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Saturday, September 24, 2016

In the name of US citizens who thought they and their tax dollars were the 'good guys,' Hillary Clinton and the like-minded Obama admin. partnered with depraved Islamist 'martyrs' and their sympathizers in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria. Benghazi was just part of this. Three weeks after 4 Americans were killed there and a State Dept. office looted, the FBI had not yet set foot in Benghazi. Sensitive documents were there for anyone to take. No US personnel guarded the location. Libyan contractors fearing for their safety contacted the US gov. but received no response-Washington Post, 10/3/2012

"It is this (US) alliance or support for "martyrs" and their sympathizers in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria that is the betrayal from which Benghazi-gate rises." 
10/3/2012, "Sensitive documents left behind at U.S. diplomatic post in Libya," Washington Post, Michael Birnbaum, Benghazi, Libya 

"More than three weeks after attacks in this city killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, sensitive documents remained only loosely secured in the wreckage of the U.S. diplomatic post on Wednesday, offering visitors easy access to delicate information about American operations in Libya. 

Documents detailing weapons collection efforts, emergency evacuation protocols, the full internal itinerary of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens’s trip and the personnel records of Libyans who were contracted to secure the mission were among the items scattered across the floors of the looted compound when a Washington Post reporter and a translator visited Wednesday. 

The discovery further complicates efforts by the Obama administration to respond to what has rapidly become a major foreign-policy issue just weeks before the election. Republicans have accused Obama of having left U.S. diplomatic compounds in Muslim-majority nations insufficiently protected on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and have questioned the security preparations ahead assaults on embassies in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Sudan."...

[Ed. note: No one cared if Beltway "Republicans accused" anyone of anything. The GOP desperately wanted Obama to be re-elected].

(continuing): "Capitol Hill critics have also pressed for an explanation for the slow pace of the investigation that has followed the attack in Benghazi. 

Although the gates to the Benghazi compound were locked several days after the attacks, looters and curiosity-seekers were free to roam in the initial chaotic aftermath, and many documents may already have disappeared. 

No government-provided security forces are guarding the compound, and Libyan investigators have visited just once, according to a member of the family who owns the compound and who allowed the journalists to enter Wednesday.... 

None of the documents were marked classified, but this is not the first time that sensitive documents have been found by journalists in the charred wreckage of the compound. CNN discovered a copy of the ambassador’s journal last month and broadcast details from it, drawing an angry response from the State Department. Unlike the journal, all of the documents seen by The Post were official. 

At least one document found amid the clutter indicates that Americans at the post were discussing the possibility of an attack in early September, just two days before the assault took place. The document is a memorandum dated Sept. 9 from the U.S. mission’s security office to the [Islamist] 17th February Martyrs Brigade, the Libyan-government-sanctioned [Islamist] militia that was guarding the compound, making plans for a “quick reaction force,” or QRF, that would provide security."...

[Ed. note: Who would hire an Islamist "martyrs" militia group in the lawless state of Libya to guard and possibly save the lives of anyone, much less Americans? Not mentioned in this article, perhaps not known at the time, the US State Dept. in Tripoli had been notified by Sept. 9, 2012 that the February 17th Martyrs Brigade wouldn't be available to protect the movements of Chris Stevens during his upcoming trip to Benghazi. Their contract with the State Dept. had lapsed several weeks earlier. To that point they'd been providing services under an expired contract.10/12/2012, "Administration Welcomed Wolves into the Sheepfold," Diana West]

(continuing): "“In the event of an attack on the U.S. Mission,” the document states, “QRF (quick reaction force) will request additional support from the [Islamist] 17th February Martyrs Brigade.” 

Other documents detail — with names, photographs, phone numbers and other personal information — the Libyans contracted to provide [unarmed] security for the post from a British-based private firm, Blue Mountain. Some of those Libyans say they now fear for their lives, and the State Department has said 
  •  it shares concerns about their safety. 
The guys with beards may endanger my life,” said one Libyan contractor, referring to the people who attacked the U.S. post. He spoke on the condition of anonymity, but his photograph, phone number, birthday, age, religion, English-language skills, Libyan national identity number, marital status, method of transport to work and first date of employment at the mission were all listed in a document found at the site, along with similarly detailed information about 13 others and basic information about dozens more.... 

