Obama White House Knew Al-Qaeda Ally Hit Benghazi
By Matthew Vadum
Two hours after last month’s deadly assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama White House knew the operation had been orchestrated by Muslim terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda, new evidence demonstrates.
But that grim information failed to deter President Obama, who has consistently been more interested in golfing than in attending security briefings, from hopping onto Air Force One on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 and jetting off to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser.
U.S. officials reportedly monitored an audio feed of the Benghazi attack in real time, CBS News reports. FBI and State Department officials have also reviewed security camera footage recovered from the site. During the attack, U.S. forces were in place in nearby Sicily but the order to fly to Benghazi in an attempt to rescue the besieged staff at the consulate never came.
For a fortnight the Obama administration strenuously maintained the fiction that the incident in Benghazi, a terrorist stronghold, was a spontaneous popular uprising somehow inspired by an Ed Wood-quality anti-Islam video on YouTube that hardly anyone watched. Eventually the administration was forced to admit that what happened in that Libyan city was carried out by Islamic terrorists.
Leaked State Department emails dated Sept. 11, 2012, that were published yesterday show that U.S. officials knew soon after the attack that Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda, had claimed responsibility for killing four American officials including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.
The emails were sent to various national security platforms representing as many as 400 U.S. national security, military, and diplomatic officials almost as the attack was underway and concluding. Fox News reports that those platforms included the White House Situation Room, the Pentagon, the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence.
The electronic missives were time-stamped in Eastern time and often bore the subheading SBU, which stands for “Sensitive But Unclassified.”
The initial email stamped 4:05 p.m. contains the subject line: “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack (SBU).”
“The Regional Security Officer reports the diplomatic mission is under attack,” read the email. “Embassy Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well.
Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four COM personnel are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support … The operations Center will provide updates as available.”
A second email stamped 4:54 p.m. contains “Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi (SBU)” as a subject line.
“Embassy Tripoli reports the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi has stopped and the compound has been cleared. A response team is on site attempting to locate COM personnel.”
A third email stamped 6:07 p.m. features a subject line reading “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack (SBU).”
“Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli,” it indicates.
The three emails appear to complement early reports by the British newspaper, the Independent. That media outlet reported soon after the attack that the Obama administration had “credible” evidence that Islamist assaults were planned on U.S. missions in Libya and Egypt a full two days before they happened. The paper also reported that the administration made no effort to protect U.S. government personnel.
Authorities in Tunisia announced yesterday that they had arrested a 28-year-old Tunisian jihadist, Ali Ani al-Harzi, in connection with the Benghazi attack. Another suspect, a militant known only by his first name, Hazem, blew himself up in Cairo during a firefight with police. The man had reportedly returned from a recent trip to Libya and had a cache of weapons.
Meanwhile, with every passing day more evidence surfaces that the Obama administration isn’t serious about combating Islamism. The fact that the administration itself is a hotbed of Islamist activity could have something to do with it.
Breitbart.com’s Big Peace website reported yesterday that operatives from the Muslim Brotherhood have penetrated the Central Intelligence Agency. In July the CIA hosted a two-day training program called “Countering Violent Extremism Workshop for the National Capitol Region.”
Sessions at the seminar held at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, were conducted by officials from the CIA, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Homeland Security, alongside suspected Muslim Brotherhood operatives.
As Frontpage Magazine was nearly alone in reporting, FBI agents are no longer allowed to treat individuals associated with terrorist groups as potential threats to the nation. A recent report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism found that “scores” of known radical Islamists met with senior Obama administration officials during hundreds of visits to the White House.
And the profoundly unethical Los Angeles Times continues to withhold potentially vital information about Obama’s relationship with former Palestine Liberation Organization spokesman Rashid Khalidi, who now spends his days poisoning the minds of Columbia University students. The newspaper has a videotape under lock and key of Obama’s remarks at a 2003 banquet honoring the ex-terrorist, presumably because the contents of the recording would harm the president’s chances of reelection.
As Frontpage Magazine was first to report yesterday, the recently named chairman of the Department of State’s investigation of the Benghazi atrocities is an apologist for Islamic terrorism who has a cozy relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
The chairman, former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, participated in a panel discussion Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. on “what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia.” American Association for Muslim Advancement executive director Daisy Khan, and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, were also on the panel. Khan and Rauf have been prime movers behind the proposal to build a mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.
Pickering has ties to the pro-Iran Islamist front group known as the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). NIAC lost an important defamation case in federal court last month in which it unsuccessfully argued the group was not a tool of the Iranian government.
While the president has focused on other things, Islamism has been on the march. Fundamentalist Muslim regimes are popping up all over North Africa and the Middle East. Once a stalwart U.S. and Israeli ally, Egypt is now in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and appears poised to transform itself into another Iran after Obama abandoned the now-deposed president Hosni Mubarak.
Communism too is on the march on Obama’s watch: Venezuela and other Latin American countries have been tilting to port while the president apologizes for past U.S. foreign policy and bows and scrapes before kings and tinpot dictators alike.
Obama looks more and more like President Jimmy Carter every day. During the malaise of the Carter years, Iran went from being a reliable U.S. ally to a totalitarian theocracy after Carter betrayed the Shah. Nicaragua fell to Communists and the Soviets rolled their tanks into Afghanistan and installed their own puppet president there.
And at about this point in 1980, Carter was also struggling in his reelection bid.