A bipartisan Senate report on the 9-11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya was released last week. Committee Chairwoman, California Senator Diane Feinstein concluded that the intelligence community provided ample strategic warning of impending attacks, and in the committee eyes the Benghazi terrorist attack was preventable.
The report also disclosed Obama administration officials knew within 15 minutes that the American temporary mission facility was a terror attack and not the result of a protest gone awry. However the report fails to point the finger at any specific government employees or recommend any terminations.
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Additionally, the report highlighted a couple of facts not previously available to the general public. On two separate occasions Ambassador Chris Stevens was offered additional security from the head of AFRICOM, General Carter Ham, and twice Ambassador Stevens turned him down (found on page 20 of the report).
Why? As this reporter noted in prior reports, “Stevens was the target and Was the State Dept. and CIA trafficking weapons in Benghazi?, both illustrate that the ambassador may have been participating in extracurricular covert activities that General Ham may not have been privy to since the Senate report on Benghazi also highlighted the fact the General did not know the CIA had an Annex in Benghazi. (Found on page 12 of the GOP response or 77 in the PDF).
The fundamental question remaining, that no one has either asked nor answered is why? Why did the U.S. stay behind in the Jihad-rich isolated eastern-Libyan city? Why did Ambassador Stevens travel to Benghazi on 9-11, knowing it’s a well-known date for terrorists and the ambassador was privy to all the Libya security cables?
The 85-page bipartisan Senate report highlights 14 findings followed with 14 recommendations. What's wrong with it? “The weakness of the Senate report is this: it blames buildings, the State Department; it blames the CIA; it blames the military, these bureaucracies. In the end, nobody, no individual, no human has been held accountable on either side of the attack. Remember how the President solemnly said, 'make no mistake, those who did this will be held accountable?' Nobody has been arrested. In fact, on the contrary, 15 people in Libya, who cooperated with us, are now dead. They've been held accountable,” Charles Krauthammer told Fox News.
While the report leaves a number of questions about the terrorist attack unanswered, it does acknowledge that lax security, military un-readiness and refusal to take the 20 plus attacks seriously in the months leading to the 9-11 anniversary, all played a role in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Omitted from the Senate report was a story from CNN that pointed out a few days before 9-11-12 al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called on Libyans to avenge the June death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a Libyan and number two of al-Qaeda, who was killed by a drone strike ordered by current CIA Director John Brennan and approved by President Obama.
Also left out of the report is the weapon buy back program in Libya. State Department Assistant Secretary for Political and Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro confirmed that there was an operation to retrieve MANPADs (Portable shoulder fire missiles) that went missing after Libyan dictator Gadaffi fell from power. Lt. Col Anthony Shaffer of DIA also confirms Benghazi was key to that program.
Finally, little has been said about the meeting that took Ambassador Stevens to Benghazi on 9-11. The meeting at the temporary mission facility with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin ended around 9pm (Story here). Stevens would be dead in less than an hour.
In conclusion, there is ample evidence the U.S. was purchasing/trafficking weapons through the port city of Benghazi for transshipment to Turkey and then smuggled into the hands of al-Qaeda rebels in Syria. The weapons moved in spite of the U.S. President’s word that the U.S. was only providing humanitarian aid and a U.S. signed UN agreement specifically stating that no weapons were to aid the Syrian rebels.
The end of this lurid little foreign policy still awaits a conclusion. This week the world is meeting to discuss Syria’s fate.
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