Category: Conspiracy


article-2325893-19D2939E000005DC-789_634x422

UPDATED

AttkissonTwit

Exclusive: Hillary’s Benghazi ‘Scapegoat’ Speaks Out

Trapped in a purgatory of their own conceit…

 PJM EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Diplomats Report New Benghazi Whistleblowers with Info Devastating to Clinton and Obama

Benghazi Exclusive: State Department Denies Libya Weapons Buyback program Exists

2231024-15F41E96000005DC-29_634x367

Obama Aide: ‘Irrelevant Fact’ Where President Was During Benghazi Attacks

WALLACE: with all due respect, you didn’t answer my question. what did the president do that night?

PFEIFFER:  kept up to date with the events as they were happening.

WALLACE: he didn’t talk to the secretary of state except for the one time when the first attack was over. he didn’t talk to the secretary of defense, he didn’t talk to chiefs. the chairman of the joint who was he talking to?

PFEIFFER:  his national security staff, his national security council.

WALLACE: was he in the situation room?

PFEIFFER:  he was kept up to date throughout the day.

WALLACE: do you know know whether he was in the situation room?

PFEIFFER:  i don’t know what room he was in that night. that’s a largely irrelevant fact.

WALLACE: well —

PFEIFFER:  the premise of your question, somehow there was something that could have been done differently, okay, that would have changed the outcome here. the accountability roof board has looked at this, people have looked at this. it’s a horrible tragedy, and we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

WALLCE: here’s the point, though, the ambassador goes missing, the first ambassador in more than 30 years is killed. four americans, including the ambassador, are killed. dozens of americans are in jeopardy. the president at 4:00 in the afternoon says to the chairman of the joint chiefs to deploy forces. no forces are deployed. where is he while all this is going on?

PFEIFFER:  this has been tested to by —

WALLACE: well, no. no one knows where he is, who was involved, the —

PFEIFFER:  the suggestion of your question that somehow the president —

WALLACE: i just want to know the answer.

PFEIFFER:  the assertions from republicans that the president didn’t take action is offensive.

pinocchio_4

“… Obama was notified on Tuesday night that Stevens was unaccounted for and was told on Wednesday morning of his death, a White House official said…”  Source: (9/12/2012)  Reuters

Hicks: ‘I told State that Stevens was dead @ 9 PM Tues.’

Barack Obama

Officials on Benghazi: “We made mistakes, but without malice”

“… Obama administration officials who were in key positions on Sept. 11, 2012, acknowledge that a range of mistakes were made the night of the attacks on the U.S. missions in Benghazi, and in messaging to Congress and the public in the aftermath.

The officials spoke to CBS News in a series of interviews and communications under the condition of anonymity so that they could be more frank in their assessments. They do not all agree on the list of mistakes and it’s important to note that they universally claim that any errors or missteps did not cost lives and reflect “incompetence rather than malice or cover up.” Nonetheless, in the eight months since the attacks, this is the most sweeping and detailed discussion by key players of what might have been done differently.

“We’re portrayed by Republicans as either being lying or idiots,” said one Obama administration official who was part of the Benghazi response. “It’s actually closer to us being idiots.”

…The list of mea culpas by Obama administration officials involved in the Benghazi response and aftermath include: standing down the counterterrorism Foreign Emergency Support Team, failing to convene the Counterterrorism Security Group, failing to release the disputed Benghazi “talking points” when Congress asked for them, and using the word “spontaneous” while avoiding the word “terrorism.”

The Foreign Emergency Support Team known as “FEST” is described as “the US Government’s only interagency, on-call, short-notice team poised to respond to terrorist incidents worldwide.” It even boasts hostage-negotiating expertise. With U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens reported missing shortly after the Benghazi attacks began, Washington officials were operating under a possible hostage scenario at the outset. Yet deployment of the counterterrorism experts on the FEST was ruled out from the start. That decision became a source of great internal dissent and the cause of puzzlement to some outsiders.

Thursday, an administration official who was part of the Benghazi response told CBS News: “I wish we’d sent it.”…”

white-house-benghazi-e1351455971515

1-The-King-Barack-Obama-And-His-Jester-78130

King Obama

Drones in the sky o’re the land of the free,
“The Messiah” Obama  spying on you and me.
Tapping our phones and e-mail too,
He is afraid of what we can do.

He wants our guns and ammo you see,
Cause his tyranny, is not to be.
We are free people in this land,
But not under the Kings heavy hand.

He is working hard almost everyday,
To try and take our rights away.
GOD given rights he can try and take,
Afraid that will be one tremendous mistake!

Millions have served this great land,
Many have died from an enemies hand.
I cherish this land and freedom too,
I was proud to serve America and of course you.

Black verses white and tween men and women too,
He has started wars to divide me and you.
Take from the makers everything he can,
To GIVE to the takers in this great land.

Between Fast & Furious and Benghazi,
The King is a liar as we all can see.
Lie to America every chance he gets,
There is no lie that he regrets.

We must hold firm to survive this regime,
And send’em packin’ in twenty fourteen.
We will survive there is no doubt,
This is the land of the free that I shout!!

MOLON LABE

John D USN RVN 71, 72, 73, evac 75
5/5/2013

hillary_benghazi_bob-550x367

2013-05-16T175107Z_1573719429_TB3E95G1DDKEU_RTRMADP_3_USA-SYRIA-TURKEY

During Rose Garden press conference, Obama refuses to apologize for secretly seizing AP phone records, shifts blame to Congress for Benghazi security lapses, and dodges question about White House IRS knowledge

” … Addressing the Benghazi fallout pre-emptively before Erdogan spoke, Obama said that ‘at my direction, we’ve been taking a series of steps that were recommended by the review board.’ He spoke of various measures he was recommending, to ‘learn the lessons of Benghazi.’ But he referred to the murders of four Americans there as an ‘incident,’ not a terror attack.

And his remarks focused on ‘properly funding’ the State Department and Pentagon-run security at diplomatic posts, shifting the burden to Congress to ‘provide resources and new authorities so that we can implement all the recommendations of the Accountability Review Board which issued a report last month. ‘We’re not going to be able to do this alone,’ Obama said. ‘We need Congress.’

The review board is under fire for failing to interview high-level Obama administration figures, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Interviewing Clinton, Republicans on Capitol Hill have said, would have provided insights into who was accountable for lapses in security that left the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya vulnerable to attack.

Islamist terrorists attacked the consulate on Sept. 11, 2012, killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. personnel. But despite Obama’s plea for more funding, money was not an issue in the months before the Benghazi attack when consular officials in Libya asked the State Department for more security forces.

Those requests were repeatedly denied, and neither Hillary Clinton nor other State Department officials have raised a lack of funding as the reason more special forces were not on the scene. On the night of the Benghazi attack, the State Department refused to authorize an existing special forces team in the Libyan capital city of Tripoli to board a military C-130 plane headed to Benghazi, despite their readiness to intervene.

The Obama administration said later that the decision was made because the forces would not have arrived at the consulate, which was under attack, in time to make a difference. The State Department has been silent on the question of how it knew how long the armed, military-style assault from Islamist terror groups would last.

Obama addressed the need to for ”increasing intelligence and warning capabilities’ at ‘diplomatic posts around the world,’ and asked Congress for money to ‘increase the Marine Corps contingents’ at State Department facilities. He also said he wanted additional funding to equip the Department of Defense to respond lightning-quick in times of crisis…”

justice-for-stevens-640_s640x427

White House’s Benghazi email dump shows critical two-day gap, CIA objection

” …The Benghazi-related emails released by the White House late May 15 exclude the critical emails between administration officials that were sent during the crucial first two days after the deadly jihadi attack that killed four Americans last September. The 100 pages of partially redacted emails also conclude with a dismissive message from CIA chief David Petraeus.

“Frankly, I’d just as soon not use this,” Petraeus said about the heavily edited, four-sentence “talking points” that the White House used to downplay Al Qaeda’s role in the Sep. 11 attack on the poorly protected diplomatic compound.

“This release is long overdue [but] there are relevant documents the Administration has still refused to produce,” said a May 15 statement from Brendan Buck, press secretary to House Majority Leader John Boehner. “We hope, however, that this limited release of documents is a sign of more cooperation to come,” he added.

The two-day gap — the first released email was sent 67 hours after the attack began — plus the Petraeus comment, undermines the White House’s explanation for the rewrite. Officials, including spokesman Jay Carney, say CIA officials — not White House and State Department officials — rewrote a quick-reaction CIA report that had attributed the attack to an al-Qaeda affiliate.

“Even the smallest amount of scrutiny [shows the emails don’t] support their explanation,” said a May 15 tweet from Buck. “The White House’s explanation appears NOWHERE in the actual [email] documents. Nowhere. Not even a hint of it,” Buck added.

After the attack, White House officials used the edited talking points to bolster repeated claims that the organized attack was an unpredictable, spontaneous violent riot by Libyans who were angry about a California-made YouTube video.

The little-known video was sharply critical of Mohammad, the central prophet in Islam. The video was repeatedly cited by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the crisis, which began only eight weeks before the 2012 election.

GOP legislators plan to continue investigating the September cover-up of al-Qaeda’s role, and the current cover-up over the White House’s role in rewriting the CIA report. GOP officials also say more whistleblowers will testify in Congress about the attackers and the White House’s failure to send reinforcements to the beleaguered U.S. diplomats and soldiers.

An interim House report into the cover-up “found that ‘senior State Department officials requested the talking points be changed to avoid criticism for ignoring the threat environment in Benghazi and that those changes were ultimately made,” said the Buck statement.

“Those findings are confirmed by the emails released today … [and] the seemingly political nature of the State Department’s concerns raises questions about the motivations behind these changes and who at the State Department was seeking them,” he concluded…”

2013-02-07T154938Z_2134307633_GM1E9271U3O01_RTRMADP_3_LIBYA-PANETTA

The Price of Answers….

“… I have never been an officer, so I can’t speak to this; I have one question to ask:

What is the price of disobedience to your career?

This question is the most pertinent to me.  Those of us who have been in any positions of command have been forced, at one time or another, to decide whether following an order or following it “in a different direction” were prudent courses of action.  But I want the answers that I may never get.

  1. I want to know why Lt. Col. Gibson didn’t just go anyway?
  2. I want the names of the souless careerists at AFRICOM who left those men to die.
  3. I want to know what happened to putting your career aspirations secondary to saving lives.

As to the first, there are those that are going to tell me “you weren’t there” and call me “monday morning quarterback” and point out how wrong I am and how the foundation of our system is civilian control and obedience to orders, even when we don’t agree with them; and BTW how dare I question this man who was only doing his duty.

I know all of that, and you are entitled to your opinion, just as I; but it is pertinent here to talk about disobedience because disobedience would have put more guns in the fight.  Disobedience may have turned this into something other than a blood bath.  In my opinion, disobedience in this case, and of this magnitude would have been something absolutely justifiable in the face of any UCMJ action…

…Not the President, SoS, Chief of Staff, or AFRICOM 6 Actual could have stopped me from getting on that aircraft and flying to Benghazi short of actually shooting me.  My career wouldn’t mean a big stack of excrement to me at that point.  I wouldn’t care if you busted me to low-ass scum sucking private and sent me to Leavenworth to make little rocks out of big rocks in the hot sun; me, my men, and that aircraft would be headed into battle.  How’s about you court-martial me if I live?

But as I type those words, maybe I should issue a caveat here; maybe I don’t know the whole story.  Maybe 26 of the largest CID agents from the AFRICOM protective detail tackled Col. Gibson right there on the tarmac because he began attempting to steal the aircraft with his men and had to be physically restrained. Maybe there was a stand off like the shower scene in “The Rock” with everyone screaming “STAND DOWN!” The only way to truly know this story and what happened that day is to get Col. Gibson before Congress and have him tell his story.  I for one, am on the edge of my seat waiting to hear the ground truth of that day.

As to the second, I have my pencil and paper ready.  I promise you that this writer is not going to forget what you did.

And as to the third, I am dishearteningly disappointed that we have reached a point in our zero defects, zero tolerance for mistakes and zero margin for error military operational mentality that we have someone with the training and tools to affect the battle to reinforce the people who are fighting to save the most powerful man in the world’s personal representative and no one thought that it was important enough to try to save the President in Name Only from his spineless, weak-ass, leading from behind, “I will just go back to bed and hope this will all go away” version of non-leadership.  The very idea that senior officials would follow an order that directs them to NOT assist men under fire tells me much about how bad the culture has become…”

–DEEBOW

1578724016

BOYKIN: Congress asking the wrong questions on Benghazi

Lack of military response should be top issue

“I knew wherever I was that you thought of me and that if I got in a tight place, you would come — if alive.” This statement was contained in a letter dated March 10, 1864, written by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman to Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. It expresses an ageless ethos among warriors, especially those within the U.S. military. The commitment to come to the aid of fellow Americans in times of duress and danger has always been one of the foundations of America’s fighting forces. Yet that appears to have changed on Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya, when no effort was made to respond to the calls for help by U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and his CIA team at the U.S. Consulate facility.

Why was there no attempt to save the lives of the ambassador and his colleagues, beyond sending an unarmed drone to observe their demise? The congressional committees investigating the events in Benghazi seem to have focused on the Sunday talk-show statements of Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who blamed the attack on an obscure anti-Islam video made by a relatively unknown man in California.

While it certainly is important for legislators to determine whether Mrs. Rice was misleading the American public as part of a White House-orchestrated misinformation plan, it is more important to determine why there was no rescue effort. With Mrs. Rice’s name off the table for secretary of state, Congress needs to focus on the military. The excuse that U.S. military forces in the area could not have arrived in time to save Stevens and his team is unacceptable. That means the U.S. military commanders involved determined how long it was going to take the attackers to overrun and kill the Americans in Benghazi. Because their assessment was that it would be done before they could arrive, they chose not to try.

Even if the live video from the drone over the consulate showed that the team in Benghazi had been killed, a military operation still would have been required. It is impossible to determine from an intelligence drone what enemy intentions are and to ascertain the status of other Americans and allies in the vicinity.