Concerns about safety in Benghazi have confined a team of FBI investigators to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, which is hundreds of miles away, and local security officials say they cannot guarantee that Americans would be safe here. 

“We don’t have institutions,” said Col. Salah bin Omran, the newly appointed military head of Rafallah al-Sehati, a government-backed militia that is one of the main groups providing security in Benghazi. “The security for normal people is fine. But I don’t know. If the Americans come, I’m not sure they’ll be completely safe.” 

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson would not comment Wednesday on the agents’ location. “We’re continuing with our investigation, and we have not commented on the specific location of our agents or resources,” Bresson said. 

The delays may have significantly complicated efforts to interview or detain members of Ansar al-Sharia, the militant Islamist militia that the U.S. government suspects played an important role in the attack. Late last month, the militia’s compound was stormed by angry protesters, and its members have gone underground, taking their weapons with them after living openly in Benghazi for more than a week after the attack on the U.S. post. 

Many of the Libyan contractors, as well as some members of the brigade once tasked with guarding the compound, say they have not been contacted by the Libyan or U.S. governments about their safety concerns. Some say they have tried to contact the Americans but have not received a response. 

The Blue Mountain contractors were intended to complement the armed members of the militia. Both groups were present on the night of Sept. 11.

In the unsigned memorandum from the U.S. post to the militia, which appears to be a draft, guards “are required to acquire and maintain their own weapons and ammunition,” the document states.

The security presence appears to have been bare-bones, with three or more armed militia members on the compound any time the “principal officer” was present — either the head of the outpost or the ambassador. A somewhat larger group of unarmed contractors was also hired to guard the site but was not mentioned in the memorandum with the militia. 

When the principal officer was not present, a single militia member was instructed to be at the front gate between 8 a.m. and midnight. Between midnight and 8 a.m., one militia member was scheduled to be on roving patrol. The militia members were supposed to work a minimum of eight hours a day and were to be paid a stipend of about $28 a day, a relatively standard wage. They were housed on the U.S. compound. 

The memorandum tells the militia security force to summon more guards from its nearby base if the post is attacked, suggesting that the Americans there were concerned that the regular guard force would be inadequate in an emergency. 

The itinerary of Stevens’s trip to Benghazi includes a near-full accounting of his planned movements during what was supposed to be a visit that lasted from Sept. 10 until Sept. 15. It includes names and phone numbers of Libyans who were scheduled to meet with him. Some of those Libyans have not made their contact with Stevens public and could be at risk if it were publicly known. 

The meetings include briefings with U.S. officials, a private dinner with influential local leaders, and meetings with militia heads, business people, civil society activists and educators. The highlight of the visit was the opening of the American Space, a center intended to serve as a hub for U.S. culture and education. 

Several copies of the itinerary were scattered across multiple rooms of the compound. One appears to be a page from the ambassador’s personal copy; it was on the floor, next to a chair in the bedroom where he had been sleeping. The compound still reeked of smoke Wednesday, and all of the buildings had been looted. Overturned furniture, broken glass and strewn documents were everywhere. Chandeliers lay on the floor. In kitchens, food was rotting."...

US State Dept. was notified on or before Sept. 9 that the February 17th Martyrs Brigade wouldn't be available to protect Ambassador Chris Stevens during his upcoming trip to Benghazi:
May 1, 2013, "Militia Hired by State Dept. Warned It Wouldn’t Protect Stevens’ Movements in Benghazi," CNS News, Terence P. Jeffrey

"The February 17th Martyrs Brigade, a Benghazi-based militia with Islamist elements that the State Department hired as a “quick reaction force” (QRF) to protect the department’s mission in Benghazi, warned the State Department that it would not protect the movements of Amb. Chris Stevens when he visited there last September.

That warning was relayed to the regional security officer (RSO) at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli--the top security adviser to the ambassador--in an internal State Department email dated Sept. 9, 2012. 

That was one day before Stevens departed Tripoli for Benghazi--for what was scheduled to be a five-day visit.

“[O]n September 8, 2012, just days before Ambassador Stevens arrived in Benghazi, the February 17 Martyrs Brigade told State Department officials that the group would no longer support U.S. movements in the city, including the Ambassador’s visit,” said a report on Benghazi released last week by the chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Oversight, Judiciary and Armed Services committees.

