• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

New Documents Indicate Security Fears At Benghazi Prior To Attack

Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa have a piece over at Foreign Policy that sheds new light on the events leading up to the September 11th attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, including the fact that Ambassador Stevens and others were expressing concerns about the lack of security at the facility in the lead up to the attacks:

 BENGHAZI, Libya — More than six weeks after the shocking assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi — and nearly a month after an FBI team arrived to collect evidence about the attack – the battle-scarred, fire-damaged compound where Ambassador Chris Stevens and another Foreign Service officer lost their lives on Sept. 11 still holds sensitive documents and other relics of that traumatic final day, including drafts of two letters worrying that the compound was under “troubling” surveillance and complaining that the Libyan government failed to fulfill requests for additional security.

When we visited on Oct. 26 to prepare a story for Dubai based Al Aan TV, we found not only Stevens’s personal copy of the Aug. 6 New Yorker, lying on remnants of the bed in the safe room where Stevens spent his final hours, but several ash-strewn documents beneath rubble in the looted Tactical Operations Center, one of the four main buildings of the partially destroyed compound. Some of the documents — such as an email from Stevens to his political officer in Benghazi and a flight itinerary sent to Sean Smith, a U.S. diplomat slain in the attack — are clearly marked as State Department correspondence. Others are unsigned printouts of messages to local and national Libyan authorities. The two unsigned draft letters are both dated Sept. 11 and express strong fears about the security situation at the compound on what would turn out to be a tragic day. They also indicate that Stevens and his team had officially requested additional security at the Benghazi compound for his visit — and that they apparently did not feel it was being provided.

One letter, written on Sept. 11 and addressed to Mohamed Obeidi, the head of the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ office in Benghazi, reads:

“Finally, early this morning at 0643, September 11, 2012, one of our diligent guards made a troubling report. Near our main gate, a member of the police force was seen in the upper level of a building across from our compound. It is reported that this person was photographing the inside of the U.S. special mission and furthermore that this person was part of the police unit sent to protect the mission. The police car stationed where this event occurred was number 322.”

The account accords with a message written by Smith, the IT officer who was killed in the assault, on a gaming forum on Sept. 11. “Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures,” he wrote hours before the assault.

(…)

The document also suggests that the U.S. consulate had asked Libyan authorities on Sept. 9 for extra security measures in preparation for Stevens’ visit, but that the Libyans had failed to provide promised support.

“On Sunday, September 9, 2012, the U.S. mission requested additional police support at our compound for the duration of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens’ visit. We requested daily, twenty-four hour police protection at the front and rear of the U.S. mission as well as a roving patrol. In addition we requested the services of a police explosive detection dog,” the letter reads.

“We were given assurances from the highest authorities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that all due support would be provided for Ambassador Stevens’ visit to Benghazi. However, we are saddened to report that we have only received an occasional police presence at our main gate. Many hours pass when we have no police support at all.”

The letter concludes with a request to the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to look into the incident of the policeman conducting surveillance, and the absence of requested security measures. “We submit this report to you with the hopes that an official inquiry can be made into this incident and that the U.S. Mission may receive the requested police support,” the letter reads.

(…)

The concerns about police surveillance exhibited in the letters to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Benghazi police chief cast further doubt on early reports that a spontaneous protest was to blame for the attack on the U.S. consulate — reports that the State Department has disavowed. They also appear to contradict an Oct. 9 State Department briefing on the consulate attack, during which a senior State Department official claimed that there had been no security incidents at the consulate that day. “Everything is calm at 8:30 p.m,” the official said. “There’s nothing unusual. There has been nothing unusual during the day at all outside.”

Perhaps the most amazing thing, though, is that these journalists were able to both gain access to the Consulate sight, which has apparently been abandoned for the time being, and that they were able to find the documents despite the fact that the FBI had supposedly already been there. Why were these documents, and presumably others, left behind? Would it not have been standard practice to collect everything there to make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands?  More importantly, why is it taking foreign journalists writing for Foreign Policy to find this information?

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Moderate Mom says:

    The Obama Administration is hoping and praying that ABC, NBC, CBS, The Washington Post and The New York Times will continue to embargo this story until after Tuesday. So far, it looks like they are getting their wish.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

  2. Just Me says:

    Because Obama wants the Benghazi story to go away.

    I am curious how the FBI only spent 3 hours on the scene in their investigation. Maybe its taking 7 weeks to find answers because the FBI didn’t actually spend much time investigating.

    http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/benghazi-blunder-obama-unworthy-commander-in-chief-176736441.html

    Pretty much summarizes my feelings on Obama and Benghazi. At this point if Obama’s mouth is moving regarding this issue my assumption is he is lying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

  3. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    To quote professional hate-monger michael reynolds:

    Here’s a clue: people who know anything at all about foreign policy in general and the ME in particular don’t give a fwck about Benghazi. They care more about Bahrain than Benghazi. And they should. Can “JKB” explain why Bahrain matters? Nah. But if Bahrain became a way to attack Obama, then he’d suddenly be an expert. And he would suddenly care deeply. Just as soon as Roger Ailes ‘splained it to him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  4. Drew says:

    Damning information about Government action, or inaction, re Benghazi garners three comments. Bizarre claims that Ronmey indiscriminately lays off people can have 100plus threads.

    What a sad state of affairs at OTB.

    When does Reynolds label the journalists racist?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

  5. Just Me says:

    And another huge screw up by our President and his appointees.

