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CIA Had Dozens on Ground During Benghazi Attack

Wikileaks Media Ethics

CNN‘s Jake Tapper (“Exclusive: Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack“):

CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya.

Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.

CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.

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.

The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.

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.

In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”

Another says, “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”

“Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that,” said former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer.

In other words, the rate of the kind of polygraphs alleged by sources is rare.

“If somebody is being polygraphed every month, or every two months it’s called an issue polygraph, and that means that the polygraph division suspects something, or they’re looking for something, or they’re on a fishing expedition. But it’s absolutely not routine at all to be polygraphed monthly, or bi-monthly,” said Baer.

CIA spokesman Dean Boyd asserted in a statement that the agency has been open with Congress.

“The CIA has worked closely with its oversight committees to provide them with an extraordinary amount of information related to the attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi,” the statement said.

“CIA employees are always free to speak to Congress if they want,” the statement continued. “The CIA enabled all officers involved in Benghazi the opportunity to meet with Congress. We are not aware of any CIA employee who has experienced retaliation, including any non-routine security procedures, or who has been prevented from sharing a concern with Congress about the Benghazi incident.”

We’ve long known that there was a CIA annex adjacent to the Benghazi consulate, so it’s not surprising that CIA employees were present. Nor is it exactly shocking that our lead human spy agency is keeping secrets about what happened that night. If, however, it’s waging a campaign of intimidation against its workforce to prevent leaks—and especially if they’re defining “leaks” as being truthful in answering questions to Congress—that’s news.

One of my former Congressmen is looking into it:

The lack of information and pressure to silence CIA operatives is disturbing to U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, whose district includes CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

“I think it is a form of a cover-up, and I think it’s an attempt to push it under the rug, and I think the American people are feeling the same way,” said the Republican.

“We should have the people who were on the scene come in, testify under oath, do it publicly, and lay it out. And there really isn’t any national security issue involved with regards to that,” he said.

Wolf has repeatedly gone to the House floor, asking for a select committee to be set-up, a Watergate-style probe involving several intelligence committee investigators assigned to get to the bottom of the failures that took place in Benghazi, and find out just what the State Department and CIA were doing there.

More than 150 fellow Republican members of Congress have signed his request, and just this week eight Republicans sent a letter to the new head of the FBI, James  Comey, asking that he brief Congress within 30 days.

In the aftermath of the attack, Wolf said he was contacted by people closely tied with CIA operatives and contractors who wanted to talk.

Then suddenly, there was silence.

“Initially they were not afraid to come forward. They wanted the opportunity, and they wanted to be subpoenaed, because if you’re subpoenaed, it sort of protects you, you’re forced to come before Congress. Now that’s all changed,” said Wolf.

I’ve thought from the beginning that Republicans have grossly overplayed their hand in trying to gin up a scandal over what happened at Benghazi! and trying to pin it on the Obama administration. Nothing in this report changes my mind on that. It’s not at all unthinkable that this stonewalling is coming entirely from the CIA and that they have what they consider legitimate national security reasons for it. But it’s odd behavior even by CIA standards.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Yet more for Darrell Issa to go after in his never-ending search for reasons to impeach the president.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  2. Modulo Myself says:

    God, the craven hypocrisy…Someone minor like Bradley Manning doles out information and nobody can say a kind word about him. After all, he’s a nobody and Wikileaks isn’t really part of the club. But apply the same logic to reporters who want to spin a non-event for inside baseball and suddenly it’s news.

    A leak is a leak is a leak to the Obama administration. If you think Manning’s prosecution was perfectly fine, then you should be all on-board with polygraphing CIA people.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

  3. James Joyner says:

    @Modulo Myself: That’s completely nonsensical. Manning rather obviously broke the law in leaking classified documents to the press. CIA employees, by contrast, have a legal duty to answer questions from Congress.

