Testimony from high-ranking members of the U.S. military who were on duty at the time of the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks revealed the likelihood that the perpetrators of the second terrorist attack on a Central Intelligence Agency facility were not the same assailants who ambushed the U.S. diplomatic mission and torched it and killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and another American, according to Navy Times on Wednesday.
That second terrorist attack -- which killed two CIA contracted operatives -- displayed a sophistication of formal combat experience or training, former Gen. Carter Ham told members of Congress during closed-door hearings on Wednesday. According to Gen. Ham, the attack had all the earmarks of a new group of jihadists who might have capitalized on the original ambush of the U.S. consulate the night before in order to kill American contractors -- one of whom as a former Navy Seal.
The testimony is expected to clear up the mystery surrounding President Barack Obama's and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's communications with members of the so-called national security team and their response -- or lack of response -- that is leading to special House of Representatives select committee.
The congressional investigation and hearings have already strongly suggested that the Obama administration made inaccurate statements about the attacks. "In other words, Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others lied through their teeth in the aftermath of the Benghazi bloodbath by blaming a dumb video. And they still use verbal gymnastics whenever questions about the attacks are broached," said former intelligence officer and police detective Michael Snopes.
The closed-door testimony clarifies what appears to be truth from the point of view of the military commanders involved: that the terrorist attack was actually two separate, though related, terrorist attacks on two separate installation by two separate groups over two days.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration refuses to thoroughly discuss the first attack in which, according to Ham and eight other military officers, staff in the minimally protected compound fell prey to a group of terrorists who breached the diplomatic facility set it on fire, and killed Amb. Stevens and communications specialist Sean Smith. It was later, according to Ham and others, that a mob of Libyan civilians overran and looted the already devastated compound.
The military officer assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Libya's capital city of Tripoli informed Congress that the first terrorist ambush showed some advance planning and knowledge of tactical operations.
Gen. Ham told lawmakers that the attack on the CIA facility, that left security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty dead, suggested military training. "Given the precision of the attack, it was a well-trained mortar crew, and in my estimation they probably had a well-trained observer," said Ham, who headed the U.S. command in Africa, according to Navy Times.
Ham said the nearly eight-hour time lapse between the two attacks also seemed significant. "If the team (that launched the second attack) was already there, then why didn't they shoot sooner?" he asked.
The attacks occurred at a time in which President Barack Obama was campaigning for re-election and repeatedly claimed that al-Qaida was not a threat to the United States. He also claimed al-Qaida was on the run while his Vice President, Joe Biden, would go around the country uttering the slogan: "General Motors is alive, but Osama bin Laden is dead."
"A terrorist attack that was linked to al-Qaida on what is basically "American soil" might have shot-down that assertion by the Obama campaign," Snopes said.