    The administrations story has smelled since the morning after 9-11 and now we see even more incompetence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  6. Dazedandconfused says:

    Not much doubt that if we had Mitt as President, no one would dare attack us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  7. Just Me says:

    What exactly does Mitt have to do with the fact that this administration failed the consulate and CIA staff at the consulate?

    HIllary screwed up and the president failed to follow protocol.

    That doesn’t include the 2 to 3 weeks of outright lies blaming this on a movie.

    Or the fact that the FBI didn’t arrive for 3 weeks and spent all of 3 hours in the consulate collecting evidence and leaving evidence behind for other reporters to find.

    Makes me wonder what secure documents left that building before the US could be bothered to show up and investigate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  8. Herb says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    “The Obama Administration is hoping and praying that ABC, NBC, CBS, The Washington Post and The New York Times will continue to embargo this story “

    What evidence do you have that these independent profit-seeking corporations are conspiring with the Obama administration to “embargo this story?”

    And I noticed Drew is complaining that Benghazi threads only attract the nuts….

    There’s a reason for that. The conspiracy theories and the finger-pointing have limited appeal. You guys are so eager to blame Obama that you’re not even interested in getting the details right.

    Take this:

    What exactly does Mitt have to do with the fact that this administration failed the consulate and CIA staff at the consulate?

    Did you even read the story?

    “We were given assurances from the highest authorities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that all due support would be provided for Ambassador Stevens’ visit to Benghazi. However, we are saddened to report that we have only received an occasional police presence at our main gate. Many hours pass when we have no police support at all.”

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Are you under the impression that Obama’s administration has a “Ministry of Foreign Affairs” or something?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  9. Just Me says:

    Herb I am assuming you didn’t read the story.

    Did you follow either of the links I posted?

    As for the MSM lid on this story-it is starting to open-one of those links-and a very damning one is from CBS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  10. G.A. says:

    Someone forgot to burn them or someone left them there on purpose…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  11. Scott O says:

    @Just Me:
    What does the Counterterrorism Security Group do? I found this:

    “ interagency body convened on a regular basis to develop terrorism prevention policy and to coordinate threat response and law enforcement investigations associated with terrorism. This group evaluates various policy issues of interagency importance regarding counterterrorism and makes recommendations to senior levels of the policymaking structure for decision.[1] ”

    That sounds more like a planning committee. Is it a group that would normally be called together to respond to an attack in progress?

    So far I’ve heard a lot of speculation, conspiracy theories and a lot of 20-20 hindsight about what should have been done concerning Benghazi but no evidence of any wrong doing on anyone’s part.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  12. Herb says:

    @Just Me:

    Did you follow either of the links I posted?

    Yes, and the first one especially makes me think you’re more interested in pimping Romney than finding out what happened at Benghazi. Especially since it concludes with this:

    Mitt Romney is moral, capable and responsible man. Just this once, it’s time to hold Barack Obama to his word. Maybe we can all do something about that, come Tuesday.

    Also…..”As for the MSM lid on this story….”

    Convince me there is a lid on this story. The MSM has been all over this story from the get-go, with confusing results. (Indeed, you conspiracy theorists should thank the MSM for that confusion instead of complaining about it. Your sad little theories depend on that confusion.)

    And hate to say it….but I have seen NOTHING at all that indicates the president deserves the proper blame for the Benghazi attacks.

    What I have seen, however, is a bunch of anti-Obama types twisting themselves into knots trying to convince themselves that there’s something out there that will prove Obama’s culpability once and for all, and the reason we haven’t seen it is the MSM is keeping a lid on the story.

    And, hey, I’m glad there are a lot of people who find that not just plausible but convincing, but I’m not convinced and I don’t think that’s very plausible either.

    Seriously….”ABC, NBC, CBS, The Washington Post and The New York Times” keeping a lid on the TRUE Obama-killing story? Just like Roswell, man….Just like Roswell.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  13. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: What evidence do you have that these independent profit-seeking corporations are conspiring with the Obama administration to “embargo this story?”

    And I noticed Drew is complaining that Benghazi threads only attract the nuts….

    There’s a reason for that. The conspiracy theories and the finger-pointing have limited appeal. You guys are so eager to blame Obama that you’re not even interested in getting the details right.

    No one talked about conspiracies but you — the long-standing silence of the “mainstream media” sources is self-evident.

    And “gettign the details right?” Like how this was just yet another random homicidal Muslim mob incensed over a YouTube video? That story was KNOWN to be BS by the Obama administration literally within hours — but they pushed it for TWO WEEKS.

    I used to think that Obama was, at his core, enough of a decent human being that he wouldn’t do something like this — but I should have realized something: corpses tend not to complain when they’re thrown under the bus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  14. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “No one talked about conspiracies but you — the long-standing silence of the “mainstream media” sources is self-evident. “

    No one? Look above, dude. The conspirators were mentioned by name, and not by me.

    the long-standing silence of the “mainstream media” sources is self-evident.

    Bull. Everything you know about this story is coming from “mainstream media” sources. Long-standing silence? It’s been in the news daily for nearly two months. Where you been?

    That story was KNOWN to be BS by the Obama administration literally within hours — but they pushed it for TWO WEEKS.

    Oh god….not this again…..

    Let’s go ahead and deny the CIA was involved here. Why not? It’s easier…

    Fact is, we don’t need to concoct conspiracy theories about Evil Obama to accept the clandestine involvement of the CIA as an explanation for the various “inconsistencies” in the story.