    Further, aside from the fact that polygraphs are a notoriously unreliable tool, nobody is arguing that the CIA doesn’t have the right to use it to question employees suspected of leaking classified information. That’s a far different thing than creating a culture of harassment where the same people are questioned over and over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  4. legion says:

    Y’know, some people actually care about that whole ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’ thing… They are our _leaders_, not our _rulers_. And they are answerable to us. And if they don’t like that, they have to go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  5. stonetools says:

    I’ve always felt that the the Obama Administration’s response to the BENGHAZI! “scandal” has been hampered by the need to conceal the CIA operation there. The Republicans know this, although it did not stop them from exploiting the Administration’s vulnerability.
    As to why the CIA wants to conceal this, there may be all sorts of reasons:
    1. There may still be assets on the ground who may be endangered if there is full disclosure of the operation .
    2. Certain CIA operational procedures may be revealed that would tip off al Qaeda.
    3. Operations may still be ongoing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 1

  6. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @legion:

    Hence elections?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  7. Andre Kenji says:

    But the CIA only has superagents in Comic books and in action movies, not in real life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. NickTamere says:

    The elephant in the room is the “secret” CIA facility that was being referred to as an embassy annex that was just down the street (the one that Rep. Jason Chaffetz accidentally disclosed on national television). I’m willing to bet that a lot of what we heard that day was vetted for our consumption at their request.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  9. Starbuck says:

    The last two days have turned everything the Benghazi conspiracy kooks have been saying for the past ten months on its head.

    The generic line of attack has been that a.) The State Department (under Ms. Clinton) edited the talking points to downplay the possibility of a terror attack, despite assurances to the contrary from the CIA. (And, of course, all to keep with the election mantra in 2012)

    That didn’t hold up when one looked objectively at the edits, but the kooks didn’t want silly little things like facts getting in the way of a good narrative. Now, it seems the CIA had a vested interest in sticking to the “video” theory (downplays the possibility of a massive intelligence failure). I guess the administration was all too keen to let Sec. Clinton draw the attention, in order to keep the partisan hacks (and especially the Benghazi conspiracy kooks) off the scent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  10. Modulo Myself says:

    @James Joyner:

    I got the impression that it’s speaking non-officially to Congress. CIA officials have to testify legally but they aren’t legally compelled to pass on leaks to Darrell Issa over drinks, are they?

    I mean, why would you use lie detectors to find out what has been said in official testimony?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  11. Anderson says:

    dozens of people working for the CIA

    Including locals we gave $50 to? What does that mean, exactly?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  12. James Pearce says:

    It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

    – Mitt Romney

    Republicans have grossly overplayed their hand in trying to gin up a scandal over what happened at Benghazi!

    Has there been a scandal during the Obama era that hasn’t been “overplayed” by the GOP?

    Birtherism, the IRS, Solyndra, Fast and Furious, the gun grab, drones, Benghazi, etc, etc.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  13. michael reynolds says:

    Is anyone else struck by the fact that this news – in effect exculpatory of Ms. Clinton – came out right after her sit-down with the president?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  14. Jack says:

    How does hiding CIA operatives from testimony excuse Hillary and anyone else actions and decisions? How does it excuse putting out the phony talking pint that it was spontaneous attack due to a video? How does it excuse not sending help? How does it excuse Hillary for saying that the lack of security was due to budget cuts when it has been shown budget cuts wasn’t the reason? How does it let her off the hook for turning down increase security request? How does it excuse all those who lied to Congress and attempts to cover things up?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 30

  15. Doiubter4444 says:

    @michael reynolds:
    I did not.
    That’s actually pretty interesting… I guess there are still playing long ball.
    Inoculating Hillary against a serious charge during the 16 campaign.
    Pretty Interesting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Andrew E. says:

    Stunning how the script has flipped about how Conservatives see traitorous activity. I have no doubt were we under a Republican administration Manning, Snowden and anyone who intended to politicize the Bengazi trajedy- especially now there is proof of a strong CIA connection- would be declared Enemies of the State. But now EVERYTHING is political, everything an opportunity to stick it to Obama. That’s the highest priority and anything coming before- the intelligence failures of 9/11, the deceptions that lead to the Iraq war, the many times embassies and bases were successfully attacked during Bush’s tenure- are lost down the rabbit hole. Stunning hypocricy but Issa and Fox and Rush tell them it’s a scandal and that’s good enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  17. jukeboxgrad says:

    jack:

    How does it excuse putting out the phony talking pint that it was spontaneous attack due to a video?

