An administration stands on the brink of disgrace.
According to two former diplomats who spoke with PJ Media's Roger Simon, more Benghazi whistleblowers will emerge and blow a giant hole in the Obama administration's already shaky narrative regarding the deaths of four Americans. Their revelations will focus on two subjects: the real purpose of Ambassador Christopher Steven's mission in Libya, and the pressure put on former AFRICOM commander Gen. Carter Ham to stand down from any attempt to rescue those under attack. What emerges could be devastating for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The whistleblowers are reportedly colleagues of the former diplomats. They have yet to come forward because they are in the process of obtaining lawyers, necessitated by their work in areas that are not completely covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act. Furthermore, Simon notes that, as of now, what the diplomats are saying is considered hearsay, "but the two diplomats sounded quite credible. One of them was in a position of responsibility in a dangerous area of Iraq in 2004," he writes.
What the diplomats say the whistleblowers will reveal is that Christopher Stevens was in Benghazi to buy back Stinger missiles from al Qaeda, issued to them by the U.S. State Department. Selling such missiles to anyone is usually a function of the CIA, but they reportedly were against the idea of selling such advanced technology to elements of the "rebel movement" attempting to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi. Stinger missiles can endanger civilian aircraft. According to the diplomats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose to move forward because she wanted “to overthrow Gaddafi on the cheap.”
When the "rebels" who were sold the missiles turned out to be al Qaeda, Stevens was tasked with the job of cleaning up the fiasco. One of the diplomats noted that it was likely the same elements of the terrorist group to whom the missiles were sold ended up attacking the consulate in Bengahzi, killing Stevens, State Department employee Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen A. Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods.
The unnamed diplomat was even more contemptuous of the Clinton-led effort, likening it to the movie "Charlie Wilson's War," the story of a Congressman who thought it was a good idea to supply Stinger missiles to the mujahideen in Afghanistan during their fight to overthrow the Russians. “It’s as if Hillary and the others just watched that movie and said ‘Hey, let’s do that!’” the diplomat said.
National Review's Jim Geraghty, who reviewed several public reports regarding the movement of Stinger missiles in Libya, insists the diplomats' account can be corroborated and contradicted. His report highlights several critical elements, noting that rebel leaders did request the missiles, including Abdul Hakim Al-Hasadi, who was detained in Pakistan as a hostile combatant by U.S. forces in 2002 "while returning from Afghanistan where I fought against foreign invasion," according to Al-Hasadi himself.
As for the U.S. directly supplying missiles to the rebels, Geraghty cites two different New York Times reports revealing other possibilities. The first report notes that the rebels were securing such missiles from the Gaddafi regime's captured storage bunkers. The second report was far more devastating to the Obama administration, noting that it gave its blessing to Qatar to ship arms to the insurgency, before becoming "alarmed" that the weapons were ending up in the hands of "Islamic militants." The Times insisted there was no evidence that such missiles were linked to the Benghazi attacks. But considering there's been no specific identification of the Qatari weapons or the specific ordnance used to attack the consulate, such claims are dubious at best. Geraghty further notes that such shipments violate UN Resolution 270 prohibiting the direct or indirect sale or transfer of weapons to any party in Libya.
Thus, who sold Stinger missiles to the rebels remains in question. However, the diplomats' contention regarding Stevens' real mission in Benghazi was buttressed by an Oct. 23, 2011 column in The Telegraph. Reporter Con Coughlin revealed that "teams of CIA officers, supported by other intelligence services such as Britain's MI6, have been scouring Libya in search of the missing missiles" following the fall of Gaddafi's regime in August. Reuters further noted that the consulate "had been a base for, among other things, collecting information on the proliferation of weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, including surface-to-air missiles," a fact inadvertently revealed during a House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing about security lapses in Benghazi. The day after that hearing Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank accused Republicans of "boneheaded questioning" of State Department witnesses that left little doubt that the consulate was a "CIA base."
Geraghty sums up his investigative report with the other major, but as yet unsubstantiated, reason the CIA was in Benghazi. "During this time, a large number of weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles, were leaving Libya and arriving in Turkey en route to Syrian rebels--and the CIA had personnel in both countries assigned to monitor and assist the arms shipments."
The diplomats contend the whistleblowers will report that Stevens was attempting to procure the Stingers. This does not negate the possibility that the effort was being done to arm Syrian rebels, absent involvement that could be directly traced back to the Obama administration. It is worth remembering that in assisting the overthrow of Gaddafi, Obama violated the War Powers Act of 1973 requiring Congressional approval of the use military force after 60 days. The president sidestepped it by asserting that no American troops were put in harm's way. If the administration is arming Syrian rebels, it would appear that both Resolution 270 and the War Powers Act are once again irrelevant, as far as the administration is concerned.
As troubling as the first assertion made by the diplomats is, the second one is far more damning. Their contacts insist that AFRICOM had Special Ops “assets in place that could have come to the aid of the Benghazi consulate immediately” (emphasis mine). They further insist that it will be revealed the White house told Ham to stand down, and when he refused, the White House “called his deputy and had the deputy threaten to relieve Ham of his command.”
Ham retired as head of AFRICOM in April. Yet the announcement of his retirement was released by the Defense Department on Oct 31, 2012. It said that Ham would eventually step down, even as he retained "the full confidence of the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” according to Pentagon Press Secretary George Little, who further noted Ham's decision to retire was "entirely personal."
It was also unusual. Ham was removed from a position with a three year rotation well short of that mark. On October 25, 2012, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta insisted that, with regard to a rescue operation "you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on; without having some real-time information about what's taking place, and as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation."
Yet Ham himself never referenced any discussions with Panetta or Dempsey when he told Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) he was never given the order to secure the Benghazi consulate. Chaffetz also said Ham told him forces were available and "had proximity" to the consulate.
Obviously, whistleblowers providing credible information on both topics would prove invaluable with regard to giving Americans the truth about what happened on September 11, 2012, as a well as a motive for the administration's disinformation campaign. If Hillary Clinton gave the OK to sell missiles to "insurgents," her judgement at the very least, would be called into question, putting her chances of securing the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 in serious jeopardy. It would also reveal the utter callousness and calculated mendacity of a woman who knows full well "what difference at this point" such a revelation would make.
Yet whistleblower testimony regarding pressure to avoid rescuing Americans--that could possibly be corroborated by the former head of AFRICOM-- would deal this administration a blow from which it might never recover. Americans may countenance many things, but the idea that we would abandon Americans under fire in Benghazi to protect the Obama administration's pre-election narrative that terror was "on the run" isn't one of them. Nothing would make Obama's promise to "fundamentally transform the United States of America ring any more hollow than that.
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