Incompetent Negligence or Cover-Up: The Congressional Hearings on Benghazi Attack
The last time Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) held a high profile hearing in Congress Patriotslog identified it as a political witch hunt–and it turned out to be the case. This week however, it seems to be a different scenario. Hearings are being held this week on the security leading up to the attack on the Benghazi consulate in which Ambassador Stevens was killed, and it has not been kind to the administration. Left Wingers and Liberals are trying to play off the investigations and hearings as election year politics; to Patriotslog this is disgusting. When we initially wrote an article following the attack we were hesitant to say that the attack was caused by the YouTube video as the administration originally claimed; this is why we used the word “reportedly”, and only mentioned the video once. Protestors just do not show up and happen to be carrying rocket propelled grenades and automatic assault rifles in their backpacks. We all know Stephanie Cutter is so biased that she is delusional, but to say that an Ambassador and three security personnel dying is only a big deal because Mitt Romney wants it to be for his election is ludicrous–even by Stephanie Cutter standards. For the Left Wing to suggest that finding the truth in the attack and the security failures at the Benghazi Consulate is election year politics is a slap in the face to the families and the patriotic legacies of the four victims. We, and most of all they, deserve to know the truth. If there was more the administration could have done, and if they were denying that this was an act of terror, then voters deserve to know the truth before they cast a ballot.
The death of an Ambassador is an embarrassing incident for any administration, but if it was due to State Department security failures, then the administration tried to mislead voters by suggesting it was not a terrorist attack, Patriotslog can think of no other reason to do this than because the administration was worried about the implications for President Obama’s re-election. Now, President Obama may have not known anything about this. Those in his administration may have fed him bad information on purpose and acted alone in orchestrating this apparent cover up, but even still, this looks terrible for the administration.
In all fairness, the two witnesses yesterday from the administration were hounded, and often (maybe as much as 20% of the time) were cut off before they could entirely answer a question. However, what we did learn yesterday is shocking. From what was revealed yesterday, this situation looks like–in the best case scenario–incompetent negligence, and amateur investigating. There were certainly warnings of the attack. Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who was in Benghazi to investigate the attack, stated that a rocket propelled grenade had entered the compound months before the attack (this was confirmed in yesterday’s hearing), possibly to test the American response, which was minimal. There were 134 security incidents in Libya from June 2011 until September 2012; however, only about 20% or so of those occurred in Benghazi. It
calls to wonder why then on the 135th security incident, which happened to be on the 9/11 anniversary, the administration would suggest this was a protest due to a video, and not a terrorist attack? Of course, there was a protest in Egypt in which protestors stormed the compound and destroyed the American Flag, but the State Department finally admitted, the day before the Congressional hearings (ya, that smells a little fishy to me too) that there was no protest outside the Benghazi consulate prior to the attack. It is now a month after the attack; this suggests either that the administration took an entire month to ask one of the survivors of the attack if there was a protest preceding the attack, or they kept this information from the public for an entire month. Again, this demonstrates either an incompetent negligence or a cover up. One must also ask why the Libyan Government was clear from the beginning that this was a terrorist attack, but it took eight days for our government, and weeks for our President to confirm such. It is even less likely that Libyan intelligence is better than our intelligence than it is that Newt Gingrich would have really put a colony on the moon. Moreover, Lt. Col. Andrew Wood testified that an intelligence agency also concluded that this was the result of a terrorist attack in less than 24 hours; so one must ask again, was this incompetent negligence, or a cover up?
Mohammed el Gharabi, a militia leader in Benghazi also revealed that he told State Department that the security situation in Benghazi was deteriorating; not that this was anything knew, testimony suggests that the State Department was aware of this, however, to have a friendly militia leader say that they were losing control of the city and it was becoming very dangerous should have been a strong indication of the situation. Almost as strong, perhaps, as the repeated requests for increased security personnel by the State Department security team on hand in Libya. Reportedly, these requests were continuously denied, and they were even told to stop the requests because they would not be granted. Indeed, in yesterday’s hearings, Eric Nordstrom, the former State Department Regional Security Officer for Libya revealed that he was told that 12 more security personnel was the equivalent of “asking for the Sun, Moon, and stars.” For all of his partisanship, Rep. Issa did make one good point. By denying requests for increased security while increasing pay for current security, the State Department was essentially stating that they will not keep their security personnel safe, but they will pay them for taking the extra risk. There are even reports that officials worked against increasing security. There may have even been a three day advance notice from the Libyan Government that the attack was coming.
Following the attack, it was mentioned in the hearing that government officials, including U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice identified the video as the cause based on concrete evidence, yet no investigation had been completed, and all available evidence pointed to a terrorist attack. It has also been reported that security personnel considered that it was not a matter of if, but when an attack took place.
The afternoon of September 11th, hours before the attack on the consulate, a United States intelligent agency intercepted a phone call between an Al Qaeda group in North Africa and a local Libyan group. Several phone calls had been intercepted previously, but this one, just after the protest in Egypt erupted, was particularly interesting because “officials believe al-Qaida told members of the Libyan militia that they should take a cue from the Cairo protests and launch immediately any attack they had been planning for the future.” It is unclear if there was enough time to relay this information to those in Libya, but if bureaucratic red tape is the reason why it was not, we need an explanation. Those intelligence officials should have called Libyan security officials immediately.
There may yet be more evidence that will surface; however, one month after the attack all intelligence gathered indicates that it was obvious that this was a terrorist attack, and that the administration failed to provide more security when requested. Given the circumstances it seems that it would have been common sense to provide that security; however, we do not know what the security situation is like in other nations or the reason for the denials of the security requests. But until that information becomes available it appears that the administration was negligent to the threats in Libya, and either incompetent or participated in a cover-up. All three of those scenarios should be extremely significant to the American people. Those accusing Congress of election year politics should realize that this is not about politics, this is about truth. The acts of the administration appear to be either due to the election politics, or inadequate executive abilities. If there is solid information out there that provides a descent explanation as to why security requests were so often denied, or why the administration looked like they tried to cover up this embarrassing series of events we need to know about it. I do not want to hear that the administration was acting on the best intelligence they had; that is a lie I would expect from a child. If Libya has better intelligence than us that illustrates incompetence as much as anything else would. We need to know the truth. President Obama accuses Mitt Romney of bad foreign policy; Patriotslog admittedly is not a fan of Mitt Romney, but this situation makes it look like he is worlds ahead of the President in foreign policy. Mr. President, it is time to end the silence. We need your side of the story.
11 October 2012
Posted on October 11, 2012, in Patriotslog Articles and tagged automatic assault rifles, Benghazi consulate, Benghazi cover up, Congressional hearing, congressional investigation, libya, politics, presidential debate, rocket propelled grenades, security request, State Department, terrorist attack. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.