Author Topic: Obama Falsely Denies Benghazi Whistleblowers Kept Quiet, Impeeding Investigation  (Read 9197 times)

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Offline No2NWO

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Obama Administration Denies Benghazi Whistleblowers Being Kept Quiet

More than seven months after the attack Sept. 11, 2012, on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama administration continues to defend itself against allegations from House Republicans that the administration has not fully cooperated with Congress on the investigation into the attack.
On Tuesday, both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry addressed claims being made by House Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committee leaders that the administration is impeding the Congressional testimony of State Department and CIA employees who survived the attack.
“I’m not familiar with this notion that anybody’s been blocked from testifying,” said the president. “What I’ve been very clear about from the start is that our job with respect to Benghazi has been to find out exactly what happened, to make sure that U.S. embassies, not just in the Middle East but around the world, are safe and secure and to bring those who carried it out to justice.”
Speaking to reporters following a meeting with the Spanish foreign minister  at the State Department on Tuesday, Kerry  said “there’s an enormous amount of misinformation out there” about Benghazi. He referenced his testimony before the House two weeks ago, when he  told members that the State Department would work closely with Congress to clear up any lingering questions about the attacks so that everyone could move on and begin focusing on other pressing global issues.
“I do not want to spend the next year coming up here talking about Benghazi,” Kerry said.
He also promised to assign someone from his staff specifically to work with Congress to answer all remaining questions.
On Tuesday, Kerry confirmed that he has tasked his chief of staff, David Wade, with working “openly and accountably” with House GOP members on Benghazi issues. But he also expressed some exasperation about the politics of the continued debate.
“We have to de-mythologize this issue and certainly depoliticize it,” said Kerry. “The American people deserve answers. I’m determined that this will be an accountable and open State Department, as it has been in the past. And we will continue to do that, and we will provide answers.”
At the State Department briefing on Tuesday, spokesman Patrick Ventrell went further, denying GOP House members’ allegations that the State Department is trying to stop whistleblowers in the department from talking.
“Let me be very clear: The State Department is deeply committed to meeting its obligation to protect employees, and the State Department would never tolerate or sanction retaliation against whistleblowers on any issue, including this one. That’s an obligation we take very seriously, full stop,” said Ventrell. “The department regularly sends notices, as we do to our entire staff, to employees advising of their right to federal whistleblower protections.”
Ventrell said the State Department sent a “routine” update just last week advising department staff of their whistleblower protections.
He also flatly denied the claims that State Department employees who were survivors of the attack have requested security clearance for private attorneys because the administration is trying to block them from talking to Congress or the public.
“We’re not aware of any employees who have requested … security clearances for private attorneys in connection with Benghazi,” said Ventrell. “In the event of such requests, the department has a security clearance process in place under which clearances can be provided to private attorneys who are representing individual employees of this building.”
But Victoria Toensing, a lawyer for one of the State Department employees who witnessed the attack and is seeking to share the story fully with Congressional investigators, says the department is not being entirely truthful. Toensing maintains that asking employees, who are acting as whistleblowers, to go come forward, identify themselves and then inform the State Department that they are seeking council before they have representation leaves them vulnerable to intimidation and retribution.
“These people want their own lawyers,” Toensing tells ABC News. “They shouldn’t have to go in to their employer  what I call ‘naked’, without an attorney.”
On April 16th, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter to State Department lawyers asking for guidance on the process to have private attorney’s cleared, but Toensing says he never received an answer.  As a result ten days later Issa sent another letter, this time to Secretary Kerry, detailing the various ways he said the State Department has “attempted to impede or otherwise delay the committee’s investigation”
Issa specifically highlighted restrictions the department put on members reviewing classified and unclassified documents, allowing them only to review them while being monitored in a room that houses classified documents, not allowing members to photocopy or examine documents in a lengthy fashion.
“Notwithstanding the fact that the committee has both the right and the capability to review and possess classified information, I note that approximately 80 percent of the documents in question are unclassified and marked identically to documents routinely sent to the committee without the same restrictions placed upon them,” Issa wrote in the letter.
The congressman also accused the State Department of purposefully restricting access to witnesses of the attack for the Congressional investigation.
Toensing, a former Chief Council for the Senate Intelligence Committee who also served in the Department of Justice under the Reagan administration, says  she is still waiting for the State Department to provide her with what she needs to do to be cleared to represent her client. She says that her client faced pressure and threats from the department during the initial Benghazi  Congressional hearings and subsequent investigation, which is why she and other lawyers  have taken the cases of both State and CIA employees who want to talk, pro-bono.
She says she and other lawyers  are not asking that their clients be free to divulge classified information to the general public or media, but to speak fully with Congressional investigators. Toensing says being blocked from doing so is tantamount to obstructing justice.
“By not clearing lawyers they have made it so that clients cannot give lawyers the full story,” she says.
Toensing, who represented New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Time’s Matt Cooper in the Valerie Plame case, says she’s “a lawyer before… a Republican”  and that her involvement in the on-going controversy over the Benghazi attack is not driven by partisanship, but on what she thinks is right.
“Why can the Boston bomber get a team of defenders right away, and I agree with him getting that, he should, that’s our system; but a career public servant, who’s wants to represent government employees can’t be cleared three weeks later ?,” she says. ” I just want to be able to represent my client fully”