The ethos does not apply just to saving lives but includes the notion that no dead American will be left to fall into enemy hands. In 1993, Task Force Ranger fought an 18-hour battle in Mogadishu, Somalia, against a tribal militia numbering in the thousands. I was there as the commander of the Delta Force and bore responsibility for getting 99 warriors out of the city that day after having accomplished our primary mission. The mission was to capture a band of loyalists and supporters of a warlord and tribal leader named Mohammed Aideed. We succeeded in that task rather quickly, but when a Black Hawk helicopter was shot down, the mission changed to one that was even more critical. The battle is chronicled in the book and movie “Black Hawk Down.”

What most people do not realize is that the special operations forces involved in that fierce fight, which claimed 15 U.S. lives, were fighting over the bodies of two of their comrades. Both the pilot and the co-pilot of the crashed helicopter were killed on impact and trapped in the twisted wreckage. No one was willing to leave their bodies behind because everyone lived by a code that is encapsulated in the fifth stanza of something called the Ranger Creed: “I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy.”

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta had multiple options with which to respond to the consulate attack, yet he explained that he was not willing to commit U.S. forces without knowing exactly what was going on at the scene. That is an unacceptable response from the man in charge of our military. Aircraft from the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet could have responded with close air-support platforms, or U.S. Marines in the region could have been dispatched, probably from Sigonella, Italy, a U.S. base in the Mediterranean. Furthermore, a U.S. Navy SEAL team and a U.S. Army Special Forces battalion were co-located with the U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, and both are trained and designated for rescue operations. Why did CNN reach the consulate before any military or U.S. government elements?

Americans must demand answers about why there was no effort to save Stevens and his team — or, as a last resort, to recover their bodies and return them to American control. It would seem that a special investigation by a bipartisan team is in order. The actions of the military during the Benghazi attack must be examined thoroughly. Did the military refuse to respond? Or was it told to “stand down”? Who gave the order not to respond? Why did U.S. leadership decide to let the bodies of Stevens and his cohorts fall into Libyan hands? These questions must be asked, but it appears that these are not concerns of the congressional committees.

Americans who are sent by the U.S. government to perform duties that are considered important to U.S. interests must know that all efforts will be made to protect them and to respond if they are attacked. It is an ethos that is fundamental to our identity as a nation, and we failed to live up to it in Benghazi.

Dec 26, 2012 Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin is executive vice president at the Family Research Council and was an original member of the U.S. Army’s Delta Force.

936123_592509900768454_1375932589_n

Long ago I was a SEAL officer and I attended many joint and combined operational planning meetings in the USA, abroad, and on ships at sea. This type of rescue mission is called a “NEO” operation, for Non-combatant Evacuation Operation. Every embassy and consulate has and practices all kinds of emergency evac plans, in concert with the US military.

For example, Marines and SEALs practice NEO ops prior to deploying on every float, as a VERY high priority mission. They involve full dress-rehearsals, with civilian role players, helos, landing craft, rounding up stranded stragglers, opfor ambushes, role-playing “angry mobs,” fighting your way to LZs or even beaches while protecting a gaggle of civilians down to babies etc. Conducting successful NEO ops is a TOP TOP TOP military and state department mission priority. I cannot emphasize this enough. NEO ops are planned and practiced over and over and over.

When the alarm goes off worldwide that an embassy or consulate is being attacked, the entire U.S. military swings into rescue mode, without waiting for any orders from the White House. The military does all of the operational planning and begins to execute the rescue op.

The one thing they CAN’T do is cross an international border without permission from POTUS. So the US Military will be inbound full-steam-ahead to make the rescue, and all they need from POTUS is a “proceed” order. In this case, they got a “stand down” instead.

This is at the POTUS level, it is not a decision taken at State. State and the military (JCS) should be in the Situation Room with POTUS soon after a critical incident like this begins, so all decisions can be made in real time. (I have heard nowhere that POTUS went into the Situation Room at all. Apparently he went to the Oval Office briefly, but not down to the Situation Room, where the “war planning” screens, full staffs and commo tools are all located for dealing with a major crisis.)

But if POTUS punts after a brief Oval Office meeting with Dempsey and Hillary and goes upstairs to the family quarters….the stranded Americans will die. Only POTUS can give the order to cross international borders. Only POTUS can allow US warplanes to give air support to Americans battling on the ground in a foreign country. If POTUS makes himself unavailable, the Americans will die.

Even the VEEP or Secretary of State cannot make that call. The VEEP can only do it if the POTUS is determined to be medically unable to perform his functions. If the POTUS goes upstairs and turns off his phone, there is nothing anybody can do about it. Nothing. And the besieged Americans will die.

On Friday an anonymous Pentagon insider (”Doug”) called into Rush with a lot of new details about this disgraceful fiasco. But what we really need now is for a high-ranking officer with insider knowledge to go public, risk his pension and career, and tell the truth.

The blame for this humiliating and shameful national disgrace is pointing directly at the POTUS, and America needs to know why the inbound rescue operation was aborted.

Source & Name Withheld

a_250x375

U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet
31ST FIGHTER WING “RETURN WITH HONOR”

MISSION

The mission of the 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy, is to deliver combat power and support across the globe to achieve U.S. and NATO objectives. The 31st FW maintains two F-16 fighter squadrons, the 555th FS and the 510th FS, capable of conducting offensive and defensive air combat operations.

In peacetime, the 31st FW prepares for its combat role by maintaining aircraft and personnel in a high state of readiness. The 31st FW also includes the 603rd Air Control Squadron, capable of providing air surveillance, control and communications. The 31st FW is the only U.S. fighter wing south of the Alps. This strategic location makes the wing critical to operations in NATO’s southern region.

Beginning July 1994, the wing provided combat support for NATO’s first-ever operational mission, Deny Flight, an effort to limit the war in Bosnia through imposition of a no-fly zone. And in August and September 1995, 31st FW F-16s flew more than 400 combat sorties during Operation Deliberate Force. Operation Deny Flight ended with the formal signing of the Dayton Peace Accord, and the wing’s emphasis shifted to support what is now Operation Deliberate Forge. In March 1999, in support of Operation Allied Force, U.S. and allied forces assembled at Aviano Air Base, Italy, to react if called upon by NATO leadership.

In 2000, the wing began its full-fledged participation in the Expeditionary Air Force. From March to September 2000, the 510th and 555th Fighter Squadrons conducted back-to-back deployments to Ahmed Al Jaber AB, Kuwait, in support of Operation Southern WATCH. The wing’s support of Operation Iraqi Freedom began in late 2003. The 31st FW continued deploying forces in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and OIF, with personnel supporting combat operations every year since 2003.

The only significant deviation from this pattern occurred in 2007 when the 555th FS deployed to Kunsan AB, Republic of South Korea, to provide theater support to the U.S. Forces Korea commander. This marked the first time in history that an entire USAFE fighter unit deployed to Asia.

In March 2011, the 31st FW played a major role in the United Nations’ response to the crisis in Libya, known as Operation Odyssey Dawn in enforcing no-fly zone UNSR 1973. The wing hosted four flying units and more than 1,350 personnel during the 15-day operation, March 17-31. It worked around the clock to launch 2,250 flying operations out of Aviano AB. As OOD came to an end on March 31, so began Operation Unified Protector, with NATO taking the lead until the operation’s conclusion Oct. 31.

The 31st FW has one assigned geographically separated unit, the 731st Munitions Squadron at Camp Darby, Italy. The wing also supports numerous other geographically separated units.

AFG-091001-005

Cowards

FOR REFERENCE

NATO Operations In Libya By Country

Country
Personnel
Aircraft
Sorties
Cruise Missiles
Main air base
Belgium 170 6 60 Araxos base in south-western greece
Bulgaria 160 0 0
Canada 560 11 358 Trapani-Birgi and Sigonella
Denmark 120 4 161 0 Sigonella, Sicily
France 800 29 1,200 currently operating from French Air Bases of Avord, Nancy, St Dizier, Dijon and Istres, as well as Evreux and Orléans for planes engaged in logistics.
Greece 0 0 0 Aktion and Andravida military air fields in Crete
Italy 12 600 Gioia del Colle, Trapani, Sigonella, Decimomannu, Amendola, Aviano, Pantelleria
Jordan 30 12 Cerenecia, Libya
Netherlands 200 7 sardinian base, decimomannu
Norway 140 6 100 Souda Bay, Crete
Qatar 60 8 Souda Bay, Crete
Romania 205
Spain 500 7
Sweden 122 8 78 0 Sigonella
Turkey 6 Sigonella Air Base in Italy
UAE 35 12 Decimomannu, Sardinia
UK 1300 28 1,300 18 Gioia del Colle, Italy and RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus
US 8507 153 2,000 228
TOTALS 12,909 309 5,857 246

AFRICOM: AF, Navy still flying Libya missions Jun. 30, 2011

Air Force and Navy aircraft are still flying hundreds of strike missions over Libya despite the Obama administration’s claim that American forces are playing only a limited support role in the NATO operation. An Africa Command (AFRICOM) spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday that since NATO’s Operation Unified Protector (OUP) took over from the American-led Operation Odyssey Dawn on March 31, the U.S. military has flown hundreds of strike sorties. Previously, Washington had claimed that it was mostly providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and tanker support to NATO forces operating over Libya.

“U.S. aircraft continue to fly support [ISR and refueling] missions, as well as strike sorties under NATO tasking,” AFRICOM spokeswoman Nicole Dalrymple said in an emailed statement. “As of today, and since 31 March, the U.S. has flown a total of 3,475 sorties in support of OUP. Of those, 801 were strike sorties, 132 of which actually dropped ordnance.” A White House report on Libya sent to Congress on June 15 says that “American strikes are limited to the suppression of enemy air defense and occasional strikes by unmanned Predator UAVs against a specific set of targets.” The report also says the U.S. provides an “alert strike package.”

Dalrymple named the Air Force’s F-16CJ and Navy’s EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft as the primary platforms that have been suppressing enemy air defenses. However, those F-16s are not solely drawn from units based in Spangdahlem, Germany, or Aviano, Italy. The service has reportedly deployed U.S.-based units to Europe to conduct these operations.

Earlier this month, Malta Today reported that two F-16s from the 77th Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Wing, made emergency landings on the island. The 20th Fighter Wing is based at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. The AFRICOM spokeswoman did not address why U.S.-based units were deployed for the mission. The Navy’s Growlers are based at Whidbey Island, Wash.

However, those may not be the only strike aircraft flying over Libya. Last week, Air Force F-15E crews attending the Paris Air Show, along with their public affairs officer, said they could not talk about their activities in Libya during Odyssey Dawn because they are not able to comment on “current operations.”

AFRICOM couldn’t immediately say when the last U.S. strike sortie over Libya was flown. The fact that the U.S. is conducting strike missions over Libya should not come as a surprise, said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the service’s former intelligence chief. “It’s no surprise to me that we’ve been participating, because we’re a member of NATO,” Deptula said.

What is different now, he said, is that sorties are planned differently under NATO control. Deptula said it is not particularly surprising that additional units would be brought in to support those operations. The revelation comes as a debate rages in Washington over the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which calls for the president to ask Congress for permission to deploy American forces into combat longer than 60 days. If the Congress does not grant that permission within that span, U.S. forces must be withdrawn within 30 days.

“It’s not necessarily a violation of the War Powers Resolution,” said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap, now associate director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security, and visiting professor of the practice at Duke University School of Law. “[But] it does raise questions about the scope and intensity of our participation versus how it’s been represented.”

Others disagreed. The president is in clear violation of the War Powers Resolution, said Robert Turner, co-founder of the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia. Under the legal definition of hostilities, even providing logistical support or intelligence data qualifies as such, he said, never mind firing missiles from Predator UAVs or F-16 fighters.

However, the resolution itself is unconstitutional because treaties are effectively part of the Constitution the way the framers wrote the document, he said. “Legally, this is his discretion, but he is in clear violation of the statute,” Turner said. “The reason he’s not bound by that is because the statute is clearly unconstitutional.”

Dunlap said he is less sure. “It does raise that specter [of violating the Constitution], but in any event, it doesn’t seem to track with what we’ve been told about the relatively benign participation of U.S. forces,” he said. The Obama administration has said that the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the Libya operation because the U.S. role is limited.

The White House declined to comment on how 801 strike sorties constitutes “limited” involvement, but Harold Koh, a State Department legal adviser, said in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that “when U.S forces engage in a limited military mission, that involves limited exposure for U.S. troops, and limited risk of serious escalation, and employs limited military means, we are not in the kind of hostilities of the kind envisioned by the War Powers Resolution.”

He said there have been “no active exchanges of fire with hostile forces” despite AFRICOM’s statement that weapons had been dropped during 132 sorties. Many in Congress on both sides of the aisle vehemently disagree with the White House’s contention.

Most air assets involved in the campaign are reconnaissance aircraft, including the U-2 high-altitude spy plane, E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System ground surveillance aircraft and the Navy’s P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. The U.S. provides nearly 70 percent of the NATO operation’s ISR capacity, according to the White House report.

Additionally, the Air Force is still providing EC-130J aircraft to the operation to conduct psychological warfare operations by broadcasting coercive messages. The remaining aircraft operating in the theater are aerial refueling tankers, including KC-10s and KC-135s. The U.S. also provides the majority of the alliance’s tanker capability.

finger-up-umbrella_zpsfa1b3141

Related Previous Benghazi Posts:

😉

first they came with Obama logo

UPDATED (5/24/13)

Screen-Shot-2013-05-16-at-10.02.10-AM

Holder OK’d search warrant for Fox News reporter’s private emails, official says

” …Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails, a law enforcement official told NBC News on Thursday…

Holder previously said he recused himself from the AP subpoena because he had been questioned as a witness in the underlying investigation into a leak about a foiled bomb plot in Yemen. His role in personally approving the Rosen search warrant had not been previously reported…

The affidavit states that FBI agents had tracked Rosen’s entrances and exits of the State Department in order to show that they had coincided with Kim’s movements. Based on that and other findings, the affidavit by FBI Agent Reginald B. Reyes, stated, “There is probable cause to believe that the Reporter has committed a violation” of the Espionage Act “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator of Mr. Kim.”

