Yesterday John Kerry informed Congress that he would not be making the Benghazi survivors available to testify before Congress:
Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News tweeted today that “Secy Kerry tells congress he will not honor the request to make Benghazi survivors available for questioning.”
The stonewalling of the Obama Administration on the Benghazi survivors is incredibly frustrating, but made worse by the complete lack of interest by the mainstream media. Kerry has faced the question of the Benghazi survivors on numerous occasions and has effectively dodged the issue at every turn.
In March, Secretary of State John Kerry was asked by Fox News correspondent James Rosen why nobody has “heard from” the Benghazi survivors. Kerry stumbled through the answer, saying
“Well, I – I mean, I can’t tell you the answer to that.”
Rosen pressed John Kerry on the issue by asking, “Will we hear from them?”
“I can’t tell you- I don’t know what the circumstances are of any requests to talk to them or not.”
It can’t be easy to remember all the lies. Additional information has been uncovered by the Guardian and it is chilling. You will know why Kerry absolutely does not want any survivors to testify. There are highly significant differences between the Obama regime’s account and the truth.
Event Staff at the US special mission in Benghazi woke on 11 September to the sight of a Libyan policeman, deployed to guard them, filming the compound from a neighbouring rooftop. When challenged, he vanished. Later, an unmarked car made lazy circles around the compound, a walled redoubt rented in the southern suburbs of the Libyan city.
US version The state department says there were no warning of impending attack, a spokesman insisting there was “nothing unusual during the day at all”.
Conflicting evidence Two days earlier, the ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, had received a veiled warning. According to one of his cables, one of his diplomats had a meeting with two Islamist militia leaders in which they complained that the US was supporting a secular leader, Mahmoud Jibril, in a vote for prime minister due on 12 September. If Jibril won, they warned, they would “no longer guarantee security”. The consulate was already relying on one of the militias, the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, for armed protection.
In the words of a subsequent report by the US Senate’s homeland security committee, warning lights were “flashing red”. As the day went on, news came in of attacks by radicals on the US embassy in Cairo, a response to a film, the Innocence of Muslims, released in America which mocked Muhammad. The CIA sent a cable to its foreign stations warning of possible copycat incidents.
US version The state department insists the compound had been well fortified in the spring. The walls had been raised to 3.6 metres (12ft) and topped with barbed wire and concertina barbed wire. The villa had been prepared as a redoubt in the event the walls were breached. It was surrounded by sandbagged emplacements and fitted with grilles on the windows and bulletproof steel doors. Security cameras covered the site.
Conflicting evidence Most of the wall running around the compound had not been heightened beyond around 8ft. The rear wall also had no wire. Two days after the attack the landlord showed the Guardian where attackers had scrambled over. “It was easy for them,” he said. Whether cameras were mounted outside the compound is unclear. But failure to see what diners at the Venezia could see in the 10 minutes before the attack would have catastrophic consequences.
US version The state department insists security was more than adequate that night, because five DSS agents were in place, more than the recommended three, supported by five unarmed Libyan guards and three armed militiamen from the February 17 brigade.
Conflicting evidence In the preceding months Stevens had cabled three times (7 June, 9 July, and 15 August) asking for more protection or that plans to draw down security be halted, according to the House oversight report. Those months had seen escalating attacks against foreign targets in the city. Commonwealth war graves had been smashed, the Tunisian consulate stormed, a Sudanese diplomat attacked, a UN convoy bombed and the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross rocketed. After two bodyguards of British ambassador Dominic Asquith were wounded in a rocket attack on the UK consulate, London closed its mission down. The US mission had been struck twice by home made bombs thrown at the outside wall.
But even as attacks in Benghazi escalated, Washington decreased security, in line with its official position that Libya, post revolution, was normalising. Three quick-reaction DSS units, named situation security teams, deployed in Tripoli, were withdrawn in the summer, despite objections from their chief, Colonel Andrew Wood. He later told CBS that losing those units was like “being asked to play the piano with two fingers”.
On 15 August, the day after Wood was withdrawn, Stevens cabled Washington to say that security in Benghazi was left dangerously exposed. He worried that February 17 was becoming unreliable: a dispute over payment by the embassy meant the brigade’s militiamen no longer guarded convoys outside the compound. In addition, the police officers supposed to guard the mission were often late. “Many hours pass when we have no police support at all”, he wrote.
US version State department accounts say the agents were under prolonged fire throughout their ordeal, with battle raging in the compound grounds. “There is considerable firing going on outside,” one spokesman briefed journalists. “There are tracer bullets. There is smoke … there are explosions. I can’t tell you that they were RPGs, but I think they were RPGs. So there’s a lot of action going on.”
Conflicting evidence The testimony of heavy fighting is hard to reconcile with the lack of bullet holes in the buildings. The villa’s sandy walls are still blackened by the smoke from the fire, but there are few bullet marks here or on the other buildings, nor are there spent casings visible, at least on the paths and asphalt. The front gate has no sign of damage except two bullet holes. The only sign of heavy firing is at the rear gate, with holes from 23 rounds fired into the compound and six fired out. This gunfight is not mentioned in accounts made public. From the time of the attack to the time they were summoned, four of the five DSS agents were in hiding.
Events On the Sunday following the attack, Susan Rice, America’s ambassador to the UN, gave interviews to TV networks ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News to offer an explanation for the attacks on Benghazi.
US version Rice said she believed the attack was the result of a protest against the Innocence of Muslims film which had escalated: “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annexe,” she said. “There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
Conflicting evidence Within hours, her claim was being disputed in Libya. Mohammed Magaraif, Speaker of the Libyan Congress, was visiting Benghazi to meet survivors and blamed elements of Ansar al-Sharia’s militia for the attack. His comments matched those of witnesses.
In America many were surprised Rice was chosen to make a statement about the death of the first US ambassador to be killed since 1979. More properly, the announcement belonged to Hillary Clinton, or possibly the president himself. There was speculation that Rice, the president’s foreign policy adviser during his 2008 election campaign, was being given a high profile in readiness for her to step into Clinton’s shoes if Obama won a second term in the November election.
Evidence from the US survivors, debriefed on American soil, confirmed the Libyan version of events. There was no protest.
US version On 9 August 2013, Obama said the investigation into the attacks remained “top priority”. He added: “We’re going to stay on it until we get them.” Issa promised that he and his House committee would continue its scrutiny until it got to the truth: “It is our job to work tirelessly in partnership with citizens watchdogs to deliver the facts to the American people.”
Conflicting evidence It took four weeks for the FBI to travel to the Benghazi consulate site. By that time the area had been combed over by journalists and the curious, contaminating the evidence. Even after the FBI visit, it was possible for the Guardian to recover classified documents scattered there. In Tripoli, diplomats contrasted the slowness of the FBI with French forensic specialists who were on the ground the day after France’s embassy in Tripoli was bombed in April.
There is much more. Do read it all. It is obvious that Obama and company are lying through their teeth about Benghazi. We demand to know the truth. Don’t you wish that Obama and Hillary cared as much about the Americans who died here as they do about the Syrians?