One Year Since Benghazi
By Matthew Vadum
Thanks to President Obama’s shameless obstructionism, a year after four Americans died in a terrorist attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, it remains unclear what Obama knew about the attack and when he knew it.
“When you look at the list of unanswered questions, it is startling how little progress has been made in this investigation over the past year,” said Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.).
Amidst White House stonewalling, intimidation of witnesses, and Republican gutlessness, little has been done to move the ball forward in the investigation surrounding the deaths on Sept. 11, 2012, of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and security personnel Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods at U.S. facilities in eastern Libya.
The Islamofascist offensive took place a year ago today, a day of great symbolic importance to both America and the Islamic world because it was the eleventh anniversary of al-Qaeda’s attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Perhaps more importantly, it also took place at the height of one of America’s nastiest presidential election cycles, just a few weeks before Election Day.
Since Sept. 11 of last year Obama has sent military aid to his terrorist friends in the Middle East. A spokesman for the Islamist-heavy coalition fighting the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad acknowledgedyesterday that the coalition has received both lethal and non-lethal aid from the Obama administration. The administration sent support to the government of Egypt’s Islamist president Mohammed Morsi until he was overthrown in July.
What’s happening now in Syria may be connected to what happened a year ago in Libya, according to Congressman Wolf.
The people’s representatives need answers about Benghazi, especially now that President Obama is seeking congressional authorization to intervene on behalf of the terrorist-dominated opposition in the Syrian civil war, Wolf said.
“Many of these [Syrian] rebels are now believed to be al-Qaeda connected affiliates, including those that may have participated in the attack on the consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi,” he said.
“In light of the evidence that has emerged following the attacks, I firmly believe that whatever the State Department and CIA were doing in Benghazi had a direct connection to U.S. policy in Syria—a policy that to date has not been fully revealed to the American people or Congress,” Wolf said.
In the Benghazi saga, Obama’s advisers, with the president’s consent or not, told lies last fall to get their man reelected, choosing to deal with the consequences of those untruths later. They knew they could count on the mainstream media to snooze on the job and dismiss whatever investigations followed as partisan witch-hunts.
The manufactured storyline emphasized Obama’s increasingly hollow claim that “al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead.” It allowed the president to escape much needed scrutiny about his feckless approach to national security and the threat that Islamism poses to the United States.
Despite scattered rumblings about impeaching President Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has reportedly been blocking efforts to create a select committee to conduct a proper, focused investigation of the Benghazi saga. Boehner and the rest of the GOP House leadership are likely afraid of taking action out of a paralyzing fear of being tarred as bigots by left-wingers who characterize virtually all criticism of Obama as motivated by racial antagonism.
Wolf is pressuring Boehner to act.
“The question before us today is whether the Speaker will seize the opportunity, after a year of failed or stalled committee investigations, to change course and create the Select Committee to ensure that the American people learn the truth.”
“The reason officially we haven’t learned very much is because you have have six different committees looking at it,” Wolf told the Daily Caller news website.
There has been “no unification, no working together, if you will, that’s the whole idea of having a select committee like in Watergate or Iran-Contra,” said Wolf, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. A single select committee would have the power and resources to get to the bottom of the Obama administration’s inept response.
On Sept. 11, 2012, the consulate asked officials at the nearby CIA annex to be rescued three times, Wolf said. Personnel were told to stand down all three times by the CIA station chief, which violated the American military ethos never to leave a soldier behind. The first two calls were ignored but when the third came in some officials ignored the order not to act, said Wolf, who separately participated in a panel discussion on the Benghazi investigation at the Washington, D.C. offices of Judicial Watch on Monday.
It is unclear if the station chief acted on his own or if he was following orders issued by Washington, Wolf said. As the situation unfolded, it was viewed remotely by U.S. officials “in real time like a movie.”
Wolf seemed amazed that after the battle the U.S. wounded were flown out of the area on a Libyan airplane. The U.S. government hadn’t bothered to send one of its own planes, he said.
A year after Benghazi, the families of the four dead men still have not received closure. The public has never been told how Ambassador Stevens died. Stevens was the first sitting U.S. ambassador to be killed by terrorists in more than 30 years.
Americans were subjected to the grotesque spectacle of the dead envoy’s body being dragged around Benghazi, captured on video and in still photos. Stevens was reportedly tortured and may have been sodomized by his assassins in a ritual of humiliation popular among Islamic terrorists. Other reports suggested he died of smoke inhalation. It is unclear if the Obama administration ever intends to go public with Stevens’s cause of death.
But the political players involved in the Benghazi saga have moved on with their lives and are raking in big bucks. “I know that Hillary Clinton is now receiving $200,000 a speech,” Wolf said.
“I also know that Susan Rice, who went on five talk shows saying that it was the video, is now the national security advisor. I also know that Leon Panetta signed a $3 million book deal. I also know that General [David] Petraeus is now working for the large Wall Street firm up in New York and making a lot of money. I also know that Jack Lew, the chief of staff, is now the secretary of treasury. So they have all gotten rewards, but I also know that four people died who are American heroes and patriots, and two were seriously wounded, and several others were wounded. The comparison of that situation, I think, is just not very good.”
It was revealed by CNN last month that there were “dozens of people working for the CIA” in Benghazi the night of the attack and that the Obama administration has been going to extraordinary lengths to shut them up.
“Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings. The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress. It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.”
An inquiry into the Benghazi fiasco conducted by the State Department was little more than a perfunctory exercise. The official coverup at Foggy Bottom was led by former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, a known Iran sympathizer who openly disdains the American people as so-called Islamophobes. Of course, Pickering was appointed to head the internal review board by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is widely expected to seek the presidency in 2016.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian filmmaker whose work was initially blamed for the Benghazi attack, remains under sentence in the U.S. for technical violations of parole for previous, unrelated offenses.
Some say that the year of imprisonment doled out to Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, creator of the YouTube trailer for “Innocence of Muslims,” was grossly disproportionate to the parole infringements committed, making Nakoula probably the closest thing to a genuine political prisoner the United States has had since the authoritarian regime of Woodrow Wilson during World War One. The film director, whose work ridiculed the Islamic prophet Mohammed, is said to have uploaded the movie trailer despite being forbidden from accessing the Internet.
In the heat of last year’s election campaign, the Obama administration attempted to scapegoat Nakoula, falsely blaming the Ed Wood-quality video he made for the attacks in Benghazi and for other unrest in Muslim countries.
In one of the few sensible things Mitt Romney did on the campaign trail last year, the then-Republican presidential candidate attacked the Obama administration after the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, released a bizarre statement about the video. Casting aside America’s traditional respect for the free speech practiced by its inhabitants, on the day of the attacks the embassy condemned “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”
Expressing the views of many Americans, Romney said it was “disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
Nakoula, also known as Mark Basseley Youssef, is scheduled to be released from a halfway house on Sept. 26. After his release, he will be on probation for four years.
Nakoula was sentenced to death in absentia by an Egyptian court for blasphemy and at least one fatwa has been issued against him. The Obama administration has pointedly refused to disavow blasphemy laws.
Nakoula may become a whistleblower against the Obama administration, unless those who wish him ill get to him first.