Related: FBI Seeks 3 Men Linked to Benghazi Terror Attack

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Face the Nation calls out Hillary "Benghazi" Clinton's ineptness to run the State Department and the cover up by the Obama Administration in an attempt to save her 2016 Presidential campaign. They are now lining up lower level employees to take the fall for her mismanaged fiasco.  

(CBS News) "Everybody in the mission" in Benghazi, Libya, thought the attack on a U.S. consulate there last Sept. 11 was an act of terror "from the get-go," according to excerpts of an interview investigators conducted with the No. 2 official in Libya at the time, obtained exclusively by CBS News' "Face the Nation."

"I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning," Greg Hicks, a 22-year foreign service diplomat who was the highest-ranking U.S. official in Libya after the strike, told investigators under authority of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Hicks, the former U.S. Embassy Tripoli deputy chief of mission, was not in Benghazi at the time of the attack, which killed Chris Stevens - then the U.S. ambassador to Libya - and three other Americans.

When he appears this week before the committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Hicks is expected to offer testimony at odds with what some American officials were saying in public - and on "Face the Nation" - just five days after the attack. Benghazi whistleblowers have rallied attention to discrepancies among the administration's reaction to the attack, which The Weekly Standard suggests was frayed by ever-evolving talking points that sought to remove references to al Qaeda.

On Sept. 16, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice hit the media circuit, appearing on all five Sunday talk shows to dispel the notion that the strike was a premeditated terrorist act and to perpetuate the case that it began "spontaneously" out of protests in Egypt. Rice's spot on "Face the Nation" that day was preceded by the new President of Libya Mohammed al-Magariaf, who said his government had "no doubt that this was preplanned, predetermined."

"For there to have been a demonstration on Chris Stevens's front door and him not to have reported it is unbelievable," he said. "I never reported a demonstration; I reported an attack on the consulate. Chris - Chris's last report, if you want to say his final report - is, 'Greg, we are under attack.'

"...I've never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career, as on that day," Hicks continued in his interview with investigators. "The net impact of what has transpired is, [Rice,] the spokesperson of the most powerful country in the world, has basically said that the president of Libya is either a liar of doesn't know what he's talking about. ....My jaw hit the floor as I watched this."

Though the White House has said it was in contact with officials in Libya the night of the attack, Hicks said in the days following, he was never consulted about the talking points. One day after Rice's Sunday show blitz, Hicks said he called Beth Jones, acting assistant secretary for near eastern affairs at the State Department, and asked, "Why did Amb. Rice say that?" The tone of her answer - "I don't know," he said - indicated that "I perhaps asked a question that I should not have asked."

The net impact of Rice's statements, Hicks said, was "immeasurable." On top of his personal belief that "the reason it took us so long to get the FBI to Benghazi is because of those Sunday talk shows," he said, Magariaf lost face "in front of not only his own people, but the world" at a time of democratic transition in his country. He added, "I have heard from a friend who had dinner with President Magariaf in New York City that he was still angry at Amb. Rice well after the incident."

Appearing on "Face the Nation" to address Hicks's remarks, chairman Issa agreed Sunday that the "fatal error" in a debacle that marked a "misinformation campaign at best, and a cover-up at worst," was tossing into the lurch the relationship between the United States and Libya.