It also said that Google was specifically instructed not to notify “the subscriber” — Rosen — that his emails were being seized.

In new documents disclosed Thursday, the Justice Department sought and obtained approval to keep the search warrant, which was approved by a federal magistrate, under seal. It was unsealed in November 2011, but never made a part of the docket of Kim’s case and went unnoticed until this week…”

smilingKathryn

lyingloisleaving

Expert: Lois Lerner Didn’t Waive Her Right to Plead the Fifth

” … Gowdy’s outraged objection was met with applause in the courtroom. But James Duane, a Fifth Amendment expert at Regent University, says Gowdy’s claim was “extremely imaginative” but “mistaken.”

Had this been an actual criminal trial, in an actual courtroom, and had Lerner been an actual defendant, then yes, it would not have been permissible for her to testify in her own defense and then refuse cross-examination on Fifth Amendment grounds. But a congressional hearing is not a criminal trial in two important ways, Duane tells Daily Intelligencer.

First, unlike in a trial, where she could choose to take the stand or not, Lerner had no choice but to appear before the committee. Second, in a trial there would be a justifiable concern about compromising a judge or jury by providing them with “selective, partial presentation of the facts.” But Congress is merely pursuing information as part of an investigation, not making a definitive ruling on Lerner’s guilt or innocence.

“When somebody is in this situation,” says Duane, a Harvard Law graduate whose 2008 lecture on invoking the Fifth Amendment with police has been viewed on YouTube nearly 2.5 million times, “when they are involuntarily summoned before grand jury or before legislative body, it is well settled that they have a right to make a ‘selective invocation,’ as it’s called, with respect to questions that they think might raise a meaningful risk of incriminating themselves.”

In fact, Duane says, “even if Ms. Lerner had given answers to a few questions — five, ten, twenty questions — before she decided, ‘That’s where I draw the line, I’m not answering any more questions,’ she would be able to do that as well.” Such uses of selective invocation “happen all the time.”…”

irs-evil-diabolical-corrupt-tyrants-gestapo-108572639093

The IRS wants YOU — to share everything

“… The Internal Revenue Service asked tea party groups to see donor rolls.  It asked for printouts of Facebook posts. And it asked what books people were reading.  A POLITICO review of documents from 11 tea party and conservative groups that the IRS scrutinized in 2012 shows the agency wanted to know everything — in some cases, it even seemed curious what members were thinking. The review included interviews with groups or their representatives from Hawaii, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas and elsewhere.

The long-awaited Treasury Department inspector general report released Tuesday says the agency itself decided some of its questions to conservative groups were way over the line — especially the one about donors. The Internal Revenue Service asked tea party groups to see donor rolls. It asked for printouts of Facebook posts…

Some of the letters asked for copies of the groups’ Web pages, blog posts and social media postings — making some tea party members worry they’d be punished for their tweets or Facebook comments by their followers. And each letter had a stern warning about “penalties of perjury” — which became intimidating for groups that were being asked about future activities, like future donations or endorsements. In one instance, the American Patriots Against Government Excess was asked to provide summaries or copies of all material passed out at meetings. The group had been reading “The 5000 Year Leap” by Cleon Skousen and the U.S. Constitution…”

DrudgeHolderNPRTweet

gv051413dAPR20130514014537

Obama High-Fives IRS with $92 Million in Bonuses

“… Next we find out that during the four year period between 2009 and 2012 more than $92 million in bonuseswere handed out by IRS executives to thousands of tax agency employees.  These bonuses were mostly given out to managers and executives for “performance based incentives”.

So let me get this straight.  These people were paid a salary by the taxpayers, and then given a bonus by the taxpayers to reward them for harassing and intimidating the taxpayers.  Ok, got it.  There are over 97,000 employees of the IRS, 16,910 of them got some sort of bonus for “a job well done”.  The largest bonus went to former IRS Commissioner Richard E. Byrd who received $60,270.

Digging a little deeper we find out that Lois Lerner, the woman who told us publicly that her agency was improperly singling out conservative and other groups including religious organizations, received more than $42,000 in bonuses over that four year period.  She ADMITTED wrongdoing and yet was rewarded once again with OUR money!

But the best is yet to come.  Sarah Hall Ingram who was in charge of tax-exempt organizations while the Tea Party and conservative groups were being targeted has conveniently been relocated within the IRS and now is in charge of the IRS office responsible for overseeing Obamacare.  Promoted for a job well done!  Joseph Grant, the executive who seems to be the one taking the fall for Ingram during that time is now resigning his post. He took over for Ingram when she was promoted.  During the years 2010-2012 he received three bonuses totaling $83,950 in addition to his salary of $177,000.  Job well done Joe!

During the years that Ingram was overseeing the tax-exempt division she received bonuses totaling $103,390 in addition to her salary which was raised from $172,500 to $177,000 during that time.  In 2009 she received $7,000 in bonus money:   (I guess she was just having her people gather names.)  In 2010 it ramped up to $34,440.  (Must be when the IRS agents started harassing their targets.)  She took home an extra $35,400 in 2011, (delay, delay, and delay those applications for conservative groups.)  0 conservative groups with Tea Party or 9/12 in their name were approved for tax-exempt status in 2011 therefore, she receives a huge bonus.  Then in 2012 she received a $26,550 bonus.  She probably got less that year because the Tea Party groups had been stopped and the election was in November.  The damage had been done and she reaped the rewards.

Mission accomplished.  The IRS succeeded in shutting down the opposition and they were all high-fived and handsomely rewarded…”

431942_596107670408677_301258708_n

Obama and the IRS: The Smoking Gun?

“For me, it’s about collaboration.” — National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley on the relationship between the anti-Tea Party IRS union and the Obama White House…

According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st…

The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America…”

Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13522 – And The IRS Scandal

“… As part of the directives under Executive Order 13522, agency heads are to engage union bosses in “pre-decisional discussions” before decisions are made–and those discussions are to be in secret and outside the purview of the Freedom of Information Act:

“Pre-decisional discussions, by their nature, should be conducted confidentially among the parties to the discussions. This confidentiality is an essential ingredient in building the environment of mutual trust and respect necessary for the honest exchange of views and collaboration.”…”

WaPo: IRS targeting of Tea Party, conservative groups also in Washington office

“… The story told by Lois Lerner in Friday’s IRS apology continues to fall apart faster than Al Capone’s audit defense.  Last night, the Washington Post revealed that the effort to target opponents of the Obama administration was not limited to just one office in Cincinnati, but encompassed three other offices as well — one of which was IRS headquarters in Washington DC…

The story told by Lois Lerner in Friday’s IRS apology continues to fall apart faster than Al Capone’s audit defense.  Last night, the Washington Post revealed that the effort to target opponents of the Obama administration was not limited to just one office in Cincinnati, but encompassed three other offices as well — one of which was IRS headquarters in Washington DC…

Let’s raise a red flag on the Shulman claim.  It’s very convenient for Shulman to claim now that he was briefed in May 2012, because he testified twice in March 2012 that nothing of this sort was happening at the IRS.  However, the IRS chief counsel — the top attorney in the organization — was informed in August 2011 of this targeting.  Just how likely would it have been that Shulman’s chief lawyer would have failed to mention this for nine months, and waited to brief him on it until Shulman was almost out the door?  I’d call that extremely unlikely, and even putting that aside, it still leaves the question of why Shulman never bothered to let anyone know about it, even as a private citizen.

Clearly, this strategy was no isolated incident. Four separate offices spread far across the country worked to put this targeting in place against the political opponents of the White House.  That alone smacks of higher-level coordination, at either the IRS Commissioner level or above.  The fact that it took place in the IRS’ Washington headquarters also shows that it was no rogue effort that ran wild due to lack of supervision.  This was purposeful…”                                                            –Ed Morrissey – Hotair

irsimage

Revealed: The 55 questions the IRS asked one tea party group after more than two years of waiting – including demands for names of all its donors and volunteers

“… The Internal Revenue Service wrote to the Richmond Tea Party last year demanding to know the names of all its financial donors and volunteers, as part of a 55-question inquisition into its application for tax-exempt status, MailOnline has learned.

The agency wanted to know ‘the names of the donors, contributors, and grantors’ for every year ‘from inception to the present.’ It also demanded ‘the amounts of each of the donations, contributions, and grants and the dates you received them.’ ‘How did you use these donations, contributions, and grants?’ the IRS asked. ‘Provide the details.’

And in addition to the names of board members, officers and employees, the nation’s taxing authorities insisted on knowing the names of everyone who helped the Richmond Tea Party without compensation. ‘Please identify your volunteers,’ the January 9, 2012 letter from the IRS read.  The agency also required the Virginia conservative group to provide copies of sections of its website that only its members can access.

And in addition to the names of board members, officers and employees, the nation’s taxing authorities insisted on knowing the names of everyone who helped the Richmond Tea Party without compensation. ‘Please identify your volunteers,’ the January 9, 2012 letter from the IRS read. The agency also required the Virginia conservative group to provide copies of sections of its website that only its members can access.

article-2323978-19C2D54C000005DC-443_636x271

The IRS ultimately identified approximately 300 such organizations, many of which were independently organized in 2009 and 2010 under the larger ‘tea party’ banner. Those groups had a decisive impact in the 2010 midterm congressional elections, and became a thorn in the side of the Democratic party, costing it race after race, especially in the House of Representatives, which shifted to Republican control.

In the nearly three years since the IRS began looking more closely at conservative nonprofit groups than others, 125 of the 300 target organizations have been approved for tax-exempt status. Another 25 withdrew their applications. The remainder are still waiting.

The Office of Inspector General’s timeline shows that in Washington, senior officials with the IRS were made aware of the practice by at least August 4, 2011. On that date, the chief counsel of the IRS met with the agency’s Rulings and Agreements unit ‘so that everyone would have the latest information on the issue.’

But during a press gaggle about Air Force One on Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney insisted the White House was unaware of the investigation or its political implications until last month.

‘My understanding,’ Carney told reporters while en route to New York City for the president’s appearance at political fundraising events, ‘is that the White House Counsel’s Office was alerted in the week of April 22nd of this year, only about the fact that the IG was finishing a review about matters involving the office in Cincinnati.  But that’s all they were informed as a normal sort of heads-up.’

‘And we have never – we don’t have access to, nor should we, the IG’s report or any draft versions of it.’ Asked whether heads would roll at the IRS if the IG’s report concludes that there was substantial wrongdoing, Carney was cautious.

‘I think you’re getting ahead of it,’ he told a reporter, according to a transcript released by the White House. ‘I think you heard from the President on this today and how he feels about it.  But the “if” is very important, so we’re not going to start predicting outcomes if we don’t know what the conclusions of the IG report are.’

The Washington Post reported on Friday that the IRS has apologized for its practices, which sought to scrutinize conservative nonprofit groups ‘that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution.’

In early 2012 a group of tea party organizations refused the IRS’s requests for what they considered overreaching information about their operations, instead asking the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee to investigate. That committee wrote in June 2012 to the IRS inspector general, asking for ‘periodic updates’ on its investigation.

Forward_Obama_Lenin_lemming

California Republican Rep. Darrel Issa, who chairs the committee, has promised it will ‘aggressively follow up’ on the IG’s findings. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a statement Friday that the IRS ‘cannot target or intimidate any individual or organization based on their political beliefs.’

‘The House will investigate this matter,’ Cantor promised. Add appearing on the Fox News Channel on Sunday, Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Rogers said the IRS had ‘agents who were engaged in intimidation of political groups.’ ‘I don’t care if you’re a conservative, a liberal, a Democrat or a Republican,’ he said. ‘This should send a chill up your spine. It needs to have a full investigation.’

President Obama echoed that sentiment during a press conference on Monday, sayign any IRS personnel who played political favorites ‘have to be held fully accountable. … And you should feel that way regardless of party. I don’t care whether you’re a Democrat, independent or a Republican.’

‘At some point, there are going to be Republican administrations. At some point, there are going to be Democratic ones. Either way,’ the president said, ‘you don’t want the IRS ever being perceived to be biased and anything less than neutral in terms of how they operate.’

Richmond Tea Party Executive Director Larry Nordvig did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But in 2012 his organization lashed out at the IRS for making ‘unreasonable documentation requests.’

‘This illustrates everything the American people find unacceptable from their government,’ the group said in a press release. ‘A simple request for tax-exempt status should not take years to complete, involve hundreds of pages of documentation, require hundreds of volunteer hours, and request private information we should never have to disclose.’

‘This grants the Federal Government the dangerous power to selectively stymie those voices with which they disagree, bogging them down in endless paperwork and compliance costs so that they are unable to spend time serving the principles they founded their organization to advance.’

The Virginia organization said it applied for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status on December 28, 2009 and waited nearly 10 months for a response, which consisted of 17 questions and a two-week deadline. That demand was made on the opening day of the Virginia Tea Party Convention, which the Richmond Tea Party organized in large part.

‘We fully complied,’ the group wrote, ‘providing over 500 pages of documentation. We received no response for over a year. Eventually the IRS sent a letter dated January 9, 2012, thanking us for our “complete and thorough responses” from the first request,’ but then asking 55 more questions in 12 parts – ‘including the totally inappropriate request for a full list of our donors and volunteers. We were given the same two-week timeframe for completion.’

Alan P. Dye, a nonprofit attorney with the Washington, D.C. firm of Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, told MailOnline that he represents six tea party groups that have been waiting for periods of up to 30 months for the IRS to issue rulings.

‘They’re very pissed off,’ he said, ‘and they have every right to be pissed off.’…”

Poster_Obama_Children_Guns_Parents

Wider Problems Found at IRS

“… The IRS said over the weekend it is in the process of independently confirming the dates mentioned on the timeline of events contained in the inspector general report, “but we believe the [inspector general’s] timeline is correct.” The IRS said the report supports its view that its missteps weren’t politically motivated and were limited to lower-level workers.