    From a recent Washington Post story. (Yeah, I know….they’re in on it….but you should read it anyway):

    “[US Intelligence Officials] said talking points for members of Congress and senior administration officials did not discuss possible links between the attackers and al-Qaeda because the information was classified.”

    You know what that means, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: Here’s one theory behind the whole obscene mess that 1) doesn’t involve any conspiracies, and 2) makes a bit of sense.

    Obama’s told about the attack pretty much as it happens. He’s told that the people under attack are begging for help, but there are major political risks involved if he unleashes the US military to defend our people. Obama does what he tends to do in such situations — puts off a decision and goes off to bed (he needs his rest before the big fundraiser in Vegas). He’s hoping his underlings will make the tough decision for him.

    The aides look at each other and say, collectively, “screw this. If he won’t stick his neck out, we sure as hell won’t” and do nothing.

    So the military and the CIA, with absolutely no guidance from the top, are NOT going to stick their necks out, either, and order/authorize support for the Americans under attack. So nobody does anything.

    And four Americans are killed. Including our Ambassador and two ex-SEAL CIA operatives who did stick their necks out, did act without authorization, and charged into the fight to save besieged Americans.

    As far as getting the stories on this atrocity… I haven’t got ANYTHING from ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, or any of the other traditional media — just Fox News and blogs, for the most part. Those worthies have found other stories far more important — and also helped parrot the lie that this wasn’t a terrorist attack, but yet another homicidal riot by indignant Muslims over some trivial “insult to their Prophet.” (Ho-hum. Nothing new here.)

    Conspiracy? Not needed. Just being true to their nature. Obama and crew lie, and they nod and accept it.

    Drink all the Kool-Ade you want. Just don’t try to force it down our throats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: From your link, the very first thing that jumped out at me:

    <i.By Greg Miller, Published: November 1

    Seven weeks of relative silence. The conspiracy of silence is crumbling. Obama tried to keep it quiet, postponing the investigations until after the elections, but now it’s all coming out. (I especially appreciated his saying, essentially, that he needed a thorough investigation to find out just what he knew, and when he knew it.)

    At what point should Fox News apologize for presenting so much of this story before it was approved for release? For committing such blatant acts of journalism?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  17. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “As far as getting the stories on this atrocity… I haven’t got ANYTHING from ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, or any of the other traditional media — just Fox News and blogs, for the most part.”

    If you have found nothing on this story in any of those outlets, I have to doubt that you were even looking.

    Here’s a story Dana Millbank filed with the Post a month ago that contains mention of the CIA’s involvement.

    Republicans were aiming to embarrass the Obama administration over State Department security lapses. But they inadvertently caused a different picture to emerge than the one that has been publicly known: that the victims may have been let down not by the State Department but by the CIA. If the CIA was playing such a major role in these events, which was the unmistakable impression left by Wednesday’s hearing, having a televised probe of the matter was absurd.

    Also, this:

    That the Benghazi compound had included a large CIA presence had been reported but not confirmed. The New York Times, for example, had reported that among those evacuated were “about a dozen CIA operatives and contractors.” The paper, like The Washington Post, withheld locations and details of the facilities at the administration’s request.

    Like I said….the media –including your hated outlets– have been all over this story.

    Fox News has apparently led you astray. Again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  18. Just Me says:

    The media has not been all over this story.

    I am willing to bet there are probably more stories about Mitt Romney’s dog and hair cutting incident than stories trying to get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi.

    And I can honestly say I don’t particularly think there is a conspiracy here-I think Obam was simply indifferent to what was happening and was thinking campaign optics if things went wrong.

    The fact that the administration lied for 2 weeks is pretty big indicator that whatever happened in Benghazi was something they wanted to keep a lid on until after the election.

    The press mostly is the fawning press it has been with regards to this president. They rarely hold his feet to the fire over anything. And please don’t try to convince me that if this had been McCain or Bush in office this same story happened with the same fact that the press would have taken a giant, collective yawn for weeks.

    If this had been Bush it would have been front page news every day until there were answers. Bush couldn’t have walked out of his house without a reporter yelling a question, and he would have been hounded.

    The Fox news story was released last Friday and of the 5 Sunday Morning talk shows-only 1 actually brought up Benghazi. Are you saying if this had been Bush that 4 out of 5 Sunday Morning talk shows would have taken a pass on the story?

    I really don’t think it is a media conspiracy, I just think it is the media doing what it mostly does-letting Obama say whatever the hell he wants and moving on without even questioning the veracity of what he ic saying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  19. Herb says:

    @Just Me:

    “I am willing to bet there are probably more stories about Mitt Romney’s dog and hair cutting incident than stories trying to get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi.”

    Okay….prove it.

    You have the Google, right? Because I bet you can look at any of these outlets and find at least a story a day.

    The fact that the administration lied for 2 weeks is pretty big indicator that whatever happened in Benghazi was something they wanted to keep a lid on until after the election.

    Well, they wanted to keep a lid on it, that’s true….for national security reasons. I guess you’re confused about what “classified” means too, huh?

    And please don’t try to convince me that if this had been McCain or Bush in office this same story happened with the same fact that the press would have taken a giant, collective yawn for weeks.

    Oh no….won’t try that. I will say that if McCain or Bush had been in office, you guys would be WAY more understanding of the national security angle.

    But you’re partisans, taking cues from Mitt Romney’s embarrassing “the president did it” press conference. The results speak for themselves….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  20. Scott O says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Here’s one theory behind the whole obscene mess that 1) doesn’t involve any conspiracies, and 2) makes a bit of sense.

