The media and Democrats have been crowing that the House Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi cleared the Obama administration of any wrong doing.
But when you actually read the report you find the exact opposite.
So they found that the administration and State department failed to adequately secure the site…this does NOT clear them of wrongdoing.
The report also denies that any transfers of weapons from Libya to Syria were being conducted by the CIA
4) The report attempts to deny U.S. facilitation of weapons transfers from Libya to Syria via Benghazi, but leaves a significant amount of yet unquestioned wiggle room
Note that nowhere in the report does the House Intelligence Committee define what “unauthorized activities” consist of.
The report continues:
Note that this finding specifically refers to the collection and facilitation of weapons shipments at the CIA Annex. Does this rule out that the CIA might not have facilitated arms sales “indirectly” through third-party “cut outs?” Would such activities qualify as “authorized activities?” Would such activities have to be disclosed publicly?
Consider what investigative journalist Seymour Hersh (himself no Tea Partier, in fact quite the opposite), wrote in a bombshell April 2014 article in the London Review of Books [emphasis ours]:
A highly classified annex to the report [a Senate Intelligence Committee report from January 2014], not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line [a back channel developed in this case to transfer weapons to Syria]. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)
Hersh continues [emphasis ours]:
The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official [one of Hersh’s primary sources] explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.
…‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’
Ken Timmerman, author of “Dark Forces,” with whom we spoke earlier this year on Benghazi, agrees with Seymour Hersh’s assessment, telling us recently via e-mail: “In the Benghazi-to-Syria transfers, CIA most likely operated under existing Global War on Terrorism findings and more generally under cover of ‘liaison’ operations which are not considered U.S. Covert ops.”
In testimony from a HPSCI hearing on November 15, 2012, appended to the full report, former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morell tells us:
In later testimony on May 22, 2013, in front of the HPSCI, Morell gives us some additional information on weapons transfers:
Again, questions remain.
Would a “rat line” to the degree to which there was one need to be disclosed? Were Americans supporting the activities of other nations carrying out weapons transfers to Syria, or truly solely collecting intelligence on such activities? How does the HPSCI and the officials it interviewed define “facilitation” of weapons transfers — and would indirect coordination/planning fall under such a definition?
These questions have not been asked nor answered.
The report states that there was NO ‘stand-down’ order given to the CIA Annex when they requested to go the rescue of the Ambassador. This directly contradicts the operators who were actually there and have said that there WAS a stand down order given.
Who are you going to believe. Career politicians or the actual fighters on the ground?
The Democrats chose to believe the politicians.
And my favorite:
Even though emails have been discovered that the White House and State Department knew, while the attack was ongoing, that Ansar al-Sharia was behind the attack but they still peddled this youtube video as the reason behind the attack. If this was a ‘spontaneous’ event that was triggered by protests then explain this:
About 7:30 in the evening, he has his last meeting. It is with a Turkish diplomat. And at – when the meeting is over, at 8:30 – he has all these meetings, by the way, in what I call Building C – when the meeting is over, he escorts the Turkish diplomat to the main gate. There is an agent there with them. They say goodbye. They’re out in a street in front of the compound. Everything is calm at 8:30 p.m. There’s nothing unusual. There has been nothing unusual during the day at all outside.
So at 8:30 everything is quiet. No protestors seen. An hour later they don’t hear chanting and screaming, which you normally would with protestors…no, they hear gunfire:
At 9:40 p.m., the agent in the TOC and the agents in Building C hear loud noises coming from the front gate. They also hear gunfire and an explosion. The agent in the TOC looks at his cameras – these are cameras that have pictures of the perimeter – and the camera on the main gate reveals a large number of people – a large number of men, armed men, flowing into the compound.
The Libyan President knew it was a pre-planned attack. The IC knew it was a pre-planned attack. The State Department knew it was a pre-planned attack. But this report says eh, it was a combination of factors. Bullshit. They knew, and chose to fool the public as the Ben Rhodes email describing Susan Rice’s talking points have proven.
In the end this report is nothing but a whitewash of any CIA and the administrations wrongdoing.