    On 9/12/12, Daniel Pipes wrote this in National Review (link):

    Terry Jones and the Assault on U.S. Missions … So far, the assaults on U.S. missions in Cairo and Benghazi yesterday have led to four deaths but, if patterns hold, more will follow. Not only can Jones (or whoever came up with the anti-Islamic video that inspired this violence) cause Muslim deaths at will with his “International Judge Muhammad Day,” but he can put a wrench in U.S.-Egypt relations and even become a factor in presidential elections.

    At that point there was some confusion about whether the video was made by Terry Jones or someone else. But the important thing to notice is that on 9/12/12, Pipes himself, in the pages of NR, explained that “the anti-Islamic video … inspired this violence,” not just in Cairo but also in Benghazi. How inconvenient. If you can’t trust National Review, then who can you trust?

    How does it excuse Hillary for saying that the lack of security was due to budget cuts when it has been shown budget cuts wasn’t the reason?

    The GOP cut funding for security. “House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012.” Link.

    The facility was underfunded. From the ARB report (pdf):

    Benghazi was also severely under-resourced with regard to certain needed security equipment … Given the threat environment, the physical security platform in Benghazi was inadequate. … New upgrades remained a challenge, however, due to a lack of cash reserves

    Cuts like this have consequences.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  18. C. Clavin says:

    It’s been pretty clear since the very early Dareell Issa witch-hunt hearings that there was a CIA operation and the messaging spin was being generated by the CIA.
    The fact that there were this many operatives makes me wonder what good additional military would have done.

    It doesn’t suprise me that Republicans are trying to find out more about this covert operation…they have proven that they like outing covert operatives.

    I’ve noticed no comments above from Mr. Benghazzziiiiii (Jenos).
    He/she must be waiting to see what the wing-nut blogs instruct him/her to say about this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  19. mantis says:

    Newsflash: secret spy agency prefers its secret operations remain secret.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  20. Jack says:

    Move along servants, nothing to see here-Jay Carney.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  21. stonetools says:

    Jack’s response does show that BENGHAZI! continues to have considerable currency in Kuckoo Konservative Konspiracy Theory Land.
    In the real world, its possible that what really happened in Benghazi was an attack by Islamic militants on a CIA operation, with Ambassador Stevens just swept up in the mess. Afterward, the CIA asked that the video be included in the talking points as a possibility in order to deflect attention from the CIA presence on the ground. If so, mission accomplished! It was a honeypot that sucked up virtually all the attention.
    Also too, it looks like Susan Rice took a bullet for the team. She was eventually rewarded with a promotion to National Security Adviser, and it may be that she put down a marker for support for the Secretary of State position in a future Democratic Administration.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  22. Barry says:

    James: “Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.”

    Meaning ‘dozens of people in the country’? ‘dozens of people in the city’? ‘dozens of people in the neighborhood’? ‘dozens of people in the the building’?,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Man, this “phony scandal” is such a useful tool. I wish I’d known about it back during the 2012 campaign, when I could have used it on “Mitt Romney’s dog,” “Mitt Romney the high school bully,” “Mit Romney hasn’t paid taxes in 10 years,” and all that other crap that was THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE OF THE CAMPAIGN.

    But to the topic at hand… the CIA wants to keep their operations in Benghazi a secret? Why? The bad guys already know all about ti — they attacked it. The only ones ignorant now are the American people.

