell me again why we should fail to at least try to defund Obamacare.

By all accounts, the attack was planned with care and executed with precision. At two notorious Iraqi prisons, Abu Ghraib and Taji, al-Qaeda combatants last week used mortars, small arms, suicide bombers, and assault forces to free 400 prisoners, including several who had been on death row. AQ spokesmen hailed those released as “mujahedeen,” holy warriors, who will rejoin the jihad on battlefields throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Soon after, we were seeing headlines such as this: “Al Qaeda Is Back.”

Where had al-Qaeda gone? Dig deep in the memory hole — all the way to last summer. At the prestigious Aspen Security Forum, Peter Bergen, CNN’s national-security analyst and a director at the New America Foundation, gave a talk titled, “Time to Declare Victory: Al Qaeda Is Defeated.”

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Lynch III (retired), a distinguished research fellow at the National Defense University, was writing and speaking widely on the same theme. And President Obama’s reelection campaign was making similar claims, e.g. “The tide of war is receding,” “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.” Mitt Romney hardly attempted to rebut the thesis.

I don’t like to say “I told you so” — oh, who am I kidding? Of course I do. But in this instance there is more than ample justification. Scholars at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, in particular Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio, have argued consistently and forcefully, based on solid evidence, that the May 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden, followed by the elimination of other al-Qaeda leaders, did not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean the demise of al-Qaeda.

Instead, it led AQ to adapt, evolve, and morph. It is essential to study these changes and probe their strategic significance — an assignment unlikely to be seriously undertaken by those convinced al-Qaeda swims with the fishes.

On July 18, Joscelyn testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, attempting to make clear to members of Congress that AQ has become “a global international terrorist network . . . that, despite setbacks, contests for territory abroad and still poses a threat to U.S. interests both overseas and at home.”

The nodes of AQ’s network are affiliates that pledge bayat, unswerving allegiance, to “core AQ” while retaining substantial operational autonomy. That makes them harder for intelligence operatives to monitor, penetrate, weaken, or eliminate. Nine years ago, FDD’s Jonathan Schanzer wrote a book called Al-Qaeda’s Armies predicting that such AQ affiliates would increasingly constitute the organization’s “outer perimeter and the pools from which new terrorists can be drawn. Indeed, al-Qaeda affiliates, in the Arab world and beyond, represent the next generation of the global terrorist threat.”

Since the waving of the “mission accomplished” banner last summer, AQ affiliates have killed an American ambassador in Libya, and hoisted their flag above the U.S. embassy in Cairo. They have taken the lead in the rebellion against the Assad dynasty in Syria. They have fought an American-backed government in Yemen, and they conquered much of Mali before French troops drove them back into the desert. They continue to slaughter Christians in Nigeria — more than a thousand last year. They have regenerated in Iraq since the departure of American troops, killing 700 people in July alone. They remain undefeated in Afghanistan and Pakistan, poised for the opportunity further American troop withdrawals will present. Last week, they attacked Turkish diplomats in Somalia. On Monday, AQ’s close ally, the Taliban, attacked a jail in northwest Pakistan, freeing as many as 200 prisoners.

Joscelyn and Roggio have been making another argument that has challenged the conventional wisdom: They maintain that al-Qaeda has long had a working relationship with Iran’s rulers. Two years ago the U.S. government formally confirmed that hypothesis, yet now as then many Iran experts deny the links, arguing that there is no way that Sunni AQ and Shia Iran could collaborate.

What those experts fail to grasp is that Iran’s rulers and al-Qaeda’s commanders, despite very real theological disagreements and differing strategic interests — indeed, they are literally at each other’s throats in Syria — are united in their commitment to what they see as the moral imperative of Islamic supremacy and domination. Their shared goal is a global revolution leading to the defeat or submission, or both, of those they regard not just as inferior, but also as “enemies of God.” America and Israel top both their lists.

This worldview is very difficult for Westerners to take seriously. Surely, there must be a less medieval explanation — perhaps grievances that can be addressed or fears that can be assuaged. But this conflict is deeper and more complex. Until that is understood, the U.S. and its allies cannot possibly devise a coherent strategic response — which is why 34 years after Iran’s revolution and twelve years after 9/11, we still don’t have one. That is another point that Joscelyn and Roggio have long been making, and which too many in the government and the foreign policy community have been either unable or unwilling to grasp.

U.S. closing embassies throughout Muslim world on Sunday after threat

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Some may remain closed for longer than a day. Remember when we kept hearing that Obama was going to repair our relationships with Muslim countries? "Threat closes US embassies in Muslim world for day," by Bradley Klapper for the Associated Press, August 2:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States is shuttering its embassies and consulates throughout the Muslim world on Sunday after receiving an unspecified threat, officials said. 
State Department officials said Thursday that they were taking action out of an "abundance of caution."
Spokeswoman Marie Harf cited information indicating a threat to U.S. facilities overseas and said some diplomatic facilities may stay closed for more than a day.
Other U.S. officials said the threat was in the Muslim world, where Sunday is a workday. American diplomatic missions in Europe, Latin America and many other places are closed on Sunday.
Those officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
The State Department issued a major warning last year informing American diplomatic facilities across the Muslim world about potential violence connected to the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Dozens of American installations were besieged by protest over an anti-Islam video made by an American resident.
In Benghazi, Libya, the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed when militants assaulted a diplomatic post. The administration no longer says that attack was related to the demonstrations.
Because it was a lie, a lie designed to abet the curtailing of our freedom of speech, in the first place.
Op-ed:                                                               ObamaCare can be stopped using the rule of law...if only the House would wake up                  By: Diane Sori
Fact: ObamaCare was passed and funded in a certain form.
Fact: Now the form it was passed and funded in is being changed, updated, and random parts delayed. 
Fact: Since the form it was first passed and funded in is actually being negated by these changes and delays it has become a totally different bill in actuality.
Fact: And since it's so different from the original it really needs to be re-voted on both for implementation and for in be voted on again and this time FAILING in the Republican controlled House on both points.
IMPORTANT fact: When the SCOTUS ruled ObamaCare a tax the entire thing should have been negated because according to the Constitution taxes originate in the House (Article1. Section 7. Clause 1. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives). So technically according to the rule of law ObamaCare is illegal and NO one is doing a damn thing about it.
Benghazi...why Congress looks away                                          By: Diane Sori  