In a footnote, the report attributed this information to an “Email from Alec Henderson to John B. Martinec, ‘RE: Benghazi QRF agreement,’ (Sep. 9, 2012 11:31 PM).”

The fact that the militia gave the State Department prior warning that it would not support the ambassador’s movements in Benghazi raises new questions about the way the department handled security in Benghazi and its subsequent unwillingness to make department personnel available to congressional committees that are investigating the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack."...

[Ed. note: Everyone knows "congressional committees" are just for show.]  

(continuing): "The State Department’s Accountability Review Board (ARB) report, released on Dec. 18, had revealed that the February 17 militia was no longer protecting the movement of U.S. vehicles in Benghazi at the time of Stevens’ September visit to the city. But it did not say that this information had been delivered to the regional security officer in Tripoli the day before Stevens traveled to Benghazi. 

“At the time of Ambassador Stevens’ visit, February 17 militia members had stopped accompanying Special Mission vehicle movements in protest over salary and working hours,” said the ARB report. A Senate Homeland Security Committee report issued on Dec. 30 also included some additional details the ARB report had not. It said: In early September, a member of the February 17 Brigade told another RSO [State Department regional security officer] in Benghazi that it could no longer support U.S. personnel movements. The RSO also asked specifically if the militia could provide additional support for the Ambassador’s pending visit and was told no."

A footnote in the Senate committee report attributes this information to an email sent to Charlene Lamb, who was then the deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for diplomatic security. The email was sent Sept. 20, 2012--nine days after the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi. The footnote says: “REDACTED, e-mail message to Charlene Lamb, ‘Ambassador’s protective detail in Benghazi,’ September 20, 2012.”

Back on Oct. 10, 2012, when the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held an initial hearing on the Benghazi terrorist attack, it took testimony from Lamb and from Eric Nordstrom. Nordstrom had served as the RSO in Tripoli, but left Libya on July 26, 2012, when he was replaced as RSO by Martinec--more than six weeks before the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack.

Martinec was the RSO in Tripoli, and thus Amb. Stevens' top security adviser, in the weeks leading up to the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi. He was the RSO who received the internal Sept. 9 State Department email stating that the February 17 militia had warned that it would no longer support the movements of U.S. personnel in Benghazi--including the movements of Amb. Stevens. Martinec was also the RSO at the U.S. Embassy in Libya when the Benghazi attack occurred.

But--unlike Nordstrom, who did not get the warning from the February 17 militia and who was not the RSO at the U.S. Embassy in Libya when the Benghazi attack occurred--Martinec did not testify in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Nor did the committee take testimony from the as-yet-anonymous RSO who was on temporary duty in Benghazi in September 2012 and, who, according to the Senate Homeland Security Committee report, heard directly from the February 17 militia that it would no longer support U.S. movements in the city.

The State Department’s Accountability Review Board concluded that the number of State Department security people on the ground in Benghazi had been inadequate even in the period that preceded the February 17 militia’s declaration that it would no longer protect the movements of U.S. personnel in the city.

“Overall, the number of Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) security staff in Benghazi on the day of the attack and in the months and weeks leading up to it was inadequate, despite repeated requests from Special Mission Benghazi and Embassy Tripoli for additional staffing,” said the ARB report.

Not only was the State Department facility in Benghazi understaffed, according to the ARB, it was also staffed with less experienced officers.

“Furthermore, DS’s (Bureau of Diplomatic Security) reliance on volunteers for TDY [temporary duty] positions meant that the ARSOs [assistant regional security officers] in Benghazi often had relatively little or no prior DS program management or overseas experience,” said the ARB report. “For a time, more experienced RSOs were sent out on longer term TDYs, but even that appeared to diminish after June 2012, exactly at the time the security environment in Benghazi was deteriorating further.”...

On Sept. 10, 2012—the day after RSO John Martinec at the Tripoli embassy got the email telling him that the February 17 militia would not support the ambassador’s movements in Benghazi—there were only three temporary duty State Department Diplomatic Security officers deployed at the department’s compound in that city. Stevens brought only two more with him when he went ahead with his trip to Benghazi that day—bringing the total number of State Department security personnel in that city to five....