    And that might hurt Obama poltiically, so it ABSOLUTELY must be kept secret.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 25

  24. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But to the topic at hand… the CIA wants to keep their operations in Benghazi a secret? Why? The bad guys already know all about ti — they attacked it. The only ones ignorant now are the American people.

    Oh? What was that mission if we all know all about it? Not the physical facility, but what the CIA were up to that night? The active sense of the word mission.

    You don’t know, neither do I, which means neither does Al Qaeda. One hopes the oversight committees do know.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  25. Barry says:

    James: “Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.”

    Meaning ‘dozens of people in the country’? ‘dozens of people in the city’? ‘dozens of people in the neighborhood’? ‘dozens of people in the the building’?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. C. Clavin says:

    Oh…we got a comment from Jenos…so now we know what the wing-nut blogs told him/her to say.
    There is something to be said for predictibility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  27. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The only ones ignorant now are the American people.

    Thanks to right-wing politicking….

    Mitt Romney “leads,” and you guys follow Review his statement:

    It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

    You guys have been mooing like a bunch of oxen ever since.

    You’re left asking dumb questions like:

    the CIA wants to keep their operations in Benghazi a secret? Why?

    Pathetic.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  28. Jack says:

    The budget cut B.S. has been exposed over and over. Security spending for embassies’ security had been greatly increased over the previous years before the attack. They had enough to spend millions on green energy programs at embassies. Even state department personal has testify to that.

    In testimony Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Charlene Lamb, a deputy assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, was asked, “Was there any budget consideration and lack of budget which led you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?”
    Lamb responded, “No, sir.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/12/are-budget-cuts-to-blame-for-benghazi-attack-as-biden-suggested.html

    That has been discussed over and over. The fact that you continue to ignore that shows how partisan you are.

    Claiming that a reporter was uncertain of the caused does not change the fact that the State department knew the truth. I suspect the MSM knew the truth to but lied to public to once again carry water for the administration.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  29. C. Clavin says:

    “…the CIA wants to keep their operations in Benghazi a secret? Why?…”

    That’s about the smartest question Jenos has ever posed…no…seriously…it is.
    Talk about your basic Mensa candidate.
    Next up…

    NASA uses Rockets? Why?

    Or…

    The IRS hires Accountants? Why?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  30. Modulo Myself says:

    Also, a lot of this story sounds like nonsense. Why isn’t Congress issuing subpoenas for CIA employees, if they’re begging to testify? My guess is that aside from the details of what happened and the operation as a whole, there is virtually nothing that would make Obama look bad.

    It’s just easier to pretend that there’s a beetle in the box. The right falls for it every time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  31. anjin-san says:

    the CIA wants to keep their operations in Benghazi a secret? Why?

    Why would the CIA want to keep something secret? hmmmm

    Dude, you have not only jumped the shark, you have jumped every shark in existence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  32. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    I suspect the MSM knew the truth to but lied to public to once again carry water for the administration.

    Of course you do, Jack…..

    I bet you also want people to take you seriously. Well, hate to break it to you, but you gotta do better than that, bud.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  33. JohnMcC says:

    If I understand this jumble of statements correctly, Congressman Wolf is saying that the CIA is refusing to allow its employees to testify before a select committee. The CIA maintains that every one of their people has had the opportunity to testify.

    There are two interpretations. One is that either the CIA or Congressman Wolf is lying (or both of them are). The other is that the CIA testified to someone else (the Intelligence Committee?) and that Mr Wolf wants them to talk to him.

    Now, looking at the wolf-dot-house-dot-gov website I find that Mr Wolf is making the claim that the CIA is refusing to let its people testify to CONGRESS. “The CIA says that agency ‘employees are always free to speak to Congress if they want'”, he says. “However the reported monthly polygraphs clearly contradict these assertions.”

    Way back in the ’60s when I was a GI, there was no way that a commander could keep me from sending a letter to my congressman. Or to my mom who would call the congressman’s office. Or a dozen other ways to get a congressman’s attention. Even if the USAF was requiring monthly polygraphs.