    You’re right, that’s not a conspiracy theory. That’s speculation.

    @Just Me:

    I think Obam was simply indifferent to what was happening and was thinking campaign optics if things went wrong.

    Another fine example of speculation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  21. george says:

    @Herb:

    @Just Me:

    “I am willing to bet there are probably more stories about Mitt Romney’s dog and hair cutting incident than stories trying to get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi.”

    Okay….prove it.

    You have the Google, right? Because I bet you can look at any of these outlets and find at least a story a day.

    That’s a pretty fair request – it should be pretty easy to determine if there are more stories about Romney’s dog and hair cutting than what happened in Benghazi. The claims have been made, lets see the data.

    My guess is that there are more on Benghazi.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  22. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Scott O: That’s speculation…. Another fine example of speculation.

    Maybe, if the Obama administration hadn’t spent two weeks lying about Benghazi and the rest of the time covering up, we wouldn’t have to speculate.

    Tell us more about the YouTube-crazed Muslim mob… that one never gets old.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @george: “I am willing to bet there are probably more stories about Mitt Romney’s dog and hair cutting incident than stories trying to get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi.”

    Okay….prove it.

    You have the Google, right? Because I bet you can look at any of these outlets and find at least a story a day.

    That. Is. An. Utterly. Pointless. Contention.

    The original statement was a slightly hyperbolic declaration that the Benghazi story has been grossly underreported, to the point where it can fairly be said that the media in question is complicit in the coverup of the story. The precise numbers of stories are irrelevant.
    The Times ran the Abu Ghraib story on the front page for 30+ days.

    The Valerie Plame non-story was big news for months.

    But this story? No big deal. Let’s pretend it didn’t happen.

    michael reynolds summed it up perfectly. He was just more honest about it.

    I have to give him credit: he’s a vile, disgusting hate-monger, but he expresses his hate very well, and he doesn’t hide it or cover it up or pretend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  24. Just Me says:

    Well, they wanted to keep a lid on it, that’s true….for national security reasons. I guess you’re confused about what “classified” means too, huh?

    Um if for national security reasons you want to keep a lid on it-you say something like “We are currently investigating what happened, and don’t want to compromise X, by discussing this further” you do not go on national TV and send your surrogate to lie about it being a movie-and giving speeches at the UN about the evils of the movie.

    This is just an attempt to obfuscate the lie-Obama knew from the beginning that it was a terrorist attack-the movie excuse was a lie he hoped would stick.

    That’s a pretty fair request – it should be pretty easy to determine if there are more stories about Romney’s dog and hair cutting than what happened in Benghazi. The claims have been made, lets see the data.

    Did a search at the New York Times (Google is too cumbersome with hits). Looked for these key words for the last 12 months.

    Benghazi attack gets 1,260 results
    Romney bullying gets 675 results
    Romney dog gets 4,930 results

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  25. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Just Me: I refined your search to just from September 2012.

    Benghazi attack: 678
    Romney bullying: 113
    Romney dog: 1,090

    And just for giggles:
    Fast Furious: 214

    But that, as I said, is totally irrelevant. What is relevant is that the Obama administration spent two weeks pushing the story that the attack was a riot in response to a stupid YouTube movie, when they knew that was not true almost from the outset. They had video of the attacks that showed no mobs.

    And most of the media (and all of the Obama sheep here) all nodded and bleated and blindly accepted the bullshit story, and attacked those who didn’t drink the Kook-Aid. Well done, sheep.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  26. Just Me says:

    And I think the lie is what bothers me.

    It is clear that Obama knew this wasn’t about a movie.

    Yet he told the electorate, the UN and various reporters and TV talk shows either himself or through surrogates for 2 weeks that it was about a movie.

    I remember reading on 9-12 a report out of Libya (yes the Libyans were more truthful to the American people than our own president) that it was a planned terrorist attack.

    I knew it was a lie, but our media decided to go with the movie lie and at the same time attack Romney for his gaffe over the Cairo embassy statements and he was right in his opinion.

    Obama lied to hide why people died. He lied-and he did so knowing he was lying. He lied at the flipping UN in front of other country’s representatives, but nobody seems to care about that.

    The media appears to finally be picking up the story and asking more questions, but then I think Obama’s goal with the lie was to try to keep a lid on the story until after election day. The media has all but cooperated with that goal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  27. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I’d like to step aside from the topic for a moment and — in all sincerity — express my appreciation and respect for Herb, Scott O, and george for actually commenting on this thread. Gentlemen, you demonstrated more courage and character than most of the Usual Gang Of Idiots who are really trying to pretend this never happened.

    You can tell those chickenshits are reading this — look at the thumbs-up/thumbs-down tallies — but they have nothing to contribute, and they know it. But they’re watching. wr, mantis, michael reynolds, anjin-san, Interested, Juke… why don’t you take a turn at defending the indefensible?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  28. Herb says:

    @Just Me: “Benghazi attack gets 1,260 results
    Romney bullying gets 675 results
    Romney dog gets 4,930 results”

    Commendation for doing the work. I would have chosen more targeted search terms, though. Instead of “Romney bullying” maybe “Romney John Lauber.” And instead of “Romney dog,” substituting “Romney Seamus.”

    It’s likely the searches with the verbs will include a bunch of article that have absolutely nothing to do with Seamus or John Lauber.

    As for the rest of the stuff……we have to reach some kind of accord on this. What about the CIA?