"You can't insult a foreign leader in a greater way than happened literally here, just those few days later," Issa said. "Ambassadors know that the one thing you can't do is contradict your host, especially at a time when you need their cooperation. This was a fatal error to our relationship, at least for a period of time. And we can't find the purpose. [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] should have been among - above all else - the person who was on the same sheet of music with the Libyan government, and she wasn't."

Issa said his committee's hearing this week will try to get to the heart of why "the talking points were right, and then the talking points were wrong." Though he said it might be "in part" a cover-up effort in light of the State Department having turned down requests from diplomats on the ground for heightened security, "it does seem like it's bigger than that."

"There was this normalization, sort of a mentality, where you had to pretend like things were safe; the war on terror was over," Issa said. "And that may have gone in a great way to getting people to say, 'Well, we can't call this a terrorist attack because then the war on terror is back alive.'

"Well... the war on terror is very much alive," he continued, "whether it's Chechen nationals who come here, or whether it's what's going on in Syria - it's al Qaeda around the world. And that's the reality that, hopefully, State Department people will feel at least they are being properly protected after this attack."

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State Deptartment 'Whistleblowers' To Testify at Fresh Benghazi Hearing on Wensday
Three career State Department officials – who describe themselves as Benghazi "whistleblowers" — will testify at Wednesday's widely anticipated congressional hearing, Fox News reported, releasing the names that have been kept a well-guarded secret.

 The three men who will testify about the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks, in which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed, are:
Gregory N. Hicks, a foreign service officer and former Deputy Chief of Mission/Chargé d’Affairs in Libya
Former Marine Mark I. Thompson, acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism for the State Department.
Diplomatic security officer Eric Nordstrom, former Regional Security Officer in Libya. He was the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks.
They will appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by California Republican Darrell Issa.
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Benghazi Whistleblower: We knew it was a terrorist attack 'from the get go'

A top State Department official scheduled to give congressional testimony this week on the fatal attacks on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, says he knew immediately they were terror strikes, not a protest turned violent, according to interview transcripts released Sunday.

“I thought it was a terrorist attack from the get go,” says Greg Hicks, a 22-year foreign service diplomat who was the number two U.S. official in Libya at the time of the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks. “I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning.”

Hicks is one of two self-described State Department “whistle-blowers” scheduled to testify Wednesday before the Republican-led House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee. The other is Mark Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau.

The third witness, Eric Nordstrom, an agency diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, has already testified before Congress.

Their testimony also comes amid recent concerns that the State Department is perhaps intimidating officials who know about the attacks and want to testify.

Hicks is highly critical of the Obama administration’s explanation in the immediate aftermath of the attacks -- that the strikes were sparked by earlier protests in Egypt over an anti-Islamic video.

The attacks killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

“For there to have been a demonstration on Chris Stevens' front door and him not to have reported it is unbelievable,” says Hicks, according to the transcript provided by the committee. “And secondly, if he had reported it, he would have been out the back door within minutes of any demonstration appearing anywhere near that facility.  And there was a back gate to the facility, and, you know, it worked. … Chris' last report, if you want to say his final report, is, "Greg, we are under attack."

He also expresses frustration about why U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice appeared on all the major Sunday talk shows five days after the attacks and said they were sparked by protest and not premeditated, as Libya President Magarief was saying otherwise.

“I reported an attack on the consulate,” Hicks says in the transcripts. “It's jaw dropping that to me how that came to be. … I was personally known to one of Ambassador Rice's staff members. And, you know, we're six hours ahead of Washington. Even on Sunday morning I could have been called.”

The transcripts were released by House oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa during an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation."

"We know one thing, the talking points were right, and then the talking points were wrong," said Issa, R-Calif. "The CIA knew it was a terrorist attack, the deputy chief of mission, Gregory Hicks, knew it was a terrorist attack, the ambassador before he died, one of the last words he ever said is, ''We`re under attack.``

The release of the transcript follows committee member Rep. Jason Chaffetz's suggestion that potential witnesses to the attacks are being intimidated by the State Department; but they will come forward after the whistle-blowers testify.

“I think these people are afraid of retaliation, afraid of what the State Department will do to them,” Chaffetz, R-Utah, told “Fox News Sunday.”  “Others are out there and will testify.”