By the ARB’s accounting, the five State Department security officers with Amb. Stevens on Sept. 11 were outnumbered within the State Department’s own compound by the eight hired Libyan “guards” there that day. These included three of the four February 17 militia, who lived within the compound, and five unarmed contract guards working for the Blue Mountain Libya contractor.

“In the absence of an effective central government security presence, the Special Mission’s Libyan security contingent was composed of four armed members of the February 17 Martyrs’ Brigade (February 17)--a local umbrella organization of militias dominant in Benghazi (some of which were Islamist) and loosely affiliated with the Libyan government, but not under its control,” said the ARB report.

“They resided in a guest house building on compound. Normally four members resided on the Special Mission compound near the front gate, but on September 11 one had been absent for several days, reportedly due to a family illness. The Special Mission also had an unarmed, contract local guard force (LGF), Blue Mountain Libya (BML), which provided five guards per eight-hour shift, 24/7, to open and close the gates, patrol the compound, and give warning in case of an attack."

Two weeks before Amb. Stevens traveled to Benghazi, the diplomatic officer who was then manning the mission on temporary duty wrote an email to the diplomatic officer coming in to replace him. The email gave his view of the February 17 militia.

“In a handoff email to his replacement on August 29, 2012, the principal U.S. diplomatic officer in Benghazi wrote that the contract with the militia ‘lapsed several weeks ago’ but that they were still operating under its terms, said the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s December report. “He said that ‘[t]his is a delicate issue, as we are relying on a militia in lieu of the central authorities and [Feb 17 Brigade] has been implicated in several of the recent detentions. We also have the usual concerns re their ultimate loyalties. But they are competent, and give us an added measure of security. For the time being, I don’t think we have a viable alternative.’” 

In other words, the only "viable alternative" the State Department found for enhancing its security in Benghazi beyond the three American diplomatic security agents it had temporarily posted there was a militia implicated in detaining people, whose loyalty was in doubt, and that had just warned the State Department that it would not protect the movements of Amb. Stevens when he visited Benghazi for a five-day period spanning the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks....

On Sept. 10, his first day in Benghazi, according to the ARB report, Stevens traveled to at least two locations in the city: the CIA Annex that was down the road from the State Department compound and a hotel where he had dinner with the city council.

The next day, the eleventh anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, he did not leave the State Department compound. “Ambassador Stevens and Benghazi-based DS agents had taken the anniversary into account and decided to hold all meetings on-compound on September 11,” said the ARB report.

The terrorist attack on the compound started at about 9:42 p.m. Benghazi time. The ARB report concluded that as it unfolded the February 17 militia did not perform well.

“The Board’s inquiry found little evidence that the armed February 17 guards alerted Americans at the SMC [Special Mission Compound] to the attack or summoned a February 17 militia presence to assist expeditiously once the attack was in progress--despite the fact that February 17 members were paid to provide interior security and a quick reaction force for the SMC and the fact that February 17 barracks were in the close vicinity, less than 2 km away from the SMC,” said the ARB report.

In a Nov. 2 story, the Wall Street Journal reported that: “The CIA's security force at the annex sometimes provided backup security for the ambassador when he traveled outside the consulate.” This report was cited by the Congressional Research Service in a report of its own when it said CIA “[p]ersonnel in Benghazi reportedly included a security force of approximately 10 individuals, who had on previous occasions shielded Ambassador Stevens when he left the U.S. facility.” (Note: Stevens had served as a special envoy to the Libyan revolutionaries in Benghazi from April 5, 2011 until Nov. 17, 2011. But he had left Libya after that, and his September 2012 trip to Benghazi was his first to that city since he had returned to Libya on May 26, 2012 to serve as U.S. ambassador.)

Asked by whether CIA security personnel assisted in providing security for Stevens when he travelled around Benghazi on Sept. 10, or planned to assist in securing Stevens’ later movements in Benghazi on that trip, the CIA declined to comment....

At a White House press conference on Tuesday, Ed Henry of Fox News asked President Obama: “There are people in your own State Department saying they’ve been blocked from coming forward, that they survived the terror attack and they want to tell their story. Will you help them come forward and just say it once and for all?” Obama responded: “I’m not familiar with this notion that anybody has been blocked from testifying. So what I’ll do is I will find out what exactly you’re referring to.”