    Neither you nor Jenos seem ready to discuss the implications of clandestine CIA involvement in the Benghazi attacks, nor how that could impact how the story was discussed in the media.

    You’re stuck on “I think Obama’s goal with the lie was to try to keep a lid on the story until after election day.” If that was the intent, it was a failure. Benghazi hasn’t been out of the headlines since it occurred.

    And there are other, better explanations for why the story was so confused. Me, I have no problem accepting the delicate dance between government transparency and national security secrecy.

    Remember, a significant number of those evacuated and some of those that were killed, were CIA operatives and contractors. What were they doing at the compound? Hanging out, having BBQs? Maybe….but I’m going to assume they were operating.

    Can you think of a reason why the president and his officials may not want to blow the lid off an intelligence operation in a talk show interview? I can think of several.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. Herb says:

    From a Nov 1 story in the NY Times, previously accused of embargoing all Benghazi stories until Nov 7 to help the president win re-election:

    The senior officials also shed new light on the C.I.A.’s role in Libya.

    Within months of the start of the Libyan revolution in February 2011, the agency began building a meaningful but covert presence in Benghazi, a locus of the rebel efforts to oust the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

    The C.I.A.’s surveillance targets in Benghazi and eastern Libya included Ansar al-Shariah, a militia that some have blamed for the attack on the mission, as well as suspected members of Al Qaeda’s affiliate in North Africa, known as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

    American intelligence operatives also helped State Department contractors and Libyan officials in tracking shoulder-fired missiles taken from the former Libyan Army arsenals, American officials said.

    I guess we don’t have to assume anymore, eh? The CIA were operating covertly in Benghazi.

    So are you guys sticking with the “Obama lied to win the election and the media covered for him” story? Or are you prepared to accept a more rational explanation, even if it cannot be used to hurt Obama’s electoral chances?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: Oh, Herb… not divulging classified information is one thing. Concocting a whole cover story out of whole cloth (“killed by yet another rampaging mob of Muslims driven psychotic by some ‘insult’ to their prophet”) and pushing it for two weeks, to the point of making this nobody in California a worldwide target of hate, arresting him, and apologizing at the UN for our freedom of speech is way, way, way beyond the pale.

    And half a cheer for the NYT. That story you cited — it’s been over seven weeks from the attack and assassination, and then they come out with it five days before the election. From my perspective, they tried to cover it up for the election, but couldn’t quite pull it off — it got too big for them to ignore. They no longer dominate the news coverage like they used to.

    And why won’t you address the two weeks of lying about the YouTube video and fictional (but all too plausible) mob that led to the Obama administration painting a huge “kill me” target on that stupid filmmaker wannabe?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  31. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Concocting a whole cover story out of whole cloth”

    Those were talking points prepared by the CIA and given to government officials, and the story was not concocted out of whole cloth. People were rioting over the video all over the Middle East.

    There is still a belief Cairo influenced the attack on Benghazi. From the above article:

    The senior intelligence official said the analysts’ judgment was based in part on monitoring of some of the Benghazi attackers, which showed they had been watching the Cairo protests live on television and talking about them before they assaulted the consulate.

    Do you deny the protests in Cairo were inspired by the video?

    You really need to read this, too:

    The U.S. effort in Benghazi was at its heart a CIA operation, according to officials briefed on the intelligence. Of the more than 30 American officials evacuated from Benghazi following the deadly assault, only seven worked for the State Department. Nearly all the rest worked for the CIA, under diplomatic cover, which was a principal purpose of the consulate, these officials said.

    This explains the ‘the two weeks of lying about the YouTube video.”

    The CIA was doing some CYA.

    And see…..here’s the thing. You could be mounting a critique of our secretive, unaccountable national security apparatus, but nah…..You’re just asking the wrong questions, looking under the wrong rock, so sure you are that Obama and the media “dunnit.”

    If you are unable to point fingers at the terrorist attackers and you insist on blaming someone in the US government, you’re going to have to blame the D/CIA.

    And he’s a war hero by the name of David Petraeus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: You don’t grasp a fundamental point that, sadly, has always evaded President Obama. It’s a lesson you both could stand to learn from Harry Truman.

    The Buck Stops Here.

    Obama appointed Petraeus. Obama appointed Susan Rice, who pushed the lie all over the place. Obama himself pushed the lie at the UN.

    Obama owns it.

    And as far as keeping the whole mess secret… why bother? Who are they keeping it secret from? The bad guys already knew it — they proved that when they assassinated Ambassador Stevens and killed those who were trying to save him. They knew all the details.

    Which the Obama administration was given plenty of warning about in advance. Which they knew about as it happened.

    And they did nothing to prevent or ameliorate it.

    But in the aftermath, they did all they could to cover their asses. More specifically, to cover Obama’s ass, throwing anyone and everyone under the bus to protect the man at the top from the political fallout of his own inaction.

    That ain’t how it’s supposed to happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  33. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The Buck Stops Here.

    Sorry, Jenos. I’m not part of the cohort that blames the president when terrorists attack us.

    Didn’t do it for Khobar Towers or the USS Cole. Didn’t do it in September of 2001. And I’m not starting now.

    The appropriate blame for what happened in Benghazi lies with the attackers. Period. End of story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  34. Just Me says:

    What about the CIA?

    The CIA last time I checked was part of the executive branch and was under Obama’s authority. He even gets to appoint the guy who heads it up.

    I don’t disregard the role the CIA played, however if you are going to tell me that on the day the Benghazi attack happened the CIA kept it hush hush from the president and the president had no clue what was going on, you aren’t helping your case.