He also said, "There are people -- more than one -- that have felt intimidation from the State Department."

President Obama and the State Department have denied knowledge of such actions.

“I’m not familiar with this notion that anybody has been blocked,” the president said last week.

Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Steve Lynch told Fox on Sunday that independent investigators interviewed more than 100 witnesses and determined “no breach of duty” during the attacks.

Lynch, also a member of the House oversight committee, defended House Democrats on the issue, saying the Republican-led chamber calls the hearings and picks witnesses.

“We don’t have the ability to hold a hearing,” he said.

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Clinton sought end-run around counter-terrorism bureau on night of Benghazi attack, witness will say

On the night of Sept. 11, as the Obama administration scrambled to respond to the Benghazi terror attacks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a key aide effectively tried to cut the department's own counterterrorism bureau out of the chain of reporting and decision-making, according to a "whistle-blower" witness from that bureau who will soon testify to the charge before Congress, Fox News has learned.

That witness is Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for operations in the agency’s counterterrorism bureau. Sources tell Fox News Thompson will level the allegation against Clinton during testimony on Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

Fox News has also learned that another official from the counterterrorism bureau -- independently of Thompson -- voiced the same complaint about Clinton and Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy to trusted national security colleagues back in October.

Extremists linked to Al Qaeda stormed the American consulate and a nearby annex on Sept. 11, in a heavily armed and well-coordinated eight-hour assault that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans.

Thompson considers himself a whistle-blower whose account was suppressed by the official investigative panel that Clinton convened to review the episode, the Accountability Review Board (ARB). Thompson's lawyer, Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney, has further alleged that his client has been subjected to threats and intimidation by as-yet-unnamed superiors at State, in advance of his cooperation with Congress.

Sources close to the congressional investigation who have been briefed on what Thompson will testify tell Fox News the veteran counterterrorism official concluded on Sept. 11 that Clinton and Kennedy tried to cut the counterterrorism bureau out of the loop as they and other Obama administration officials weighed how to respond to -- and characterize -- the Benghazi attacks.

"You should have seen what (Clinton) tried to do to us that night," the second official in State's counterterrorism bureau told colleagues back in October.  Those comments would appear to be corroborated by Thompson's forthcoming testimony.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called the counterterrorism officials' allegation "100 percent false." A spokesman for Clinton said tersely that the charge is not true.

Thompson's attorney, diGenova, would not comment for this article.

Documents from the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, first published in the May 13 edition of "The Weekly Standard," showed that senior officials from those agencies decided within days of the attacks to delete all references to Al Qaeda's known involvement in them from "talking points" being prepared for those administration officers being sent out to discuss the attacks publicly.

Those talking points -- and indeed, the statements of all senior Obama administration officials who commented publicly on Benghazi during the early days after the attacks -- sought instead to depict the Americans' deaths as the result of a spontaneous protest that went awry. The administration later acknowledged that there had been no such protest, as evidence mounted that Al Qaeda-linked terrorists had participated in the attacks. The latter conclusion had figured prominently in the earliest CIA drafts of the talking points, but was stricken by an ad hoc group of senior officials controlling the drafting process. Among those involved in prodding the deletions, the documents published by "The Weekly Standard" show, was State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, who wrote at one point that the revisions were not sufficient to satisfy "my building's leadership."

The allegations of the two counterterrorism officials stand to return the former secretary of state to the center of the Benghazi story. Widely regarded as a leading potential candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, Clinton has insisted she was not privy to decisions made by underlings about the inadequate security for the U.S. installations in Benghazi that were made in the run-up to the attacks. And she has portrayed her role -- once the attacks became known in Washington -- as that of a determined fact-finder who worked with colleagues to fashion the best possible response to the crisis.

Clinton testified about Benghazi for the first and only time in January of this year, shortly before leaving office. She had long delayed her testimony, at first because she cited the need for the ARB to complete its report, and then because she suffered a series of untimely health problems that included a stomach virus, a concussion sustained during a fall at home, and a blood clot near her brain, from which she has since recovered. However, Clinton was never interviewed by the ARB she convened.

Fox News disclosed last week that the conduct of the ARB is itself now under review by the State Department's Office of Inspector General. A department spokesman said the OIG probe is examining all prior ARBs, not just the one established after Benghazi.