Later on Tuesday, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa responded to the president. “A lawyer for Benghazi whistleblowers [Victoria Toensing, who was chief counsel for Sen. Barry Goldwater when he was chairman of the Senate Intelligence committee] has publicly stated that the State Department is blocking her client’s ability to talk freely with counsel,” said Issa. “Over the past two weeks, I have sent four letters requesting that this Administration make information available about how lawyers--who already have security clearances and are representing Benghazi whistleblowers--can be cleared to fully hear their clients’ stories. I have yet to receive any response from the Obama Administration. 

“Even if the President really doesn’t know anything about someone wanting to come forward, his position should be that whistleblowers deserve protection and that anyone who has different information about Benghazi is free to come forward to Congress,” said Issa."...

10/12/2012, "Administration Welcomed Wolves into the Sheepfold," Diana West 

"Ansar al Sharia ("Supporters of Islamic Law"), the al-Qaida-linked militia believed to have led the consulate assault in September (2012), is a spinoff of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, but that didn't scratch the lacquered political surface, either. And even as reports remind us of ties among February 17 Martyrs Brigade leadership, the Muslim Brotherhood and the web of jihad-poison spun by Qatar's Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Libya's Ali al-Salabi -- the latter having been tapped by the Qatari dictatorship to distribute $2 billion to Libyan "rebels" -- the focal point remains elsewhere.

Partly, that's because the breathtaking lies the Obama administration has told us post-9/11/12 distract our attention from the disastrous policy previously in place. Plus, there remains a lingering confusion over good guys and bad guys. After all, Uncle Sam isn't supposed to support bad guys. The Obama administration, however, threw in Uncle Sam's lot with bad guys -- the "rebels," the "martyrs," the Muslim Brothers, the whole jihad-happy crew in Libya and the wider Middle East.

Uncle Sam, more or less, crossed to the "Other Side." It is this alliance or support for "martyrs" and their sympathizers in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria that is the betrayal from which Benghazi-gate rises, particularly as our veterans cemeteries and hospitals are filled with casualties caused by such "martyrs."

Whether, as The Daily Beast reported, the February 17 Martyrs Brigade may have been ordered by a pro-al-Qaida Libyan politician to "stand down" for the attack remains to be verified. Meanwhile, the State Department reminds us not to forget the service of two brigade members who were beaten and two who were shot defending the compound. "But there were some bad apples in there as well," one intelligence source told The Daily Beast.

How could there not be? And here is where the significance of Feb. 17 comes in.

John Rosenthal, an independent journalist based in Europe, wrote early on that the Libyan rebellion wasn't led only by al-Qaida commanders. This anti-Gadhafi movement was symbolically also an Islamic jihad on Western liberty itself. We know this because, as Rosenthal reported, the "Day of Rage" called for Feb. 17, 2011, to kick off the Libyan civil war was the fifth anniversary of another assault on the West, also in Benghazi.

Following Friday prayers on Feb. 17, 2006, thousands of Benghazians attacked the Italian Consulate to punish the temerity of an Italian minister, Roberto Calderoli, who several days earlier had publicly defended free speech in the West. The world was then experiencing another cycle of Islamic violence, this one orchestrated to punish a tiny Danish newspaper for publishing a sheet of Muhammad cartoons and, in turn, Denmark itself for refusing to punish the journalist-transgressors of Islamic law, which outlaws any critiques and all depictions of Muhammad.

Calderoli didn't merely defend free speech. During his TV interview, he dramatically unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a T-shirt featuring a cartoon of Muhammad. Referring to Islamic rioters worldwide, he added: "When they recognize our rights, I'll take off this shirt." He was forced to resign from his post the next day, a sacrifice on the altar of Shariah (Islamic law) by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. It wasn't enough. 

"We feared for our lives," the wife of the Italian consul later told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, describing the attack in which the consulate was set on fire. All personnel were safely evacuated. Libyan police used tear gas to try to disperse the rioters, later opening fire and killing 11 attackers. 

These are the "martyrs" who serve as role models for the security team that was defending the U.S. Consulate. Symbolically, they figure into the wider war in Libya, which is often called the February 17 Revolution. With this in mind, it becomes clear that the Islamic war on free speech, the basis of our liberty, was an inspiration of "regime change" in Libya. And we supported it.

That's the real scandal."



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