Benghazi…Benghazi…Benghazi…Benghazi…the Benghazi 4 and the lack of justice…of retaliation…of revenge…for their MURDERS is just something that I and many of my fellow patriots cannot allow to be swept under the rug any longer.

Most of you are familiar with why I believe Ambassador Stevens was targeted and MURDERED…as in assassinated…I don’t need to rehash that, but what I do need to do is be the voice for many of us and speak the truth as to why this gutless bunch of cowards we call Congress will NOT do anything about Barack HUSSEIN Obama…will NOT arrest him for TREASON on the grounds of ‘aiding and abetting the enemy’ nor for what I believe to be his possible hand in the MURDERS of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and ex-Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

If Benghazi had happened on Ronald Reagan’s watch or George W. Bush’s watch those responsible would be long gone…rotting with their false god allah in what they believe to be paradise but we know to be hell.  But unfortunately this happened on the watch of a man who doesn’t side with America or with those who serve her but with America’s enemies…with those who hate America…with those out to destroy her and all she stands for.

And ‘this man’ will allow NOTHING to stand in his way for ‘this man’ is a game player and the game he plays is the game of race-baiting, and sadly for America he plays it very well.

And the driving force behind this all-consuming game is the fact that ‘this man’ hates himself…hates the white half that he can’t erase NO matter how hard he tries…he runs from it…slanders it…defames it…tries to bury it deep inside him…but to NO avail for we know it’s there and he knows we know it…and he better know his race-baiting buddies know it as well.

His race-baiting buddies…Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, Louis Farrakhan, Jeremiah Wright, and others of their ilk…white haters of the first order who want NOTHING better than to start a race war…to kill the white man for long ago injustices…injustices done before any of us alive today were even born. And worse…to profit off that hate…to profit off those who have the least but who will blindly follow if it gets them more.

Hate runs through all their veins and colors their every choice…their every decision…their every thought during their every waking hour.  And these are the type of men ‘this man’ aligns himself with because he so hates his white half…hates it so because of self-perceived injustices his white half had to endure while he was growing up.

And so ‘this man’ has channeled that hatred into ignoring his white half and taking on the persona of a black man claiming he’s one of them but in reality he is anything but. And ‘this man’ is NOT America’s first black president (hopefully someday that distinction will go to LTC Allen West), but is America’s first mixed race/bi-racial president, and the sooner he realizes that the better off he’ll be for rest assured if he doesn’t march in lockstep with the afore mentioned race-baiters they will turn on him as fast as he turned on Ambassador Stevens and the others.

And as easy as it was for him to leave those four Americans behind to be slaughtered, ‘this man’ knows he can get away with it because he holds the race card in his hand, and like a skilled magician he pulls it out at will to keep those in Congress in line.

‘This man’ knows that Congress looks away…he knows they dare NOT try to impeach or arrest America’s ‘supposed’ first black president for he knows well how to stir the pot to get his buddies to stoke the fires of hatred…of riots…of looting…if they dare try. And this threat of violence and destruction whether real or just a well-played poker hand has rendered even the brave in Congress impotent and cowering in fear of him.

And fear of the worst among us is why Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty are NOT being avenged…for Congress is letting its fear of a ‘small but vocal militant black minority’ and its fear of a race war that will NOT happen stop them from doing what they know in their hearts is the right thing to do. Placating ‘We the People’ with phony photo-op hearings that are going nowhere just will NOT cut it anymore for what purpose have those hearings served … NONE…for NOT one person has been charged with anything…NOT one person has been called to task…NOT one person has been held responsible for Benghazi as they each pass the buck off on one another as ‘this man’ sits back and revels in it all…revels in the fact that he has gotten away with MURDER and that NO one in authority has the courage to stand up and say NO…the game is over.

Ambassador Stevens and the others need just one voice in Congress...just one voice out of 535 to set things right…just one person with the guts and courage to stand up and say to hell with the race card…to hell with the buck passing…to hell with the lies and cover-ups…to hell with ‘this man’ thinking he’s above us all...that he's above the rule of law...that he's above the Constitution.  Just one person in Congress to stand strong and call for the arrest of Barack HUSSEIN Obama on the grounds of treason for 'aiding and abetting the enemy', and for his complicity and subsequent cover-up in the MURDERS of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and ex-Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

And for good measure to really set things right, throw in Hillary ‘What Difference Does It Make’ Clinton, and maybe then those four brave men can finally Rest in Peace and America can start to heal.