The IRS also said the report reflects that “IRS senior leadership was not aware of this level of specific details” at the time of a March 2012 hearing where Mr. Shulman denied any targeting of conservative groups. Mr. Shulman, who no longer works for the IRS, declined to comment.

The new details suggest that agency workers were examining statements in applications for tax-exempt status to determine whether groups had political leanings.

Tax-exempt social-welfare groups organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code are allowed to engage in some political activity, but the primary focus of their efforts must remain promoting social welfare. That social-welfare activity can include lobbying and advocating for issues and legislation, but not outright political-campaign activity. But some of the rules leave room for IRS officials to make judgment calls and probe individual groups for further information.

Organizing as such a group is desirable, not just because such entities typically don’t have to pay taxes, but also because they generally don’t have to identify their donors.

IRS officials said last week that the focused review of conservative groups was initiated by lower-level civil servants in the IRS Cincinnati office, not by political appointees in Washington, and that it wasn’t politically motivated. They say it stemmed from a misguided effort to centralize review of a growing number of applications for tax-exempt 501(c)(4) status. But questions continued to swirl about the failure of IRS officials to disclose the problems until the inspector general’s report was about to become public.

The timeline contained in the draft report indicates that IRS scrutiny of tea-party and other conservative groups began as early as 2010 and came to the attention of Ms. Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt-organizations division, at least by the following year.

The report’s timeline indicates that the criteria were changed to be more neutral in July 2011 after Ms. Lerner “raised concerns.” The criteria for heightened scrutiny continued to evolve over the next year or so, even as complaints from tea-party groups—and questions from GOP lawmakers—mounted over IRS inquiries to various groups about their activities.

Letters from Ms. Lerner in April and May 2012 responding to questions by Republican lawmakers made no mention of the problems that had surfaced in the IRS unit. According to the draft report, on April 24 and 25 of last year, officials in Ms. Lerner’s office were reviewing “troubling questions” that had been asked of organizations, including “the names of donors.”

Ms. Lerner’s April 26 letter to Mr. Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that “there are instances where donor information may be needed…such as when the application presents possible issues of…private benefit.”

The report indicates that in 2010 and 2011, some IRS workers weren’t just singling out groups because their names contained certain words, as IRS officials suggested on Friday, but appeared to be probing for indications of political interests or leanings.

According to the report, by June 2011 some IRS specialists were probing applications using the following criteria: “issues include government spending, government debt or taxes; education of the public by advocacy/lobbying to ‘make America a better place to live’; statements in the case file criticize how the country is being run.”…”

6a00d83451bab869e2013488cfbffe970c-800wi

IRS faces class action lawsuit over theft of 60 million medical records

“… The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.

According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.

“This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search.

IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued.   According to the case, the IRS agents had a search warrant for financial data pertaining to a former employee of the John Doe company, however, “it did not authorize any seizure of any healthcare or medical record of any persons, least of all third parties completely unrelated to the matter,” the complaint read.

The class action lawsuit against the IRS seeks $25,000 in compensatory damages “per violation per individual” in addition to punitive damages for constitutional violations.  Thus, compensatory damages could start at a minimum of $250 billion…”

Forward_TheBlind_Leading_Th

EXCLUSIVE: McConnell: IRS Revelations ‘Just The Beginning’

On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) fired back on assertions by the IRS that its efforts to target conservative groups were relegated to low-level employees. “Of course not,” he told Breitbart News. McConnell noted that he had raised the issue of IRS targeting of conservatives in 2012, and further noted that the Washington Post “dismissed it as a bunch of red herrings.”

The scandal, McConnell said, extends up the chain. “The Obama effort to shut up opponents isn’t limited to the IRS,” he stated. “It applies to the FCC [Federal Communications Commission], SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission], FEC [Federal Elections Commission], HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] …. And you remember, the Obama campaign last year published a list of eight businessmen who it believed were enemies.”

McConnell further noted reports that the Department of Health and Human Services had been contacting businesses “skeptical about the implementation of Obamacare and asking them to contribute money to sell the program to the American people. That’s absolutely improper if not illegal. This administration will stop at nothing to get its way. It will do anything it can to silence its critics.”

McConnell said would not trust any Democrat-led investigation into the IRS scandal. He added with regard to a House investigation of the IRS’ activities, “I’m confident they will do it in the way in which it ought to be conducted, with a high level of skepticism about an agency trying to silence the critics of the Obama administration.”

He also added that the recent IRS revelations were “just the beginning of the story. This is no little thing. This is a big thing. The good news about it is they finally got caught. They finally messed with an agency everybody fully understands. When they try to quiet the critics through other agencies, it doesn’t get attention. This does. Everybody understands the IRS and how powerful they are. This is just one example of an administration-wide effort to silence critics.”

obama-nixon

gmc10926120130513051000

Document: IRS ordered conservative educational group to turn over a list of high school and college students it trained

“… When a Tennessee lawyer asked the IRS for tax-exempt status for a mentoring group that trained high school and college students about conservative political philosophy, the agency responded with a list of 95 questions in 31 parts, including an ultimatum for a list of everyone the group had trained, or planned to train. ‘Provide details regarding all training you have provided or will provide,’ the IRS demanded. ‘Indicate who has received or will receive the training and submit copies of the training material.’ That question was part of the tax collection agency’s February 14, 2012 letter to Kevin Kookogey. founder of the group Linchpins of Liberty. He had submitted his application 13 months earlier. ‘Can you imagine my responsibility to parents if I disclosed the names of their children to the IRS?’ he asked MailOnline. It’s ‘an impossible question to answer fully and truthfully,’ he said, ‘without disclosing the names of anyone I ever taught, or would ever teach, including students.’…”

article-2324716-19C876D6000005DC-343_634x231

0513-IRS-tea-party-scandal-lawmakers-fume_full_600

IRS sent unpublished info on conservative groups to investigative news outfit

“… ProPublica, a left-leaning nonprofit organization that does investigative journalism, often sharing it with outlets like the Washington Post, offers its own revelation on the news that the Internal Revenue Service was targeting Tea Party groups. It was the recipient of some of the IRS documents. These were documents that even ProPublica admits the IRS should not have been giving out according to the agency’s own rules:

The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year.

The IRS did not respond to requests Monday following up about that release, and whether it had determined how the applications were sent to ProPublica.

 In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made sixof those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)…”

“… The IRS cover letter sent with the documents was from the Cincinnati office, and signed by Cindy Thomas, listed as the manager for Exempt Organizations Determinations, whom a biography for a Cincinnati Bar Association meeting in January says has worked for the IRS for 35 years. (Thomas often signed the cover letters of responses to ProPublica requests.) The cover letter listed an IRS employee named Sophia Brown as the person to contact for more information about the records. We tried to contact both Thomas and Brown today but were unable to reach them.

After receiving the unapproved applications, ProPublica tried to determine why they had been sent. In emails, IRS spokespeople said ProPublica shouldn’t have received them…”

Poster_Obama_Children_Save

Related Previous Posts:

White House RFQ To Archive Content On Social Networks: Privacy Concerns And A Waste Of Money?

CzarinaGate: Did Larry Steal Melissa’s Cookies?

Why Does President Obama Want My Cookies?

New Cyber Attacks Against American Government and Business Networks

NIST: Developing ADP Standards/Guidelines For Federal Computer Systems

White House Cyberspace Policy Review Requires Full Implementation of HSPD-12

Druge Warning

Related Links:

Report of Investigation Concerning the Improper Disclosure of U.S. Department of Justice Information to a Member of the Media (PDF)(23 pAGES)

WaPo vs WaPo (vs WaPo!) on IRS targeting of conservative groups

Did Obama’s IRS also harass pro-life groups?

IRS Punished Conservative Non-Profits, Perhaps Also Pro-Israel Groups

D.C. turns on Obama

Franklin Graham: IRS targeted us, too

Now boarding the Obama Administration scandal train: the EPA

FLASHBACK 2012: Democrat Senators Demand IRS Scrutinize Tea Party Groups

Democratic senator pressured IRS to investigate nonprofits

“… Levin should not be surprised that the IRS was caught targeting Tea Party groups when senators are sending these kinds of letters. “And he wonders why the IRS gets caught using partisan criteria to investigate Americans,” said Smith. Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Tom Udall (N.M.), and Al Franken (Minn.) sent a similar letter to Shulman in February 2012, asking for the IRS to investigate tax-exempt groups they believed were engaged in political activities. Similar letters were also sent to the IRS by Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.) in 2010 and House Democrats in 2012, the Atlantic reported on Monday…”

Senate Dems Have as Much to Explain as the IRS

“… Perhaps their strategy of distraction may work in the short-term with a Washington press corps pulled in a multitude of different directions, but Senate Democrats have a serious political problem that will haunt them as they head into an already-difficult election cycle. When these Senate Finance Committee hearings come to pass it would be a remarkable act of bravery and candor for one of these IRS bureaucrats to appropriately ask Max Baucus and others why they’re not sitting at the witness tables next to them, instead of continuing in their charade of faux outrage. Because Senate Democrats today have just as much explaining to do as the IRS…”

assinhole

😉

Benghazi-Consulate-570x372

pinocchio_4

“I said that death is a part of life, so often we have to find a way to make life a part of death.”

—Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), ranking member of the House Oversight Committee

603820_516908815035505_24787018_n

I think the dam is about to break on Benghazi. We’re going to find a system failure before, during, and after the attacks. We’re going to find political manipulation seven weeks before an election. We’re going to find people asleep at the switch when it comes to the State Department, including Hillary Clinton. The bond that has been broken between those who serve us in harms way and the government they serve is huge — and to me every bit as damaging as Watergate.             Senator Graham

Sharyl Attkisson@SharylAttkisson

Issa: Muller and Pickering declined to testify to Congress re: Accountability Review Board report

counterterror expert mark thompson says he wanted special emergency FEST team to respond to Benghazi but was told that option had been taken off the table at a meeting earlier in the night. White House previously told CBS News that’s not FEST’s purpose. However, Thompson today testified that’s precisely, in his view, the purpose of FEST.

Gregory Hicks, Mark Thompson, Eric Nordstrom, Darrell Issa

The following is the transcript of Gregory Hicks’ testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the events of Sept. 11, 2012, in Libya. 

GREGORY HICKS, FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION IN LIBYA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As — as I remember September 11, 2012, it was a routine day at our embassy, and until we saw the news about Cairo – and I remember sending a text message to Ambassador Stevens saying, “Chris, are you aware of what’s going on in Cairo?”  And he said no.  So I told him that the embassy — in another text – that the embassy had been stormed, and they were trying to tear down our flag.  And he said, “Thanks very much.”  And, you know, then I went on with — with — with business.

Closed — closed the day, and I went back to my villa and was relaxing, watching a television show that I particularly like, and at 9:45 p.m. — and all times will be Libyan times, a six-hour time difference — the RSO John Martinec ran into my villa yelling, “Greg!  Greg! The consulate’s under attack.” And I stood up and reached for my phone because I had an inkling or thought that perhaps the ambassador had tried to call me to relay the same message.  And I found two missed calls on the phone, one from the ambassador’s phone and one from a phone number I didn’t recognize.

And I punched the phone number I didn’t recognize, and I got the ambassador on the other end.  And he said, “Greg, we’re under attack.” And I was walking out of the villa, on my way to the Tactical Operations Center, because I knew we would all have to gather there to mobilize or try to mobilize a response.  And it was also a — a bad cell phone night in Tripoli.  Connections were weak.  And I said, “OK,” and the line cut.

As I walked to the Tactical Operations Center, I tried to reach back on both of the numbers, the unknown number and the ambassador’s personal number and got no response.  When I got to the Tactical Operations Center, I told people that the ambassador — that I had just talked to the ambassador and what he said.  At the time, John Martinec was on the phone with Alec Henderson in Benghazi, the RSO there, and I asked one of our D.S. agents who — what number did I reach Ambassador Stevens on.

And he said, “Oh, that’s Scott Wickland’s telephone.  Scott Wickland was Ambassador Steven’s agent in charge, his personal escort for that night, and was with him in the villa during the attack.  So I asked — when John Martinec got off the telephone, I asked him what was going on.  And he said that the consulate had been breached, and there were at least 20 hostile individuals armed in the — in the compound at the time.  So I next called the annex chief to ask him if he was in touch with the Benghazi annex to activate our emergency response plan.

REP. DARRELL ISSA: “Please explain the annex chief so that people that don’t know as much would understand that.  No, go ahead, please.”

HICKS: “OK, thank you. And he said that he had been in touch with the annex in Benghazi, and they said they were mobilizing a response team there to go to the — to our facility and provide reinforcements and to repel the attack.

With that knowledge, I called the operations center at the State Department, approximately 10 p.m. to report the attack and what we were doing to respond to it.  The next thing I did was to begin calling the senior officials in the government of Libya that I knew at the time.  And so, I dialed first the President Magariaf’s chief of staff and reported the attack and asked for immediate assistance from the government of Libya to assist our folks in Benghazi.

I followed that up with a call to the prime minister’s chief of staff to make the same request and then to the MFA, America’s director.  MFA is Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The defense attache was, at the same time, calling the leadership of Libya’s military with the same purpose, to ask them for assistance.

Once that was done, I called again to Washington to report that these — actions had been commenced.  Over the night we — over that night, that is basically how our team operated.  I was talking to the government of — of Libya, reporting to the State — State Department through the operations center, and also staying in touch with the annex chief about what was going on.

Let me step back one minute, if I could, and say that I also discussed with the annex chief about mobilizing a Tripoli response team, and we agreed that we would move forward with a — chartering a plane from Tripoli to fly a response team to Benghazi to provide additional reinforcements.  The defense attache was also reporting through his chain of command, back to AFRICOM and to the joint staff here in Washington about what was going on in the country.  David McFarland, our political section chief, had just returned from Benghazi, where he had been our principle officer for the previous 10 days.  And so, he jumped into this picture by reaching out to his contacts in – in Benghazi and trying to get them, at the local level there, to respond to the attack.  And he also was in touch with our local employee there, as well — excuse me if I check my notes here.