    I conclude that Mr Wolf is lying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  34. stonetools says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    My guess is that aside from the details of what happened and the operation as a whole, there is virtually nothing that would make Obama look bad.

    BINGO. Everything the Republicans and their fellow travelers the conservative media have asked about BENGHAZI! has been focused, not at getting at the truth, but about making Obama look bad ( Just review Jack’s posts on this thread).

    Doug Mataconis has posted frequently on Benghazi, but he has never asked why the CIA were there or what they were doing. That’s been typical of all conservative commentary on BENGHAZI!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @mantis:

    Newsflash: secret spy agency prefers its secret operations remain secret.

    Damn! I’m going to let Darrell Issa know of this right away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  36. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    I suspect the MSM knew the truth to but lied to public to once again carry water for the administration.

    LOL!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  37. stonetools says:

    @JohnMcC:

    The proof of the pudding will be whether Congressman Wolf asks that these employees be subpoenaed to testify. If he doesn’t , that’s the smoking gun that proves he is lying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  38. Jeremy R says:

    @James:

    One of my former Congressmen is looking into it:

    Your former congresssman kind of gives the game away:

    “I think it is a form of a cover-up, and I think it’s an attempt to push it under the rug, and I think the American people are feeling the same way,” said the Republican.

    “We should have the people who were on the scene come in, testify under oath, do it publicly, and lay it out. And there really isn’t any national security issue involved with regards to that,” he said.

    Wolf has repeatedly gone to the House floor, asking for a select committee to be set-up, a Watergate-style probe …

    So he isn’t after some sort of clarifying, additional background briefing on CIA activities, as he apparently already knows enough to state there’s nothing national security related involved. Instead he wants a bit of public theater and a perhaps a gateway for another go at kicking up dust at the State Dept and the Admin.

    As to the sources for this article, I’d be shocked if they’re not the same ones for many of the previous Benghazi stories across the media. House Republicans and staffers leaking cherrypicked/partial e-mails, snippets from background briefings, paraphrased recountings of statements, etc, with the intent to create the suggestion of scandal which then creates the media space for their on-the-record, conspiratorial accusations. The number of CIA at the annex, the number wounded, etc, is exactly the sort of baseline stats you’d expect they’d have received in their numerous, previous classified briefings.

    See also “Groundswell”:

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/07/groundswell-secret-tape-boehner-issa-benghazi

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  39. James Pearce says:

    @stonetools:

    Doug Mataconis has posted frequently on Benghazi, but he has never asked why the CIA were there or what they were doing.

    If I remember correctly, most of Doug’s posts in the immediate aftermath were split between cries of “The narrative is changing” and those exploring the first amendment rights of a convicted conman who was violating the conditions of his parole.

    I’m sure he feels appropriately embarrassed by that now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  40. Dazedandconfused says:

    Jeff Zucker was given the reins at CNN to serve the interest of the stockholders better than they had been.

    Poaching some of FOX’s action is perhaps the most obvious move. FOX’s business model and methods are proven ones. Perhaps, after the place is on it’s feet, Jeff will have the luxury to experiment with journalism again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. michael reynolds says:

    Are we hearing demands from the chairmen/women or ranking members of the House and Senate Intel committees? They matter. Some random House member on a mission to appease the Tinfoil Teapot Brigade does not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  42. beth says:

    @al-Ameda: And again I ask – what exactly were they covering up for the administration? That it was a terrorist attack? I think most people realized that right away even if they thought it was brought on by the video. I never thought good, upstanding Libyan citizens were doing the attacking. Personally, I consider anyone who attacks and kills our citizens for political/religious reasons to be terrorists, no matter the catalyst. Obama himself referred to it as a terrorist attack soon afterwards and way before the election. So what exactly were they covering up? I don’t think the media knew about all the CIA personnel at that point did they?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  43. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But to the topic at hand… the CIA wants to keep their operations in Benghazi a secret? Why? The bad guys already know all about ti — they attacked it. The only ones ignorant now are the American people.