    That just tells me Obama is once again indifferent to what is happening.

    I don’t for a single minute think Obama had no knowledge or limited knowledge of what was happening that day. It was over 7 hours from when it began to when it ended. Even if the fighting wasn’t constant for at least 5 of those hours our ambassador was missing.

    I am not sure what your point is about the CIA here. Is it your point that the CIA kept the planned attack secret? I don’t believe it-especially since I read the next day-September 12th-that the Libyan government was saying there wasn’t a riot over a movie and that it was a planned attack.

    So Obama should have known on 9-12 the right answer and if the CIA fed him the lie he told to the American people, the UN, The View, and had his representatives tell, then somebody at the CIA already should have been fired.

    I have already said I don’t necessarily attach malice to the decisions that happened that night-but every excuse made for what happened and the decisions after if they aren’t motivated by the desire to get past November 6th without it blowing up in their faces shows me this man is incompetent and/or indifferent.

    The counter-terrorism organization whose job it is to know where all assets are and coordinate them for these types of rescues wasn’t called in. They did not consult or ask this group to help coordinate.

    But no matter what you still can’t explain away that lie. Now you may not care that Obama lied, some people don’t. I do however. It bothers me a lot that he would spend two weeks feeding me pure BS and think I might still respect him or want to vote for him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  35. Herb says:

    @Just Me:

    “I am not sure what your point is about the CIA here.”

    The CIA operates in secret. Government officials are obligated to protect that secrecy. If they don’t, they go to jail. (Or get pardoned….)

    Why do you expect the president to get on TV and start disclosing classified material?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. Just Me says:

    Didn’t do it for Khobar Towers or the USS Cole. Didn’t do it in September of 2001. And I’m not starting now.

    I don’t remember my president lying to me about who made those attacks either.

    I will also once again state that the State Department failed miserably when it came to security for our ambassador. There is clear evidence that the ambassador felt threatened and asked for more security.

    While more security may not have prevented that attack it certainly may have helped. I also am not sure why this admin didn’t beef up security on 9-11-12 anyway. It isn’t as if that date has no special significance to Islamic extremists and the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  37. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: Funny how the media is far more cooperative with the goverment and its requests for secrecy under Democratic administrations. During the Bush administration, the New York Times identified by tail number aircraft the CIA used to transport high-ranking terrorist prisoners, and identified by name our most successful terrorist interrogators.

    But under Obama, a story that doesn’t really affect national security or the safety of individuals, but would be politically embarrassing? They’re falling all over themselves to give the Democrats cover.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  38. Herb says:

    @Just Me:

    I don’t remember my president lying to me about who made those attacks either.

    You don’t remember Obama lying to you either. Fox News is who’s lying to you.

    “I will also once again state that the State Department failed miserably when it came to security for our ambassador. There is clear evidence that the ambassador felt threatened and asked for more security.”

    Yeah, I’m not so sure about that…..it doesn’t appear the “consulate” (which is being reported to have been a CIA front) was under the purview of the State Department at all.

    There is clear evidence that the ambassador felt threatened and asked for more security.

    If you’re talking about the documents referenced in the post above, he asked for more security from the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also not under the purview of the State Department.

    Look…..I’m not going to discuss this with you if I have to walk behind you and sweep up all your errors. Get your facts straight….then we’ll talk.

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Funny how the media is far more cooperative with the goverment and its requests for secrecy under Democratic administrations.”

    Yeah, not so sure about that one either. It was CNN’s Arwa Damon who found Stevens’s diary and rather than handing it to the family or the government, reported out of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: A “consulate” is, by definition, controlled by the State Department. If the State Department doesn’t run it, then it isn’t a consulate. If it was a CIA front, then it was with the permission and cooperation of the State Department.

    And you seem to think that if you find a single example of the mainstream media talking about the story, then you’ve shattered the “media coverup” angle. No, you’re finding cracks in the wall. CNN did something. The New York Times, almost two months after the fact, did something.

    But they have not devoted a fraction of the coverage they did to similar stories under the Bush administration.

    Not that there were too many similar stories under the Bush administration, but stories in similar veins.

    Is the Obama Kool-Ade really that tasty?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  40. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “A “consulate” is, by definition, controlled by the State Department.”

    Dude…….

    This is why you need to stop watching Fox News…or at least cut it with reading a newspaper or two, maybe turning it to CNN, seeking out different points of view.

    The Wall Street Journalreports:

    The U.S. effort in Benghazi was at its heart a CIA operation, according to officials briefed on the intelligence. Of the more than 30 American officials evacuated from Benghazi following the deadly assault, only seven worked for the State Department. Nearly all the rest worked for the CIA, under diplomatic cover, which was a principal purpose of the consulate, these officials said.

    I don’t know how I can make that any clearer.

    And you know what’s sad? This is what’s sad. You and Just Me and a WHOLE lot of people (including Erick Erickson and Rudy Giuliani as seen on CNN this morning) are SOOOOOOOOO sure that Obama not only screwed up, but he lied about it, and the State Department did this and didn’t do that. You’re sure about it.

    And we find out yesterday that the 23 out of 30 “diplomats” at the “consulate” were actually CIA spies!

    Jumping to conclusions based on who you would prefer to blame….and it’s blowing up in your face.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: Do you even READ your own quotes?

    “seven worked for the State Department”

    “under diplomatic cover”

    The State Department provided the cover for the CIA — which means they put their name, their people, and their resources on the front. Including Ambassador Stevens.