This is a long — the attack unfolded in four phases or the night unfolded in four phases.  The first phase was the attack on our consulate.  This story is well known, I think.

The Benghazi response — the consulate was invaded, the — Villa C where the ambassador and Sean Smith and Scott Wickland were hiding in the safe area was set on fire.  The attackers also went into another building.  They were unable to enter the tactical operations center in Benghazi, because of improvements to that facility that had been made.

They — Scott attempted to lead the ambassador and Sean Smith out of the burning building.  He managed to make it out. He tried repeatedly to go back in to try to rescue Sean and the ambassador but had to stop due to exposure to smoke.

The response team from from the annex in Benghazi, six individuals, drove the attackers out of our compound, and secured it temporarily.  There have been estimates as high as 60 attackers were in the compound at one particular time.  There were repeated attempts by all of the RSOs and by the response team from the annex to go into the burning building and recover — try to save Sean and the ambassador.  They found Sean’s body and pulled it out but he was no longer responsive.

They did not find the ambassador.

I spoke with a medical officer, one of our medical officers after the attack and the heroism of these individuals in repeatedly going into a petroleum based fire cannot be understated.  Petroleum — according to this — to our regional medical officer, petroleum based fires emit enormous amounts of Cyanide gas.  They told me one full breath of that would incapacitate and kill a person if exposed to it.

A second — it was noticed that a second wave of attackers was coming to attack the facility.  And our teams evacuated, five RSOs and Sean Smith in one vehicle that suffered heavy fire, but they managed to break through and get to the annex, and in — the annex team also withdrew from the facility and the second wave of attackers took it over.

After the second phase of the evening occurs, the timing is about 11:30 or so.  The second phase commences after the teams have returned to the annex, and they suffer for about an hour and a half probing attacks from terrorists.  They are able to repulse them and then they desist at about 1:30 in the morning.

The Tripoli response team departs at about midnight and arrives at about 1:15 in Benghazi.  If I may step back again to Tripoli and what’s going on there at this point.  At about 10:45 or 11:00 we confer, and I asked the defense attache who had been talking about AFRICOM and with the joint staff, ”Is anything coming?  Will they be sending us any help?  Is there something out there?“  And he answered that, the nearest help was in Aviano, the nearest — where there were fighter planes.  He said that it would take two to three hours for them to get onsite, but that there also were no tankers available for them to refuel.  And I said, ”Thank you very much,“ and we went on with our work.

Phase III begins with news that the ambassador – the ambassador’s body has been recovered, and David McFarland, if I recall correctly, is the individual who began to receive that news from his contacts in Benghazi.  We began to hear also that the ambassador has been taken to a hospital.  We don’t know initially which hospital it is, but we — through David’s reports we learned that it is in a hospital which is controlled by Ansar Sharia, the group that Twitter feeds had identified as leading the attack on the consulate.

We’re getting this information as the Tripoli response team arrives in Benghazi at the airport.  Both our annex chief and the annex chief in Benghazi and our defense attache are on the phone during this period trying to get the Libyan government to send vehicles and military — and-or security assets to the airport to assist our response team.

At this point, this response team looks like it may be a hostage rescue team, that they’re going to — we’re going to need to send them to try to save the ambassador who is in a hospital that is, as far as we know, under enemy control.

Our contacts with the government in Tripoli are telling us that the ambassador is in a safe place, but they imply that he is with us in the annex in Benghazi, and we keep telling them no, the — he is not with us.  We do not have his — we do not have him.

About 12:30 at the same time that we see the Twitter feeds that are asserting that Ansar Sharia is responsible for the attack, we also see a call for an attack on the embassy in Tripoli.  And so we begin to – we — we had always thought that we were in — under threat, that we now have to take care of ourselves and we began planning to evacuate our facility.  When I say our facility, I mean the State Department residential compound in Tripoli, and to consolidate all of our personnel in — at the annex in Tripoli.

We have about 55 diplomatic personnel in the two annexes.

On that night if I may go back, I would just like to point out that with Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith in Benghazi there are five diplomatic security agents — assistant regional security officers. With us in — in our residential compound in Tripoli, we have the RSO John Martinek, three assistant regional security officers protecting 28 diplomatic personnel. In addition, we also have four special forces personnel who are part of the training mission.

During the night, I am in touch with Washington keeping them posted of what’s happening in Tripoli and to the best of my knowledge what I am being told in Benghazi.  I think at about 2 p.m. the — 2 a.m., sorry, the Secretary of State Clinton called me along with her senior staff were all on the phone, and she asked me what was going on. And, I briefed her on developments.

Most of the conversation was about the search for Ambassador Stevens.  It was also about what we were going to do with our personnel in Benghazi, and I told her that we would need to evacuate, and that was — she said that was the right thing to do.

At about 3 a.m. I received a call from the prime minister of Libya.  I think it is the saddest phone call I have ever had in my life.  He told me that Ambassador Stevens had passed away. I immediately telephoned Washington that news afterwards, and began accelerating our effort to withdraw from the Villas compound and move to the annex.

The — excuse me.

Our team responded with amazing discipline and courage in Tripoli in organizing withdrawal.  I have vivid memories of that.  I think the most telling, though, was of our communications staff dismantling our communications equipment to take with us to the annex and destroying the classified communications capability.

Our office manager, Amber Pickens, was everywhere that night just throwing herself into some task that had to be done. First she was taking a log of what we were doing.  Then she was loading magazines, carrying ammunition to the — carrying our ammunition supply to the — our vehicles, and then she was smashing hard drives with an axe.

Allen Greenfield, our management officer, was a whirlwind of activity organizing the vehicles to — lining them up, finding the drivers, making sure everybody was getting the things that they would need for the coming days.

John Martinek was a mountain of moral support, particularly to the guys who were in Benghazi, just on the phone talking them through the whole ordeal.

David McFarland on the phone constantly all the time talking to his contacts in Benghazi urging — urging them to help.

Lieutenant Colonel Phillips and Lieutenant Colonel Arnt and Lieutenant Colonel Gibson mountains of strength.  I’m still in awe of them.  They asked me, in one of the phone calls, when were you going to move to the annex, and I said, ”We’ll move at dawn,“ because none of our people had great experience driving the armored suburbans that we were going to have to use.

Our local staff drove for us as part of our security procedures.  They of course were not there that night, and we would have to go through check points, militia check points on the way to the annex to get there, and I didn’t want our people to be going through those check points, because I didn’t know what to expect from the militias.

And so we moved at dawn.  We arrived at the annex, at least my group I think at about 4:45 perhaps, maybe 5 a.m., and a few minutes later came the word of the mortar attack.

If I could return to Benghazi a little bit and talk through Tripoli.  I am sorry if I bounce back and forth.

The Tripoli team was — basically had to stay at the Benghazi airport because they had no transport and no escort from the — the Libyans.  After the announcement of Chris’ passing, military escorted vehicles arrived at the airport.  So the decision was made for them to go to the annex.  One of the — before I got the call from the prime minister, we’d received several phone calls on the phone that had been with the ambassador saying that we know where the ambassador is, please, you can come get him.

And our local staff engaged on those phone calls admirably, asking very, very good, outstanding, even open ended questions about where was he, trying to discern whether he was alive, whether they even had the ambassador, whether that person was with the ambassador, send a picture, could we talk to the ambassador?

Because we knew separately from David that the ambassador was in a hospital that we believe was under Ansar Sharia’s call, we — we suspected that we were being bated into a trap, and so we did not want to go send our people into an ambush.

And we didn’t.

We sent them to the annex.  Shortly after we arrived at the annex the mortars came in.  The first was long.  It landed actually among the Libyans that escorted our people.  They took casualties for us that night.  The next was short, the next three landed on the roof killing Glen and Tyrone, and severely wounded David.

They didn’t know whether any more mortars were going to come in. The accuracy was terribly precise.  The call was the next one is coming through the roof, maybe if it hit — two of the guys from team Tripoli climbed up on the roof and carried Glen’s body and Tyrone’s body down.  One guy, Mark Si, full combat gear, climbed up there strapped David a large man, to his back, carried him down a ladder and saved him.

In Tripoli, we had — the defense attache had persuaded the Libyans to fly their C-130 to Benghazi and wanted to airlift — we had — since we had consolidated at the annex, and the Libyan government had now provided us with external security around our facilities, we wanted to send further reinforcements to Benghazi.

We determined that Lieutenant Gibson and his team of special forces troops should go.  The people in Benghazi had been fighting all night.  They were tired.  They were exhausted.

We wanted to make sure the airport was secure for their withdrawal.  As Colonel Gibson and his three personnel were — were getting in the cars, he stopped.  And he called them off and said — told me that he had not been authorized to go.  The vehicles had to go because the flight needed to go to Tripoli — I mean, to Benghazi.  Lieutenant Colonel Gibson was furious.  I had told him to go bring our people home. That’s what he wanted to do — paid me a very nice compliment.  I won’t repeat it here.

So the plane went.  I think it landed in Benghazi around 7:30. The other thing that we did was — and I — and I want to mention Jackie Lavesk’s name in this hearing.  She was our nurse.  We initially thought that we would — that she should go to Benghazi. One of the special forces with Lieutenant Colonel Gibson’s team was — was our last military-trained medic available.  He had a broken foot in a cast.  I still remember him walking — walking to go and get in the car with his machine gun, carrying a machine gun on his shoulder.

Jackie, I — I — I refused to allow her to go to Benghazi, because I knew we had wounded coming back.  I knew David was severely wounded.  And I knew others were wounded as well.  And Jackie had just made terrific contacts with a hospital in town.  And so, we sent — we went her — I sent her to that hospital to start mobilizing their E.R. teams and their doctors to receive our wounded.

So when the charter flight arrived in Tripoli, we had ambulances at the hospital — at the — at the airport waiting. Their doctors were ready and waiting for our wounded to come in, to be brought in to the operating room.  And they certainly saved David Oven’s leg. And they may have very well have saved his life.  And they treated our other wounded as well, as if they were their own.

benghazi-attack1

Hillary Clinton’s guardian angel reappears

” …Those of us who covered the legal travails of both Clintons during the 1990s, and their rocky relationship with the investigation-inclined Republican Congress would have instantly recognized Cheryl Mills. She is a rare figure in Washington, one who put loyalty and discretion ahead of ambition. And she is ferocious.

Mills is now the counselor and chief of staff to Clinton at the State Department. In the Clinton Administration, she served as deputy White House counsel, and was one of the most influential voices behind the scenes. The internal clashes usually centered on whether to turn over what the president’s enemies were demanding, or to hunker down and fight. She almost invariably led the resistance, an inclination that Hillary Clinton shared.

Few of us outside the inner circle of the White House actually got to hear that voice until Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in the Senate. The BBC called her “the shining star of the defense team,” an assessment that just about everyone else in Washington shared.

“We cannot uphold the rule of law only when it is consistent with our beliefs,” Mills argued that day. “We must uphold it even when it protects behavior that we don’t like or is unattractive or is not admirable or that might even be hurtful.”…”

Mills_NYFPC_648_1

GOP chairman denied Benghazi files

” … Pentagon officials have denied a request from a House Republican chairman for access to documents on last year’s terrorist attack in Benghazi. “I am deeply disappointed in the Department’s response and am committed to continuing the Armed Services Committee’s oversight into the tragedy at Benghazi,” House Armed Services Committee chief Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said in a statement Wednesday.

In April, McKeon asked for all classified information that went into the Department of Defense (DOD) assessment of its response to the attack, which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.  “The department has made every effort to provide the committee a comprehensive understanding of [its] actions” in Benghazi, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs Elizabeth King said in a May 1 letter to McKeon and Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.)…”

Fourth Benghazi witness gagged by red tape

“… Obama administration officials are finally letting the attorney for a Benghazi whistleblower get a security clearance — but the clearance is at such a low level that it will probably slow the congressional probe of how the administration handled last year’s terrorist attack on the embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Victoria Toensing represents an unnamed government official who can help explain the reaction of top government officials to the jihadi attack on the U.S diplomatic site in Benghazi and killed four Americans last Sept. 11. The official may also be able to explain if officials rewrote intelligence reports and took other actions to minimize media coverage of the administration’s errors and the perceived role of Al Qaeda jihadis…

Toensing’s client will not be able to testify at public or closed-door hearings because he or she has not been able to prepare classified testimony with the aid of a lawyer, Toensing told The Daily Caller. Toensing, who previously held top-level security clearances while working as a Deputy Attorney General at the Justice Department’s anti-terrorism unit, has asked government officials to update her past clearances to let her work with her client. But the officials initially refused to provide her with the needed forms, she said…”

article-2321470-19AF1326000005DC-625_634x377

5419359_afp___mediafax_foto_str_90054600

Source: Only President Could Have Made ‘Stand Down’ Call On Benghazi

A source with intimate information about the events that happened on the ground in Benghazi the night the U.S. Consulate and the CIA annex was attacked by terrorists told Breitbart News that, ultimately, only the President of the United States, or someone acting on his authority, could have prevented Special Forces either on the ground or nearby from helping those Americans who were under deadly assault.

“According to the source, when the attack on the Consulate occurred, a specific chain of command to gain verbal permission to move special-forces in must have occurred. SOCAFRICA commander Lieutenant Col. Gibson would have contacted a desk officer at the time, asking for that permission.

That desk officer would have called Marine Corps Col. George Bristol, then in command of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara. From there, Bristol would have made contact with Rear Admiral Brian Losey, then Commander of Special Operations Command Africa. Losey would have contacted four-star General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. AFRICOM at the time.

“Ham answers directly to the President of the United States,” said the source. It wasn’t a low-level bureaucrat making the call, the source adamantly added.  That call may have been made early in the engagement. Both Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey testified in January that they had no further communication with President Barack Obama after an initial briefing in the early hours of the Benghazi crisis, which continued through the night.