    Umm…I know the CIA is headquartered at Langley, Virginia, but just because I know what building they’re in doesn’t mean I actually have any clue about what they actually do there. Similarly, in Benghazi our opponents may have known there were CIA agents using a building, but that doesn’t mean they knew what they actually did in that building.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  44. jukeboxgrad says:

    jack:

    Charlene Lamb

    I addressed her statement a long time ago. Link.

    Claiming that a reporter was uncertain of the caused

    Daniel Pipes is not just some “reporter.” He’s arguably the #1 conservative Mideast analyst. That’s why he was covering this story for NR on 9/12/12 instead of someone else. And it’s quite disingenuous of you to claim he was “uncertain.” On the contrary. He said flatly that the video was to blame for Benghazi. Period. And Occam’s Razor said he made that statement for this reason: because there are plenty of reasons to believe the video was to blame. Aside from what Pipes said, there’s a pile of evidence linking Benghazi and the video. That evidence includes what the interior minister said, and what the AAS spokesman said, and what Nordstrom said, and what “the fighters said at the time.” Link.

    I suspect the MSM knew the truth to but lied to public to once again carry water for the administration.

    NR “lied to public to once again carry water for the administration?” Hilarious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  45. al-Ameda says:

    @beth:

    @al-Ameda: And again I ask – what exactly were they covering up for the administration? That it was a terrorist attack? I think most people realized that right away even if they thought it was brought on by the video. I never thought good, upstanding Libyan citizens were doing the attacking. Personally, I consider anyone who attacks and kills our citizens for political/religious reasons to be terrorists, no matter the catalyst. Obama himself referred to it as a terrorist attack soon afterwards and way before the election. So what exactly were they covering up? I don’t think the media knew about all the CIA personnel at that point did they?

    Beth, you do realize that I’m snarking at all of these conservative conspiracists, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. beth says:

    @al-Ameda: Yeah, I know. I just thought that if indeed there was a reasonable answer to consider, I had a better chance of getting it from you than from one of the conspiracists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  47. Dazedandconfused says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I don’t think Issa wants anymore hearings, so FOX is letting it ride.

    Pickering called him out after Issa called he and Mullen liars. He pretty much demanded he be allowed to testify in the next hearing of the Oversight Committee. However, brave, brave Sir Issa, knowing Pickering is an accomplished master in the fine art of publicly humiliating jackasses and pantsing clowns, has dared to meet him only in “classified” hearings from that point on.

    He knows that if he holds another public hearing to “get to the bottom” of this, he doesn’t have an excuse not to include them. The Dems will spend a great deal of time asking whatever witness is in front of them to ponder where Pickering and Mullen are, should he neglect to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  48. al-Ameda says:

    @beth:

    Yeah, I know. I just thought that if indeed there was a reasonable answer to consider, I had a better chance of getting it from you than from one of the conspiracists.

    I actually do believe that the administration was reticent to fully explain the chaotic events at Benghazi because of the CIA presence in Libya in Benghazi.. Beyond that I do not believe, based on testimony to a select committee a few months ago, that it was feasible to rescue the American foreign service staff as events unfolded.

    That said, let the conspiracists continue their hunt for impeachable offenses (which for Republicans is anything they want it to be.)

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  49. Eric Florack says:

    so let’s make sure we understand the position being taken here.
    the most transparent administration in history gets caught witty its pants down in Benghazzi, they coldly allow four of our people to die… and the liberals in the room… the ones complaining about Bush’s supposed secrecy…are just fine with this because governments need to keep secrets.
    Got it.

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  50. jukeboxgrad says:

    they coldly allow four of our people to die

    Link:

    Around 12:30 a.m. (6:30 p.m. ET): A six-man security team, including two Defense Dept. personnel, leave Embassy Tripoli for Benghazi.

    I guess you didn’t know.