    And, in the big picture, what difference does it really make? It was an official US facility, which we were warned was undersecured AND we were warned that terrorists were looking really hard at it. And the Obama administration did essentially nothing before the attack, essentially nothing during the attack, and frantically went into ass-covering mode after the attack.

    Sure, let’s give them four more years!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  42. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Is the Obama Kool-Ade really that tasty?”

    Oh, and for this….

    I already sent my vote in and yes, it was for the president. But I don’t just support the president. I support reality. I want to know the truth of what happened at Benghazi.

    I am less interested in collecting scalps or using the attacks to accomplish some other goal (say winning the election for Mitt Romney).

    Can you say the same?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  43. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Sure, let’s give them four more years!”

    I’m okay with that.

    If Mitt Romney wins, we’ll suffer some other attack. I fully expect you to blame him too.

    But I won’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  44. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: I was wondering if you’d go for the frivolous stuff as an excuse to not actually answer… and you did.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  45. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    ” I was wondering if you’d go for the frivolous stuff as an excuse to not actually answer… and you did.”

    Answer what? Of course I read my own quotes….I wrote them.

    Of course the Obama Kool-Aid tastes good. It’s grape-flavored.

    Oh, the “big picture” question?

    Big picture….the ultimate blame for the Benghazi attacks lie with the terrorists who committed it. Will you at least please concede that?

    Then we can talk about what the government can do to prevent a repeat occurrence. (And just for the record….”electing Mitt Romney” is an incomplete answer to the “how do we prevent a repeat occurrence?” question.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. Just Me says:

    Once again-the CIA works as part of the executive branch. So does the state department.

    Obama gets to appoint the people who head those organizations as president.

    Herb is your point here that the CIA was operating out of the consulate kept a secret from Obama? Are you trying to argue that Obama had no clue what was going on? Are you arguing that Obama can’t read press releases and statements from the Libyan government who said the attack was a planned one and not a protest for a movie?

    Are you really arguing that Obama was simply an innocent bystander and didn’t go on the view or to the UN to talk about a movie being to blame? Are you denying that Rice went to 5 Sunday talk shows with the movie story? I knew the day after that it wasn’t a movie-I saw links on several blogs to statements coming out of Libya that is was a planned terrorist attack.

    So if the cIA was running this super secret mission and was lying to Obama about it, why hasn’t anyone been fired?

    BTW I haven’t once said the CIA had nothing to do there-I am just not seeing how the mission of the CIA in Benghazi absolves Obama either of incompetence, indifference or both.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  47. Herb says:

    @Just Me:
    No
    No
    No
    No
    No
    And that last one is a hypothetical, so I don’t really have an answer.

    Next question.

    Oh, and the incompetence/indifference thing…are you sure it couldn’t be something else? Or are those the only two options?

    Because I see it a little differently. I don’t know what kind of operation the CIA were running or why Stevens was in the middle of it, but I do know the compound was attacked, we fought back and we were overrun. And we need to remember who the REAL bad guys are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  48. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: Big picture….the ultimate blame for the Benghazi attacks lie with the terrorists who committed it. Will you at least please concede that?

    My apologies; I forgot that that was no longer a given. Absolutely, the ultimate blame does lie with the terrorists.

    But the blame for not preventing or mitigating the attack lies with the people who are charged with just such things. And that all ends up back in the lap of Barack Obama.

    Obama, who’s blown off about half his National Security briefings since becoming president.

    And we’re learning more and more just how much could have been done to prevent or lessen the attack. The warnings as much as a month in advance that the Benghazi consulate was not secure, that the native guards were acting very suspiciously, that the terrorist groups in and around Benghazi were readying for a major operation, that the 9/11 anniversary holds great significance to the terrorists.

    We were given real-time reports of the attack as it happened. There were groups and forces in the area who could have intervened, or at least have tried. And they did nothing.

    And we have Leon Panetta — who I used to have a great deal of respect for — saying that we should never send the military into harm’s way when we don’t know exactly what’s going on. Mr. Secretary of Defense, that is the very purpose of the military. They train and plan and prepare for exactly such things — being sent into harm’s way with incomplete information. They do that because it is their duty to do so when American citizens and American interests are at stake.

    The message sent out by the Benghazi fiasco to those on the front lines is this: the Obama administration does not have your back, and will not return your loyalty and fidelity. Get in trouble, and you’re on your own.

    That is the most dangerous consequence of Obama’s “voting present” on the whole sorry mess.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  49. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: I don’t know what kind of operation the CIA were running or why Stevens was in the middle of it, but I do know the compound was attacked, we fought back and we were overrun. And we need to remember who the REAL bad guys are.

    “We” didn’t fight back.

    Two men who disobeyed orders and raced to the rescue fought back. They fought back in direct contravention of the stated policy of the Obama administration and its representatives.

    The Obama administration gets NO credit for the heroic actions of Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Their heroism was in the finest spirit of America — to ignore their orders and do what needed to be done.

    If they’d obeyed the orders from the Obama administration and their representatives, they’d still be alive. But so would, at rough estimate, 60+ terrorists who Woods and Doherty killed. And several Americans who fled under the cover Woods and Doherty provided would also be dead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  50. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “But the blame for not preventing or mitigating the attack lies with the people who are charged with just such things.”

    Yeah, I don’t know, man. This is kind of like those seismologists in Italy going to jail for the wrong prediction. I mean, we knew security in Libya was crap. That’s why we were there.

    the Obama administration does not have your back, and will not return your loyalty and fidelity. Get in trouble, and you’re on your own.