But what about then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? “I have a hard time thinking it was Hillary alone. Hillary may have tried to circumvent the counterterrorism board and deal with this. I think in order for her to tell General Ham, ‘No, you’re not going to get involved,’ she would have had to talk to the president. The president would have had to say, ‘No, take your commands from Hillary.’ He would have had said something, because Ham does not work for the Department of State; he works directly for the president,” the source explained…”

U.S. Secretary of State Clintonreacts while testifying on the Benghazi attacks during Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington

Remarks at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony to Honor Those Lost in Attacks in Benghazi, Libya

Hillary Rodham Clinton,Secretary of State; Andrews Air Force Base,Joint Base, MD; September 14, 2012

“This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable…”

Republicans look to show ‘cover-up’ as whistle-blowers give Benghazi testimony

” … Two of the whistle-blowers’ opening statements were obtained by Fox News, and in the statements they affirm their credentials and credibility in testifying about what happened last Sept. 11 in Libya.

“I am a career public servant,” Greg Hicks’ statement reads. “Until the aftermath of Benghazi, I loved every day of my job.” He was deputy chief of mission in Libya and became top U.S. diplomat in the country after Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in the terror attack.

The other statement, by Mark Thompson of the State Department Counterterrorism Bureau, is mostly biographical. Testimony also is due Wednesday from Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was formerly the regional security officer in Libya.

The administration has parried Republican allegations lately by arguing that the attack is old news, that the State Department already has investigated it and that Republicans are engaged in a political witch hunt. ..”

Untitled

Benghazi: Do as I Say, or as I Do?

” … The military has conducted hundreds of assessments for battles throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. At the platoon level, an “After Action” critique is required whenever there are American fatalities. But at the highest level, there has been no military After Action assessment about Benghazi.

The fight at the U.S. consulate waxed and waned for ten hours. Yet during that time, the Marine Force Recon unit on Sigonella Air Base, 500 miles away, was never deployed and not one F-16 or F-18 was dispatched. Granted, Force Recon and fighter aircraft weren’t on alert and did not appear on the Pentagon’s official list of “hostage rescue forces.” But they were one phone call away, and no general asked for them. Ten hours provided adequate time for a range of ad hoc responses. Commanders are expected to adapt in battle.

Pentagon spokesman George Little said, “We have repeatedly stated that . . . our forces were unable to reach it in time to intervene to stop the attacks.” That is true only if the Pentagon is incapable of improvising. If you see people in a burning house, you do your best to help immediately; you don’t wait for the fire department to respond in a normal manner. If called upon, the Marines on Sigonella would have gathered whoever was on hand and piled into one of a dozen military planes parked at the base. The Benghazi airport 90 minutes away was secure; CIA operatives were standing on the runway, because they had improvised by hiring a plane and flying in from the embassy in Tripoli, 400 miles away. A fighter jet could have refueled at that airport, with the CIA providing cover. Instead, the military ordered four Special Operations soldiers at the Tripoli embassy not to fly to Benghazi and join the CIA team.

The military did nothing, except send a drone to watch the action. Defense Secretary Panetta later offered the excuse, “You can’t willy-nilly send F-16s there and blow the hell out of place. . . . You have to have good intelligence.” As a civilian, Mr. Panetta probably didn’t know that 99 percent of air sorties over Afghanistan never drop a single bomb. General Dempsey, however, knew it was standard procedure to roar menacingly over the heads of mobs, while not “blowing the hell out of them.” A show of air power does have a deterrent effect and is routinely employed.

A mortar shell killed two Americans during the tenth hour of the fight. A mortar tube can be detected from the air. The decision whether to then bomb should have resided with a pilot on-station — not back in Washington. As for the alleged lack of “good intelligence,” three U.S. operations centers were watching real-time video and talking by cell phone with those under attack. Surely that comprises “good intelligence.”…”

us-consulate-compound-in-benghazi-FLAMES

CummingsLetter

Pentagon denies claims that help could have been sent during Benghazi attack

“… Cummings asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to “provide an unclassified response to these specific allegations” that the U.S. military had a team in Europe and could have responded quickly.

Elizabeth King, the assistant secretary of Defense for legislative affairs responded to Cummings in a letter Tuesday, saying a special force team was training in Croatia but was able to do little more than “pre-positioning” in Italy “because exact conditions on the ground in Benghazi were unknown.”

“From the moment the (team) was ordered to move, it did not stand down until after all personnel (including the fallen) had been evacuated from Benghazi in a little over 12 hours after the initiation of the attack,” King said…”

Panetta And Dempsey Hold Media Briefing At The Pentagon

Mark Knoller | Monday, November 12, 2012 | DoD TV Pool Report

Here’s the TV Pool Report verbatim on Defense Secretary Panetta’s comments about Benghazi, spoken today in session with reporters aboard his flight to Perth, Australia:

“One of the things that we are doing right now is we are involved in an assessment btwn DOD and the state department to look at the embassies in that region and what additional steps need to be taken in order to ensure the security of our embassies. So we do need to look at how we can A, improve security and 2, be able to effectively respond if there are any threats.

With regards to Benghazi itself, I think this has been pointed out, we moved very quickly to deploy the forces that we thought were important to deal w/ the threats in the region. We deployed those forces as quickly as we could. But the problem w/ Benghazi itself is the events there were happening on rapid pace, that attack was largely over by the time of response.”

Q – more troops? “The fact is, we had them deployed to the key areas that we needed to have them move from. And you know, we have so many bases in the area, obviously Sigonella was one of those bases, but Rota as well as other bases in the region. The fundamental fact is this: in order for us to be able to move quickly –we have to have some advance notice that something is going to happen and in this case we didn’t have that. When we were informed the attack was already happening, and to be able to respond quickly when an attack is already going on, just make it very difficult to be able to move as quickly as we would have wanted to.”

white-house-benghazi-e1351455971515

Related Previous Benghazi Posts:

gv050913dAPR20130509054526

Related Links:

US ‘Consulate’ in Benghazi was a hub for recruiting jihadis to fight for al Qaeda in Syria

State Department Has Gone 5 Years without an Inspector General

Sharyl ‘Benghazi Campaign’ Attkisson Hadn’t Reported About the Attack On the Air in Over 5 Months

Report: CBS News Bosses Irked by Correspondent’s Thorough Benghazi Reporting

NAVY SEAL TEAM 6 FAMILIES TO REVEAL GOVERNMENT’S CULPABILITY IN DEATH OF THEIR SONS

OUTRAGE! Obama Administration Allowed Radical Cleric to Curse US Navy SEAL Heroes at Funeral Services

Did an Imam Really Use Arabic Prayer to Covertly Damn Fallen Seal Team 6 Members to Hell During Their Funeral?

7 Things We Learned from the Benghazi Whistleblower Hearing

ESTABLISHED CONTINGENCY PLANS CAN BE CHANGED ONLY BY THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF

Mother of Benghazi victim: Hillary and Susan Rice told me “nose to nose” that the Mohammed video was to blame

Hmm. Sen. Coburn Hints that Another Benghazi Shoe May Drop

Boehner demands Benghazi emails from White House

The Camp Bastion Cover-Up

 946356_443873952368855_232703410_n

Closed but not over…

“There Are Additional Whistleblowers Warming Up In The Bullpen.”  — Trey Gowdy

😉

pict4

Fiat justitia ruat caelum

 

Throughout the night, sources say Americans on the ground in Libya at times felt helpless and abandoned.

“We relied on Washington for dispassionate assessment,” one eyewitness told CBS News. “Instead, they [Washington officials] were asking us what help we needed. We answered: Send reinforcements!’ ”

But they were told immediate help wasn’t available.

Embassy personnel say they repeatedly asked the Defense Attache on site in Tripoli for military assistance.

“Isn’t there anything available?” one Embassy official says he asked. “But the answer was ‘no.’”

“What about Aviano?” the official pressed, referencing the NATO air base with US assets in northeastern Italy. “No,” was the answer.

Two of the four Americans killed that night died hours after the first attack began…

…Counterterrorism sources and internal emails reviewed by CBS News express frustration that key responders were ready to deploy, but were not called upon to help in the attack. National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor told CBS News the CSG was not needed.

Source:  CBS News

image

remains_s640x427

Below are the released excerpts from Hicks’ April interview with congressional investigators on the House Oversight Committee.

Q: But do you think, you know, if an F-15, if the military had allowed a jet to go fly over, that it might have prevented [the second attack]?

A: Yeah, and if we had gotten clearance from the Libyan military for an American plane to fly over Libyan airspace. The Libyans that I talked to and the Libyans and other Americans who were involved in the war have told me also that Libyan revolutionaries were very cognizant of the impact that American and NATO airpower had with respect to their victory. They are under no illusions that American and NATO airpower won that war for them. And so, in my personal opinion, a fast-mover flying over Benghazi at some point, you know, as soon as possible might very well have prevented some of the bad things that happened that night.

Q : The theory being, the folks on the ground that are doing these — committing these terrorist attacks look up, see a heavy duty airplane above, and decide to hightail it?

A: I believe that if — I believe if we had been able to scramble a fighter or aircraft or two over Benghazi as quickly as possible after the attack commenced, I believe there would not have been a mortar attack on the annex in the morning because I believe the Libyans would have split. They would have been scared to death that we would have gotten a laser on them and killed them.

******

Q: I just wanted to ask, you mentioned permission from the Libyans. Why is that important? What did you mean by that?

A: Well, it’s their country. And for an American military aircraft to fly over their country, we have to have permission from them to do so.

Q: So what would have been the risk of — do you think it would have been risky for us to send someone, do you think it would have been counterproductive for us to send a fighter pilot plane over Benghazi without that permission?

A: We would have certainly wanted to obtain that permission. I believe we would have gotten it if we had asked. I believe that the Libyans were hoping that we were going to come bail them out of this mess. And, you know, they were as surprised as we were that American — the military forces that did arrive only arrived on the evening of September 12. Yeah.

******

Q: So, at this point [at approximately 10:00 pm in Tripoli], you are talking to Washington, you are talking to your RSO Martinec, you are talking to RAO. Are you talking to the Defense Attache?

A: The Defense Attache is there, and he is immediately on the phone to Ministry of Defense and to chief of staff of the Libyan Armed Forces. He also notifies Joint Staff and AFRICOM. Our SOCAFRICA lead, Lieutenant Colonel Gibson, connects with SOCAFRICA in Stuttgart, as well. And, obviously, RAO is also connected back home.

Q: Was there ever any thought at that time of the night to have an F-16, you know, fly over?

A: I called — when we knew that — I talked with the Defense Attache, Lt. Col. Keith Phillips, and I asked him, “Is there anything coming?” And he said that the nearest fighter planes were Aviano, that he had been told that it would take two to three hours to get them airborne, but that there were no tanker assets near enough to support a flight from Aviano.

******

 A: And for the second time that night [Before 5:15 AM attack], I asked the Defense Attache, is there anything coming, is there anything out there to help our people from, you know, big military? And the answer, again, was the same as before.

Q: And what was that answer?

A: The answer was, it’s too far away, there are no tankers, there is nothing, there is nothing that could respond.

******

 Q: So you had mentioned that the first team from Tripoli to Benghazi arrived at 1:15?

A: Right.

Q: And was there a second team that was organized? Could you tell us about the second team?

A: Right. The second team — the Defense Attache worked assiduously all night long to try to get the Libyan military to respond in some way. Early in the morning — sorry, after we were formally notified by the Prime Minister, who called me, that Chris had passed, the Libyan military agreed to fly their C-130 to Benghazi and carry additional personnel to Benghazi as reinforcements. Because we at that time — at that time, the third attack, the mortar attack at 5:15, had not yet occurred, if I remember correctly.

Q: So what time did the second rescue team ??

A: Well, again, they flew — I think that flight took off sometime between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m.

Q: At that point, you are the Chief of Mission?

A: Yeah, I’m Chief of Mission effective 3:00 a.m.

******

 Q: Now, did any of the Special Forces folks, were they planning at any time to travel on that second aircraft?

A: On the second, on the C-130? Yes. We fully intended for those guys to go, because we had already essentially stripped ourselves of our security presence, or our security capability to the bare minimum …

******

A: So Lieutenant Colonel Gibson, who is the SOCAFRICA commander, his team, you know, they were on their way to the vehicles to go to the airport to get on the C-130 when he got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, you can’t go now, you don’t have authority to go now. And so they missed the flight. And, of course, this meant that one of the …

Q : They didn’t miss the flight. They were told not to board the flight.

A: They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it. So, anyway, and yeah. I still remember Colonel Gibson, he said, “I have never been so embarrassed in my life that a State Department officer has bigger balls than somebody in the military.” A nice compliment.

Q: Now, at this point, are you having communications with Washington?

A: I was in communications with Washington all night long. I was reporting all night long what was happening to Washington by telephone.

Q: When these Special Forces folks were told essentially to stand down, what was your next move? Did you have a recourse? Were you able to call Washington? Were you able to call anyone at this point to get that decision reversed?

A: No, because the flight was — the flight was leaving. And, you know, if they missed — you know, if the vehicles didn’t leave when they leave, they would miss the flight time at the airport. And the airport — you know, we were going all the way to Mitiga. The C-130 is at Mitiga, which is all the way on the other side of Tripoli.

Q: What was the rationale that you were given that they couldn’t go, ultimately?

A: I guess they just didn’t have the right authority from the right.

Source: CBS News

benghazi-caskets

Three Benghazi survivors set to go before House committee to testify about 2012 attack identified as career State Department officials as their attorneys claim ‘Obama administration tried to silence them’

  • Gregory N. Hicks was deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya
  • Mark I. Thompson is a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in Counterterrorism Bureau
  • Eric Nordstrom is a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya

As the White House denies Benghazi survivors sought clearance to testify about what they saw, House Republicans schedule a hearing to listen to their stories

“… But Toensing, a former Justice Department official and Republican counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Fox News that administration officials are issuing ‘some very despicable threats to people … They’re taking career people and making them well aware that their careers will be over’ if they testify.