    20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing. As Gates said, a lot of people have “a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces.” The only mystery is why Bush hired Gates to run DoD instead of you.

    And speaking of ‘allow people to die,’ some people still remember this (link):

    On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden … the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it. The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. … the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real. … On July 24, Mr. Bush was notified that the attack was still being readied …

    But he was never told the exact flight numbers and seat numbers, so what could he do? Might as well head to Crawford and fire up the weedwacker. No need to call any meetings to discuss certain simple measures that could be taken, like locking cockpit doors.

    And the party that had no problem with this is now hysterical about Benghazi? Amazing. And the GOP wonders why it has no credibility.

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  51. C. Clavin says:

    the most transparent administration in history gets caught witty its pants down in Benghazzi, they coldly allow four of our people to die… and the liberals in the room… the ones complaining about Bush’s supposed secrecy…are just fine with this because governments need to keep secrets

    Coming from someone who thinks that Cheney and Scooter outing a Covert Operative was OK-Fine…your comment is not surprising.
    Now if you actually liked America and its security…then your comment would be shocking.

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  52. anjin-san says:

    @ jukeboxgrad

    Clearly you don’t understand how the right views 9.11

    A. Nothing could have stopped 9.11. It was fated to happen, baked in from the moment of the big bang. Bush is in no way accountable.

    B. No one ever dreamed that aircraft could be used as a weapon in that manner. Not even Tom Clancy, who damn near everyone in DC was reading back then when he foresaw exactly that (a 747 being flown in the capitol building) in his bestseller, “Debt of Honor.”

    C. If anyone is to blame for 9.11, it is Clinton.

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  53. jukeboxgrad says:

    No one ever dreamed that aircraft could be used as a weapon in that manner

    Yup. Rice famously said this:

    I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile

    There’s plenty of proof that this statement is false. Link, link.

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  54. anjin-san says:

    Let’s look at how Benghazi looks from the perspective of a Florack/Jenos

    Obama watched the whole thing live from the situation room. Ambassador Stevens was begging for help. Obama was distracted, busy texting Jay Z (who he affectionately refers to as “mah ni**er) about plans for his next three vacations. When others in the room told Obama our people could easily be saved with quick action, Obama forbad it, saying “f**k those crackers.”

    Obama proceeded to go to bed, where he slept soundly indeed.

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  55. jukeboxgrad says:

    You forgot to mention choom.

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  56. anjin-san says:

    choom

    It’s not funny. If Obama would put the bong down, unemployment would be at 2%. Jenos is a heroic whistleblower, and now the Obama goon squad is after him.

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  57. bill says:

    so a few dozen armed operatives might have been in the ‘hood- what could they have done aside from “stand down’?

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  58. jukeboxgrad says:

    Maybe create a situation with a much higher number of American casualties, so the GOP could whine even louder?

    One more time: as Gates said, a lot of people have “a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces.” The only mystery is why Bush hired Gates to run DoD instead of you.

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  59. anjin-san says:

    @ jukeboxgrad

    bill has seen all the Rambo movies AND all the Missing in Action movies, AND all the GI Joe movies.

    The man has been there and done that. Show some respect.

    @ bill

    in the ‘hood

    Ah, “in the ‘hood” – and Obama is black! That’s really clever. You should get a cookie.

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  60. James Pearce says:

    @bill:

    so a few dozen armed operatives might have been in the ‘hood- what could they have done aside from “stand down’?

    Well, there was only one Iron Man suit.

    What did you want them to do?

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  61. bill says:

    @anjin-san: most of the rambo’s, none of the others! and obama’s half white, i can critique that half with no lame racial bs. not like the ‘hood in libya has anything over our ‘hoods!

    @James Pearce: it’s a rhetorical question, they weren’t supposed to do anything as nothing happened and this story should have died long ago but now this rightwing cnn guy got the ball rolling again and and and………oh, back to the pool.

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  62. pylon says:

    @Rafer Janders: Not only what they did, but who they employed

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