Benghazi: One Year Later

Family Security Matters

Twelve years ago the bloodiest terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil occurred.  But, last year, the American people received another mournful September 11th  tragedy.

One year ago today, the victims of the Benghazi, Libya attacks-Ambassador  Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods-lost their lives at  the Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex in Benghazi. Others were seriously  injured. Since then, no one has been held accountable for the inadequate  security at the Mission, which ignored the so-called Inman  standards, or for the failure to fully anticipate the attacks given Libya’s  deteriorating security environment. This in spite of numerous  requests for increased security, which were ignored by top officials in  Washington, D.C. Danger pay was increased for those in Benghazi, but the  security was not upgraded. “The takeaway from that, for me and my staff, it was  abundantly clear, we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an  incident,” said Eric Nordstrom, former Regional Security Officer in Tripoli, at  a November 2012 hearing. “And the question that we would ask is, again, how thin  does the ice have to get before someone falls through?”

Last month, the American people were treated to the news that Secretary of  State John Kerry had cleared the State Department officials that former  Secretary of State Clinton had placed on administrative leave for their failure  to take appropriate action in the lead-up to the Benghazi attack. In December,  2012, The Accountability Review Board “found that certain senior State  Department officials within two bureaus demonstrated a lack of proactive  leadership and management ability in their responses to security  concerns…given the deteriorating threat environment and the lack of reliable  host government protection.” “However, the Board did not find reasonable cause  to determine that any individual U.S. government employee breached his or her  duty.” It was this lack of “breached” duty that compelled Secretary Kerry to end  the administrative leave for these officials and return them to State, albeit  into different positions.

Who, then, will be held accountable for the Administration’s failures in  Benghazi?

It seems that this Administration isn’t even interested in holding those who  actually perpetrated the attacks accountable. “Two weeks after the Obama  administration announced charges against suspects in the Benghazi attack, a  large portion of the U.S. team that hunted the suspects and trained Libyans to  help capture or kill them is leaving Libya permanently,” reported Fox  News last month.

“Special operators in the region tell Fox News that while Benghazi targets  have been identified for months, officials in Washington could ‘never pull the  trigger,'” the news outlet reported. “In fact, one source insists that much of  the information on Benghazi suspects had been passed along to the White House  after being vetted by the Department of Defense and the State Department-and at  least one recommendation for direct action on a Benghazi suspect was given to  President Obama as recently as Aug. 7.” Pentagon officials dispute these claims,  saying that the group in question was not specifically tasked with finding  Libyan suspects responsible for the Benghazi attack.  

 

The media’s coverage of the Benghazi attacks has been lackluster, at best,  since the very start. There have certainly been exceptions, such as Catherine  Herridge, Jennifer Griffin and Adam Housley of Fox News and CBS’s Sharyl  Attkisson, plus a number of conservative websites and publications. But for the  most part, the coverage has been a concerted effort to shield top officials in  the Obama Administration from responsibility for failures in advance of and on  the day of the event-as well as for a blatant attempt to cover up the truth of  what happened.

During a “60 Minutes” interview with President Obama on September 12th, 2012,  the President was asked if he thought Benghazi was a terrorist attack. His  answer wasn’t released until November 4-almost two months after the attacks.  President Obama and other administration officials have been criticized for  failing to adequately call the incident a terrorist attack until much later,  even though it was apparent to the administration on the day of the attacks that  it was a terrorist incident. “When I appeared before this committee three days  afterwards, I said it was a terrorist attack,” testified then-Defense Secretary  Leon Panetta.

As I noted back in November of last year, “The rest of the media largely stayed away from  the story, deflecting it on numerous talk shows by changing the subject, and  rarely, if at all, treating it as an Obama administration scandal.”

Then there was the matter of the YouTube video, the Innocence  of Muslims, which the administration and a willing media blamed for the  attacks in Benghazi. But that turned out to not be true. (The filmmaker, Nakoula  Basseley Nakoula, was recently released from prison and was interviewed on  CNN.)

As Fred Burton and Samuel Katz recount in their new book, Under  Fire, armed men swarmed out of the shadows during the Benghazi attack  after intimidating a Blue Mountain Group security guard to open the gate. But you would not have discovered that fact from listening to early media  accounts, or Susan Rice’s infamous appearances on the Sunday talk shows.  Instead, you would have thought the attack stemmed from a “spontaneous  protest.”

I tried contacting Blue Mountain Group, a small security firm out of Wales,  in the UK, for this article, and for our upcoming conference. As this Reuters  article pointed out, Blue Mountain Group hired about 20 Libyan men “after a  casual recruiting and screening process” to provide security to the compound. So  far, they have refused to talk to the media, or to anyone, on the record.

It took some intrepid reporting by the UK  Guardian that resulted in an article this week that pointed out the  inconsistencies in U.S. government statements about the incident. For example,  they demonstrate how U.S. official claims that there had been nothing unusual  that day in Benghazi, and that the compound had been well fortified earlier in  the year, were completely false. There are many such lies and inconsistencies  that they expose.

While the U.S. government and the mainstream media may not be interested in  covering the Benghazi attacks today, Accuracy in Media is. To uncover the truth  about the Benghazi attacks, Accuracy in Media formed the Citizens’  Commission on Benghazi, which will meet on September 16th in an open session  at 10:00 a.m. Members of the commission include Lt. Col. Allen West (Ret.), Adm.  James Lyons (Ret.), retired Generals Paul Vallely and Tom McInerney, and Col.  Dick Brauer Jr. (co-founder of SOS). Click here to see the  complete list of members and their bios. Featured guests include Tyrone  Woods’ father, Charles Woods, former CIA official Kevin Shipp, Rep. Frank Wolf  (R-VA), and Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell, among others. We have also released  a timeline of  events as they occurred on the lead up to September 11 and its  aftermath.

There is no charge to attend the event, but there is limited seating. The  event will be webcast live at the commission’s website. Attendees should  register online here or  contact Nathan Makla at Nathan.Makla@aim.org.

Read more: Family Security Matters http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/benghazi-one-year-later?f=must_reads#ixzz2elTEf3lt Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s