The State Department, she said during a separate Fox News interview, has ‘had two letters from Chairman Issa, one on April 16, the other one April 26, that specifically say, “We want you to provide a process for clearing a lawyer to receive classified information.”‘

‘How can they possibly get up there and just lie to the press corps?’ she asked, referring to the president and his spokespersons.

Toensing, according to her law partner who was interviewed Wednesday on ABC radio affiliate WMAL in Washington, already possesses a Top Secret clearance, and would only need a letter from an administration attorney in order to learn what her client already knows.

That law partner, former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova, explained on Monday that ‘the Department of State is refusing to grant clearances to Victoria and other people who want to represent the whistle-blowers, in an attempt to prevent the testimony.

On April 26, Congressman Issa sent a letter to the new Sec of State, John Kerry, demanding that the lawyers who are going to represent the whistle-blowers be cleared – be given clearances – so they can talk to their clients and the committee about classified information,’ DiGenova said.

She got a new Top Secret security clearance within the last year. And now they will not clear her or any of the other lawyers to represent the Department of State people. This is so outrageous.’

‘There is going to be a Constitutional showdown here,’ he predicted,’ and ‘Congress is going to win. The administration’s effort to cover up whatever happened in Benghazi is going to fail.’

‘The whistle-blowers are out there,’ DiGenova insisted. ‘These are great Americans. These are heroes. They were on the ground in Benghazi. They want to tell their story and the administration is going to do everything it can to stop them from testifying under oath in public. And they want to protect Hillary [Clinton] and the president. That’s what this is all about.’…”

benghazi4-e1351495805540

Obama_and_Clinton_at_Transfer_of_Remains_Ceremony_for_Benghazi_attack_victims_Sep_14,_2012

The Benghazi Talking Points

Weekly Standard – By Stephen Hayes

“… Even as the White House strove last week to move beyond questions about the Benghazi attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2012, fresh evidence emerged that senior Obama administration officials knowingly misled the country about what had happened in the days following the assaults. The Weekly Standard has obtained a timeline briefed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence detailing the heavy substantive revisions made to the CIA’s talking points, just six weeks before the 2012 presidential election, and additional information about why the changes were made and by whom.

As intelligence officials pieced together the puzzle of events unfolding in Libya, they concluded even before the assaults had ended that al Qaeda-linked terrorists were involved. Senior administration officials, however, sought to obscure the emerging picture and downplay the significance of attacks that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans…”

hayestp.img_assist_custom-497x1400

“… There is little information about what happened at that meeting of the Deputies Committee. But according to two officials with knowledge of the process, Mike Morrell, deputy director of the CIA, made broad changes to the draft afterwards. Morrell cut all or parts of four paragraphs of the six-paragraph talking points—148 of its 248 words (see Version 2 above). Gone were the reference to “Islamic extremists,” the reminders of agency warnings about al Qaeda in Libya, the reference to “jihadists” in Cairo, the mention of possible surveillance of the facility in Benghazi, and the report of five previous attacks on foreign interests.

What remained—and would be included in the final version of the talking points—was mostly boilerplate about ongoing investigations and working with the Libyan government, together with bland language suggesting that the “violent demonstrations”—no longer “attacks”—were spontaneous responses to protests in Egypt and may have included generic “extremists” (see Version 3 above).

If the story of what happened in Benghazi was dramatically stripped down from the first draft of the CIA’s talking points to the version that emerged after the Deputies Committee meeting, the narrative would soon be built up again. In ensuing days, administration officials emphasized a “demonstration” in front of the U.S. facility in Benghazi and claimed that the demonstrators were provoked by a YouTube video. The CIA had softened “attack” to “demonstration.” But as soon became clear, there had been no demonstration in Benghazi.

More troubling was the YouTube video. Rice would spend much time on the Sunday talk shows pointing to this video as the trigger of the chaos in Benghazi. “What sparked the violence was a very hateful video on the Internet. It was a reaction to a video that had nothing to do with the United States.” There is no mention of any “video” in any of the many drafts of the talking points…”

1350910595779.cached

Related Links:

claw

Gowdy to first-hand account Benghazi eyewitnesses: You will be protected

VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman Trey Gowdy joins us. Nice to see you, Congressman.

REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: Good to see you. How are you?

VAN SUSTEREN: I’m very well. And I understand late breaking today, the news that on May 8th, there will be hearings before Chairman Issa’s committee. I assume it — will it be calling these whistleblowers to testify?

GOWDY: Well, I’m not going to — I’m not at liberty to disclose the identity of the witnesses. I will just say what I have said previously, which is it is going to be a very informational, instructive hearing. I would encourage you to follow it.

And Benghazi is warming up. It is not going away, despite the efforts of this administration.

VAN SUSTEREN: What makes it informational? I’ll try going around that way.

GOWDY: Well, Greta, you were a very accomplished attorney, and I think you know that hearsay evidence is not so interesting. First-hand accounts by eyewitnesses much more compelling, much more persuasive.

So I would again repeat for your audience and those who may be watching, if you also have firsthand knowledge about what happened in Benghazi, secure counsel, see Chairman Issa, get counsel. We’ll have it appointed. You will be protected.

So let me just say that next week will be a wonderful opportunity for us to hear non-hearsay accounts of what happened in Benghazi.

VAN SUSTEREN: I guess that leads, then, to my second question. Now – – now — now we know that it’s going to be people with firsthand account of Benghazi, so I assume that they were on the ground in Benghazi. I will make that assumption. I don’t know — you have not confirmed it or not, but I’ll make that assumption.

But the State Department has said that they have already — they’ve already investigated, the accountability review board, which was an outsourced group of people by the State Department, that they fully have investigated it.

Are you saying that you — that you are not accepting their investigation and that you yourself want to talk to the witnesses?

GOWDY: Oh, that’s an understatement, to say that we haven’t accepted it. Greta, how in the world can you have a comprehensive review of Benghazi when you don’t even bother to talk to the secretary of state? She wasn’t even interviewed by the so-called accountability review board!

There’s a reason that students don’t grade their own papers. There’s a reason defendants don’t sentence themselves. And there’s the reason the State Department doesn’t get to investigate itself, determine whether or not it made errors in Benghazi. That is Congress’s job.

So yes, it would be a — a — a wild understatement for us to say we do not have confidence in the accountability review board and its conclusions.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, one thing you and I have talked to off- camera on many occasions (INAUDIBLE) we talk about the courtroom and how different it is, is that you get to ask questions until you get the answer and you get — in Congress, you have, like, four minutes or five minutes. So nothing ever gets fully developed.

Have you considered sort of, like, you know, joining forces with some of your colleagues and someone taking all the — all the time so that the questions really can be asked, rather than the sort of — you do three minutes, the next person three minutes, and we never hear what happened?

GOWDY: We have had those conversations before. Of course, when you’re dealing with members of Congress, each one of them individually wants all the time. So I am fortunate to serve on Oversight with folks like Jimmy Jordan and Jason Chaffetz, who are very strong on a host of issues but don’t have courtroom experience.

And I think you are going to see a very well-prepared side of the dais for the Republicans on the hearing next week. I’ve been preparing all weekend for it. And as you say, I’ll only get five minutes. I’ve been approached by colleagues who would like to yield their time to me. Of course, the frustration is you get five minutes, and then you go to the other side. So whatever points you were making, you have to start all over again.

Chairman Issa has certain tools at his disposal which he doesn’t use very often, but they are tools nonetheless for us to have more continuity. This is such an important hearing that I expect and hope that Chairman Issa will use every arrow in his quiver to make sure that the audience doesn’t have this continual interruption of five minutes here and then five minutes changing the topic.

And I know firsthand, because there has been coordination among the members on the Republican side, how we can present this case as seamlessly as possible come next week.

pict321

BJMvDf1CYAA5Mtj.jpg large

Sources: 3 al Qaeda operatives took part in Benghazi attack

(CNN) — Several Yemeni men belonging to al Qaeda took part in the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi last September, according to several sources who have spoken with CNN.

One senior U.S. law enforcement official told CNN that “three or four members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” or AQAP, took part in the attack.

Another source briefed on the Benghazi investigation said Western intelligence services suspect the men may have been sent by the group specifically to carry out the attack. But it’s not been ruled out that they were already in the city and participated as the opportunity arose…

According to one source, counterterrorism officials learned the identity of the men and established they had spent two nights in Benghazi after the attack. Western intelligence agencies began trying to track the men in the aftermath of the terrorist attack, but were always behind in their manhunt.

They were later traced to northern Mali, where they are believed to have connected with a fighting group commanded by Moktar Belmoktar, a prominent jihadist leader, according to a senior law enforcement source.

The trail appears to have then gone cold…

Another source briefed on the investigation had previously told CNN that Belmoktar had received a call in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack from someone in or close to the city. Whoever made the call was excited.

“Mabruk, Mabruk!” he repeated, meaning “Congratulations” in Arabic.

There is no proof the call was specifically about the attack, but the source says that is the assumption among those with knowledge of the call. One source says the phone call was discovered when a Western intelligence service trawled through intercepts of communications made in the wake of the attack…”

photo1

Does the Obama Government Really Want to Catch Anyone Involved in the Benghazi Attack?

“…I realize that none of this is a revelation to anyone who has followed Benghazi closely. But it is startling to realize that the FBI really may be complicit in the ongoing cover-up. Yesterday’s photos show us a couple of things. One, the FBI apparently hasn’t gotten past square one in its Benghazi investigation, after eight months. Two, the government appears to have a policy of keeping the investigation from ever getting past square one. Why?

Set the effort to blame a YouTube movie aside for the moment. Set whether a “stand down” order was given during the attack or not aside for a moment. Why wouldn’t the U.S. government that pledges to bring the Benghazi terrorists to justice do so little to actually bring those terrorists to justice? What do they know that they’re still not willing to tell about that attack?

We’re going to need a select committee, maybe a special independent prosecutor, to get to the bottom of Benghazi. It will take strong subpoena power and needs to be outside the usual House or Senate committee processes and investigations. What we know or can surmise about Benghazi at this point indicates that the cover-up involves at least two cabinet level departments, Justice and State, a former cabinet official and two current ones, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Eric Holder.

This indicates that the intentional failure to investigate is ultimately being ordered and coordinated above both — in the White House. Jay Carney said as much this week when he dismissed Benghazi, saying it happened “a long time ago,” and said that State has told the White House that it knows of no one who has come forward wanting to talk. If they weren’t aware of it before this week, which is implausible, they certainly are now…”

benghazi-libya-coverup-obama-white-house-hillary-clinton-chris-stevens

Open Letter to the U.S. House of Representatives

April 8, 2013

To:  Members of The U.S. House of Representatives

Subject: The Benghazi attacks on 9/11/ 2012

The undersigned are a representative group of some 700 retired Military Special Operations professionals who spent the majority of their careers preparing for and executing myriad operations to rescue or recover detained or threatened fellow Americans. In fact, many of us participated in both the Vietnam era POW rescue effort, The Son Tay Raid, as well as Operation Eagle Claw, the failed rescue attempt in April of 1980 in Iran, so we have been at this for many years and have a deep passion for seeking the truth about what happened during the national tragedy in Benghazi.

The purpose of this letter is to encourage all members of the US House of Representatives to support H.Res. 36, which will create a House Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi. It is essential that a full accounting of the events of September 11, 2012, be provided and that the American public be fully informed regarding this egregious terrorist attack on US diplomatic personnel and facilities. We owe that truth to the American people and the families of the fallen.

It appears that many of the facts and details surrounding the terrorist attack which resulted in four American deaths and an undetermined number of American casualties have not yet been ascertained by previous hearings and inquiries. Additional information is now slowly surfacing in the media, which makes a comprehensive bipartisan inquiry an imperative. Many questions have not been answered thus far. The House Select Committee should address, at a minimum, the following questions:

1. Why was there no military response to the events in Benghazi?

a. Were military assets in the region available? If not, why not?

b. If so, were they alerted?

c. Were assets deployed to any location in preparation for a rescue or recovery attempt?

d. Was military assistance requested by the Department of State? If so, what type?

e. Were any US Army/Naval/USMC assets available to support the US diplomats in Benghazi during the attack?

f. What, if any, recommendations for military action were made by DOD and the US Africa Command?

2. What, if any, non-military assistance was provided during the attack?

3. How many US personnel were injured in Benghazi?

4. Why have the survivors of the attack not been questioned?

5. Where are the survivors?

6. Who was in the White House Situation Room (WHSR) during the entire 8-hour period of the attacks, and was a senior US military officer present?

7. Where were Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey during the crisis, and what inputs and recommendations did they make?

8. Where were Tom Donilon, the National Security Advisor, Denis McDonough, his deputy, Valerie Jarrett and John Brennan during the attacks, and what (if any) recommendations or decisions did any of them make?

9. Why were F-16 fighter aircraft based in Aviano, Italy (less than two hours away) never considered a viable option for disruption (if not dispersal) of the attackers until “boots on the ground” (troop support–General Dempsey’s words) arrived?

10. Were any strike aircraft (such as an AC-130 gunship) in the area or possibly overhead that would cause former SEAL Tyrone Woods to laser-designate his attacker’s position and call for gunship fire support, thereby revealing his own location that led to his death?

11. Who gave the order to “STAND DOWN” that was heard repeatedly during the attacks?

12. What threat warnings existed before the attack, and what were the DOD and DOS responses to those warnings? What data (which will reveal exact timelines and command decisions) is contained within the various SITREPS, records, logs, videos and recordings maintained by the myriad of DOD, Intelligence Community and State Department Command Centers that were monitoring the events in Benghazi as they unfolded?

13. Why did the Commander-in Chief and Secretary of State never once check in during the night to find out the status of the crisis situation in Benghazi?

14. What was the nature of Ambassador Stevens’ business in Benghazi at the time of the attack?

15. What guidance has been provided to survivors and family members since the time of the attack, and who issued that guidance?