The counterterrorism officials, however, concluded that Clinton and Kennedy were immediately wary of the attacks being portrayed as acts of terrorism, and accordingly worked to prevent the counterterrorism bureau from having a role in the department's early decision-making relating to them.

Also appearing before the oversight committee on Wednesday will be Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks. Like Thompson, Hicks is a career State Department official who considers himself a Benghazi whistle-blower. His attorney, Victoria Toensing, a former chief counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, has charged that Hicks, too, has faced threats of reprisal from unnamed superiors at State. (Toensing and diGenova, who are representing their respective clients pro bono, are married.)

Portions of the forthcoming testimony of Hicks -- who was one of the last people to speak to Stevens, and who upon the ambassador's death became the senior U.S. diplomat in Libya -- were made public by Rep. Issa during an appearance on the CBS News program "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Hicks told the committee that he and his colleagues on the ground in Libya that night knew instantly that Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and that he was astonished that no one drafting the administration's talking points consulted with him before finalizing them, or before U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice delivered them on the Sunday talk shows of Sept. 16.

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Diplomat: U.S. Special Forces told "you can't go" to Benghazi during attacks

The deputy of slain U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens has told congressional investigators that a team of Special Forces prepared to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi during the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks was forbidden from doing so by U.S. Special Operations Command Africa.
U.S. diplomat contradicts White House on Benghazi
The account from Gregory Hicks is in stark contrast to assertions from the Obama administration, which insisted that nobody was ever told to stand down and that all available resources were utilized. Hicks gave private testimony to congressional investigators last month in advance of his upcoming appearance at a congressional hearing Wednesday.

According to excerpts released Monday, Hicks told investigators that SOCAFRICA commander Lt. Col. Gibson and his team were on their way to board a C-130 from Tripoli for Benghazi prior to an attack on a second U.S. compound "when [Col. Gibson] got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, 'you can't go now, you don't have the authority to go now.' And so they missed the flight ... They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it."

No assistance arrived from the U.S. military outside of Libya during the hours that Americans were under attack or trapped inside compounds by hostile forces armed with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and AK-47 rifles.

Hicks told congressional investigators that if the U.S. had quickly sent a military aircraft over Benghazi, it might have saved American lives. The U.S. Souda Bay Naval Base is an hour's flight from Libya.

 "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," Hicks testified. Two Americans died in the morning mortar attack.

Obama administration officials have insisted that no military resources could have made it in time. A White House official told CBS News that, at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta "looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies."

Hicks is expected to be the first ground-level eyewitness to speak publicly in the nearly eight months since the terrorist attacks that killed Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans. When Stevens went missing, Hicks became the Chief of Mission for the U.S. in Libya.

Ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton initially indicated the attacks were not planned acts of terror, but an outgrowth of a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islamic YouTube video. Unidentified government officials removed references to terrorism and al Qaeda from so-called "talking points" released to the public shortly after the attacks.

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.
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Sharyl Attkisson Shares Update On Computer Hacking Investigation
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2013, 01:41:43 pm »
Sharyl Attkisson Shares Update On Computer Hacking Investigation
June 17, 2013 - Dom Giordano

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)  — Just days after CBS News confirmed that reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s computer had indeed been hacked, Attkisson spoke to Dom Giordano about the investigation.

“This suspicious activity has been going on for quite some time – both on my CBS computer and my personal computer,” Attkisson said. “CBS then hired its own independent cyber security firm, which has been conducting a thorough forensic exam … they were able to rule out malware, phishing programs, that sort of thing.”

Attkisson described some of the bizarre things that were happening with her computer.

“There were just signs of unusual happenings for many months, odd behavior like the computers just turning themselves on at night and then turning themselves back off again. I was basically able to verify and obtain information from my sources on the suspicious activity and I reported it to CBS News in January because of course it included CBS equipment and systems.”

Attkisson could not speak about whether the hacking was related to her questions about Benghazi because of “legal counsel,” but she did say her work at that time was primarily on the occurrence.

Morality is contraband in war.
- Mahatma Gandhi

Offline jerryweaver

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BREAKING: Several Admirals and Generals Accusing Obama of Treason!
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2015, 01:08:29 pm »
Don’t Wait for the Next War: A Discussion with Gen. Wesley Clark:

Real sit down with General Clark.