    Don’t know about this either, man. Seems like the Obama administration was willing to take a lot of heat to cover the fact that the consulate was a covert CIA operation. Okay, maybe not willing…but they did it anyway.

    Hillary Clinton “took responsibility” weeks ago remember?

    The Obama administration gets NO credit for the heroic actions of Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

    Huh? Credit? I’m not giving them credit for anything. I am just not assigning blame. See the difference?

    (You forgot the other two, by the way…who may not have picked up a weapon but sure as hell died for their country.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  51. Just Me says:

    Herb: This comment from the CBS article I linked to pretty much makes me vote that Obama was incompetent or indifferent:

    CBS News has learned that during the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Obama Administration did not convene its top interagency counterterrorism resource: the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG).

    “The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies,” a high-ranking government official told CBS News. “They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon.”

    A competent leader would have called on this group in this situation, but instead Obama took a pass. I would really like to know why Obama chose to not call in the group tasked with knowing who and what to send in situations like this.

    If Obama chose to not call this group in, it leads me to think he didn’t view this attack as all that serious-hence the indifferent.

    Also, keep in mind that this group is part of standard protocol in situations like this-back to incompetent.

    I mean really-I don’t care specifically what the CIA’s role was in Benghazi. It is the CIA-I am sure it was something that had some people getting their hands dirty. I just don’t see how it absolves Obama or his administration of any mistakes made-especially the failure to beef up security (sorry but beefing up security around 9-11 seems like a no brainer to me) when asked, and the failure to mobilize a rescue attempt-shoot to even send a plane with a bomb on it. Shoot to send in more than 8 operatives from Tripoli (and btw Tripoli is only about 80 miles closer than the base in Italy).

    Also, whoever told Fox News their information is standing by their story-I have already been lied to once by this administration (“Look video!”) so color me not believing too much of what comes out of it officially now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  52. Herb says:

    @Just Me:

    “A competent leader would have called on this group in this situation,”

    Yeah, I don’t really find this a very convincing argument. The whole thing is full of woulda coulda shouldas. This “call a meeting with the CSG” thing is one of them.

    I just don’t see how it absolves Obama or his administration of any mistakes made

    Absolve? I don’t think we have enough information on this to absolve or condemn the Obama administration just yet…

    shoot to even send a plane with a bomb on it.

    Why not? Works in the movies…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  53. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: I don’t think we have enough information on this to absolve or condemn the Obama administration just yet…

    We have four dead Americans who were killed in a place where we had several very credible reports of inadequate security and serious threats. We also had two weeks of Obama administration officials blatantly lying about what they knew and when, putting the blame on this stupid schmuck in California who put up a YouTube video hardly anyone watched beforehand.

    What the hell more do you need to know to conclude that someone majorly screwed up?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  54. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “What the hell more do you need to know to conclude that someone majorly screwed up?”

    More information.

    You can’t point to the inadequate security and serious threats because that’s why the CIA was running an intelligence operation at the fake consulate in the first place.

    The “blatantly lying” can be explained by the classified nature of the CIA operation.

    So in order for me to say that someone in the US government screwed up when the terrorists attacked us, I need more information. Period.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  55. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: You are such a good little drone. You deserve a cookie.

    We know that the people on the ground there knew their security was woefully inadequate.

    We know that the terrorists in and around Benghazi were ramping up to a very big event on or around 9/11.

    We know that there were plenty of warning signs that the consulate was a target.

    And we know that four Americans were killed.

    Please, concoct a scenario that does NOT require either a massive screwup or gross negligence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  56. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Please, concoct a scenario that does NOT require either a massive screwup or gross negligence. “

    Not every defeat requires a massive screwup or gross negligence. Sometimes you just get beat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  57. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb:Sometimes you just get beat.

    Yup, absolutely true.

    Sometimes… but not this time.

    We had advance warning, actionable intelligence, and resources at the ready. We had the people on the scene who warned us, repeatedly.

    And we did nothing. We left those people at the consulate to fend for themselves. And if two brave as hell CIA paramilitaries hadn’t defied orders and raced to the rescue (at the cost of their own lives), then more than two of them would have died.

    If things had unfolded as the Obama administration dictated it, we would be mourning quite a few more than four lives.

    How can you reconcile praising two men for disobeying orders without denouncing those who issued those orders they disobeyed?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  58. An Interested Party says:

    I already sent my vote in and yes, it was for the president. But I don’t just support the president. I support reality. I want to know the truth of what happened at Benghazi.

    I am less interested in collecting scalps or using the attacks to accomplish some other goal (say winning the election for Mitt Romney).

    Can you say the same?

    Well of course they can’t say the same…by the way, when the President wins re-election, the (presumably) Republican-led House can certainly bring Impeachment Proceedings against him if this is the horrifying cover-up that some on this thread are claiming…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  59. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: I already sent my vote in and yes, it was for the president. But I don’t just support the president. I support reality. I want to know the truth of what happened at Benghazi.

    You want the truth, so you voted for the guy who lied about it for two solid weeks?

    That’s a novel approach.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  60. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Well of course they can’t say the same…by the way, when the President wins re-election, the (presumably) Republican-led House can certainly bring Impeachment Proceedings against him if this is the horrifying cover-up that some on this thread are claiming…

    It would be helpful in such proceedings if we had a thorough record of Obama and his proxies lying about the incident for a week or two immediately after…

    Oh, that’s right. We do.

    But you’re cool with that, of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0