16. Why are so many agencies now requiring their personnel that were involved in or have access to information regarding the events that took place in Benghazi sign Non-Disclosure Agreements?

This was the most severe attack on American diplomatic facilities and personnel since the attacks on the US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.  Thus far, it appears that there has been no serious effort to determine critical details of this attack. This is inexcusable and demands immediate attention by the Congress. Congress must show some leadership and provide answers to the public as to what actually occurred in Benghazi. Americans have a right to demand a full accounting on this issue.

A longstanding American ethos was breached during the terrorist attack in Benghazi. America failed to provide adequate security to personnel deployed into harm’s way and then failed to respond when they were viciously attacked. Clearly, this is unacceptable and requires accountability. America has always held to the notion that no American will be left behind and that every effort will be made to respond when US personnel are threatened. Given our backgrounds, we are concerned that this sends a very negative message to future military and diplomatic personnel who may be deployed into dangerous environments.  That message is that they will be left to their own devices when attacked.  That is an unacceptable message.

The House Select Committee should focus on getting a detailed account of the events in Benghazi as soon as possible. H. Res. 36 will provide a structure for the conduct of a thorough inquiry of Benghazi and should be convened immediately.

We ask that you fulfill your responsibilities to the American people and take appropriate action regarding Benghazi. With over sixty members of the US House of Representatives calling for this Select Committee already, it seems that the time is right to take appropriate action on Benghazi.

Sign the Petition – http://specialoperationsspeaks.com/petition/benghazigate-petition

benghazi_3

End the Benghazi Cover-up

Months after the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, critical questions still remain unanswered: Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) has introduced a congressional resolution, H. Res. 36, calling for the establishment of a special Congressional committee to investigate the Benghazi attack and the Obama administration’s handling of it in the weeks that followed. It’s an opportunity for a comprehensive investigation that connects all the dots, and holds people accountable. Over 120 Members of Congress have co-sponsored H. Res. 36. If your representative is not one of them, please take a moment to encourage him/her to do so.

JOIN Over 700 Special Ops Veterans to DEMAND A Select Committee for Benghazi! SIGN THE PETITION TO END THE COVER-UP TODAY!

7987131153_9021b37a1e_z

2nd Presidential Debate

QUESTION: We were sitting around, talking about Libya, and we were reading and became aware of reports that the State Department refused extra security for our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, prior to the attacks that killed four Americans.

Who was it that denied enhanced security and why?

OBAMA: Well, let me first of all talk about our diplomats, because they serve all around the world and do an incredible job in a very dangerous situation. And these aren’t just representatives of the United States, they are my representatives. I send them there, oftentimes into harm’s way. I know these folks and I know their families. So nobody is more concerned about their safety and security than I am.

So as soon as we found out that the Benghazi consulate was being overrun, I was on the phone with my national security team and I gave them three instructions.

Number one, beef up our security and procedures, not just in Libya, but at every embassy and consulate in the region.

Number two, investigate exactly what happened, regardless of where the facts lead us, to make sure folks are held accountable and it doesn’t happen again.

And number three, we are going to find out who did this and we’re going to hunt them down, because one of the things that I’ve said throughout my presidency is when folks mess with Americans, we go after them.

OBAMA: Now Governor Romney had a very different response. While we were still dealing with our diplomats being threatened, Governor Romney put out a press release, trying to make political points, and that’s not how a commander in chief operates. You don’t turn national security into a political issue. Certainly not right when it’s happening. And people — not everybody agrees with some of the decisions I’ve made. But when it comes to our national security, I mean what I say. I said I’d end the war in Libya — in — in Iraq, and I did.

I said that we’d go after al-Qaeda and bin Laden, we have. I said we’d transition out of Afghanistan, and start making sure that Afghans are responsible for their own security, that’s what I’m doing. And when it comes to this issue, when I say that we are going to find out exactly what happened, everybody will be held accountable. And I am ultimately responsible for what’s taking place there because these are my folks, and I’m the one who has to greet those coffins when they come home. You know that I mean what I say.

CROWLEY: Mr. President, I’m going to move us along. Governor?

ROMNEY: Thank you Kerry for your question, it’s an important one. And — and I — I think the president just said correctly that the buck does stop at his desk and — and he takes responsibility for — for that — for the failure in providing those security resources, and — and those terrible things may well happen from time to time. I — I’m — I feel very deeply sympathetic for the families of those who lost loved ones. And today there’s a memorial service for one of those that was lost in this tragedy. We — we think of their families and care for them deeply. There were other issues associated with this — with this tragedy. There were many days that passed before we knew whether this was a spontaneous demonstration, or actually whether it was a terrorist attack.

ROMNEY: And there was no demonstration involved. It was a terrorist attack and it took a long time for that to be told to the American people. Whether there was some misleading, or instead whether we just didn’t know what happened, you have to ask yourself why didn’t we know five days later when the ambassador to the United Nations went on TV to say that this was a demonstration. How could we have not known?

But I find more troubling than this, that on — on the day following the assassination of the United States ambassador, the first time that’s happened since 1979, when — when we have four Americans killed there, when apparently we didn’t know what happened, that the president, the day after that happened, flies to Las Vegas for a political fund-raiser, then the next day to Colorado for another event, other political event.

I think these — these actions taken by a president and a leader have symbolic significance and perhaps even material significance in that you’d hope that during that time we could call in the people who were actually eyewitnesses. We’ve read their accounts now about what happened. It was very clear this was not a demonstration. This was an attack by terrorists.

And this calls into question the president’s whole policy in the Middle East. Look what’s happening in Syria, in Egypt, now in Libya. Consider the distance between ourselves and — and Israel, the president said that — that he was going to put daylight between us and Israel.

We have Iran four years closer to a nuclear bomb. Syria — Syria’s not just a tragedy of 30,000 civilians being killed by a military, but also a strategic — strategically significant player for America.

The president’s policies throughout the Middle East began with an apology tour and — and — and pursue a strategy of leading from behind, and this strategy is unraveling before our very eyes.

CROWLEY: Because we’re — we’re closing in, I want to still get a lot of people in. I want to ask you something, Mr. President, and then have the governor just quickly.

Your secretary of state, as I’m sure you know, has said that she takes full responsibility for the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Does the buck stop with your secretary of state as far as what went on here?

OBAMA: Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job. But she works for me. I’m the president and I’m always responsible, and that’s why nobody’s more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I do.

The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.

And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.

And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president, that’s not what I do as Commander in Chief.

CROWLEY: Governor, if you want to…

ROMNEY: Yes, I — I…

CROWLEY: … quickly to this please.

ROMNEY: I — I think interesting the president just said something which — which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror.

OBAMA: That’s what I said.

ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror.

It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?

OBAMA: Please proceed governor.

ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

OBAMA: Get the transcript.

CROWLEY: It — it — it — he did in fact, sir. So let me — let me call it an act of terror…

OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy?

CROWLEY: He — he did call it an act of terror. It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.

ROMNEY: This — the administration — the administration indicated this was a reaction to a video and was a spontaneous reaction.

CROWLEY: It did.

ROMNEY: It took them a long time to say this was a terrorist act by a terrorist group. And to suggest — am I incorrect in that regard, on Sunday, the — your secretary —

OBAMA: Candy?

ROMNEY: Excuse me. The ambassador of the United Nations went on the Sunday television shows and spoke about how —

OBAMA: Candy, I’m —

ROMNEY: — this was a spontaneous —

CROWLEY: Mr. President, let me —

OBAMA: I’m happy to have a longer conversation —

CROWLEY: I know you —

OBAMA: — about foreign policy.

CROWLEY: Absolutely. But I want to — I want to move you on and also —

OBAMA: OK. I’m happy to do that, too.

CROWLEY: — the transcripts and —

OBAMA: I just want to make sure that —

CROWLEY: — figure out what we —

OBAMA: — all of these wonderful folks are going to have a chance to get some of their questions answered.

andrews

Related Previous Benghazi Posts:

tumblr_mb2y41mE011rgeht2o1_500

Fiat justitia ruat caelum

“Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

Hillary Clinton Honors Late Ambassador Chris Stevens At Awards Ceremony

Benghazi attack report submitted to Hillary Clinton

 The panel set up by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to look into the circumstances that led to the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, has submitted its report, a State Department official said on Monday.

 The Accountability Review Board (ARB) led by Tom Pickering, the former US Ambassador, and Adm (rtd) Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, submitted their report to Clinton today, her spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news conference.

 “The ARB has completed its work. Its report has gone to the Secretary this morning; she now has it,” she said.

 Pickering and Mullen are expected to brief two key Congressional committees – the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee – on Wednesday, in a closed door meeting.

 A day later two of Clinton’s top aides would appear before the two Congressional committee in an open session.

 The report – which has both the classified and unclassified parts – would be submitted to the Congress before Wednesday.

 Clinton was earlier scheduled to brief the Congressional committee, but because of her illness it would now be done by senior State Department officials.

 In a letter to the leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Clinton thanks them for their understanding and promised to remain engaged with them in January on this issue.

 “It was her intention to be there. If she had not been ill, she would be there. She has also committed, including in a letter today to the committee chairmen, that she looks forward to having an ongoing conversation with them herself,” Nuland said.

clinton-drinking1

Hillary in Hiding

American Thinker – By Daren Jonescu

… The basic question here is whether Hillary Clinton has so completely dissolved her own moral core — the way her boss and fellow Alinskyite clearly has done — that she is incapable of feeling even the fear of self-revelation when she is called to account for her words and actions.

In other words, is this week’s illness and fainting spell just a convenient excuse for avoiding her responsibilities, or might it be the pounding of a tell-tale heart?

 Never having sat on my hands for several hours while receiving live reports and images of my employees being attacked by Ansar al-Sharia, I cannot say for certain how I would feel in her situation.

 Never having received communications from men in distress pleading for rescue or support, and done nothing to respond to their cries for help, I can only speculate as to how I would feel if a committee — some of whose members are not my political allies — wanted to ask me what happened.

 Never having offered an initial statement immediately following the murder of my ambassador in which I explicitly blamed his death on “heavily armed militants” and never mentioned any “spontaneous protest” in Libya, only to follow it up with subsequent statements cagily blaming an anti-Muhammad video and fudging on the spontaneous protest story, I have no idea how I would feel if I feared that someone might ask me about the sudden 180-degree turn in my account.

 Never having spent three months, in cahoots with my boss and other liars, carefully avoiding, deferring, and obscuring the simplest inquiry of all — “At what time, exactly, did you first hear of the attack on your Libyan consulate, and by what sequence of reasoning did you all decide that a rescue attempt was uncalled for?” — how can I know how I would feel if I were concerned that I might finally be asked that question in a Congressional hearing?

… The Benghazi scandal, as I have said before, makes Watergate — during which Clinton suffered her own first scandal, incidentally — look like cheating at tiddlywinks. Men died after a seven hour battle, and after their repeated pleas to Washington for help were rejected. In the wake of this horror, the Obama administration created a calculated cloud of conflicting half-stories in order to protect Obama’s re-election bid.

The centerpiece of their cloud of lies was a fabrication about a “spontaneous” or “natural” protest that never occurred — and that they knew never occurred — a lie which, by emphasizing and repeatedly blaming a “disgusting” video about Muhammad, actually stoked real and deadly protests throughout the Middle East.

 Hillary Clinton is the highest-ranking member of the administration scheduled to testify, and her prospective testimony would be most pertinent — not because of what she would say, but because of what others would then need to say, or unsay, to remain consistent with her story…

 But she isn’t feeling well, and wants to stay home this week, so you should just forget the whole thing; goodness knows she’d like to forget it. (By the way, is this not the kind of fragility in the face of duty that ought to disqualify her as a presidential candidate?)…

120909_hillary_clinton_ap_605

Hillary Clinton Recovering at Home, Reviewing Benghazi Report

ABC News – By Dana Hughes

Secretary of  State  Hillary Clinton is feeling a bit better following the concussion she suffered early last week, but will continue to rest this week, State Department officials said.

“She is on the mend,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. “We thank all of you for your good wishes, and she’s obviously going to be fine. But… she’s going to be working at home this week.”

A U.S.  official tells ABC News that Clinton is feeling more “like herself” and would like to go back to work, but doctors have advised it may take several weeks and want the secretary to rest.  That is standard for concussion treatment.

Clinton originally fell ill from a stomach virus following a whirlwind trip to Europe at the beginning of the month, which caused such severe dehydration that she fainted and fell at home, said the State Department. According to the official, the secretary had two teams of doctors, including specialists, examine her.

They also ran tests to rule out more serious ailments beyond the virus and the concussion. During the course of the week, Clinton was on an IV drip and being monitored by a nurse, while also recovering from the pain caused by the fall.

Nuland said the decision to cancel Clinton’s schedule this week was made on Saturday morning after consulting with her doctors.

The secretary was set for a full week of events and work commitments, including testifying before the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations committees on Thursday, following the release of the State Department’s internal investigation on the consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya in September.  Deputy Secretaries of State Bill Burns and Tom Nides will testify in her place.

The investigation, conducted by an appointed Accountability Review Board, was ordered by Clinton in October. Nuland told reporters today that the board has completed its work. She said Secretary Clinton received the report on Monday and is reviewing it at home.

Congressional committee members will receive the full, classified report before being briefed on Wednesday by the board’s chair, Ambassador Thomas Pickering, and member Admiral Mike Mullen in a closed session.

House Foreign Affairs chair  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said in a statement on Saturday that while the committee accepts Burns and Nides’ presence at the hearing,  she expects there will be questions  surrounding the attack that will at some point require  ”a public appearance by the Secretary of State herself. ”

Secretary Clinton has sent letters to the chairs of both committees making it clear that she is open to further meetings after the holidays, when Congress is back in session and she is feeling better,  said Nuland.

“She was ready to testify, she very much wanted to, she was preparing to, and except for this illness, she would have been up there herself.”

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Traitor

YOU LEFT OUR MEN TO DIE

GO TO HELL