By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The announcement that the House will vote on a special congressional committee to investigate Benghazi is long overdue. Accuracy in Media’s two special conferences on Benghazi helped mobilize the public and the press to demand this outcome.
In addition to identifying the Obama operatives in charge of the cover-up, a critical question is why the Obama administration facilitated the flow of weapons to al Qaeda in Libya. Indeed, answering this question could help explain the nature of the cover-up and why a video was falsely blamed for the deaths of four Americans.
It will take a lot of public pressure to uncover the dimensions of what one member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi called evidence of the “infiltration” of the U.S. government by the Muslim Brotherhood.
This is because some of those who want to investigate Benghazi, such as Senator John McCain (R-AZ), have no interest in uncovering Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the U.S. Government. McCain defended Hillary Clinton when one of her aides, Huma Abedin, was publicly identified as having personal and family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has also defended Abedin.
At AIM’s second conference on Benghazi, held at the National Press Club on April 22, retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons stated openly what many have been talking about privately—that the transformation of U.S. policy from opposing to supporting al Qaeda can only be understood in terms of Muslim Brotherhood “penetration into every national security agency of this government,” and “their carte blanche entry into the [Obama] White House.”
So will these agents of influence be named and exposed by the Benghazi special committee? That is why the public has to continue to be mobilized to apply pressure.
Lyons said, “Just like during the 30s and 40s, and 50s, if you compare what went on then, to what we’re seeing today, that influences our policies, our actions, it is very similar and cannot be dismissed. Nobody wants to talk about it. But that’s what happened then, and that’s what’s happening now. The Muslim Brotherhood didn’t want to see Qaddafi there. They wanted him out. How much influence did that have on our policies? You’ve got to go in and dig and find out.”
His comments on the early time period are, of course, a reference to communist infiltration of the U.S. government. But it appears that some of our most important intelligence agencies have still not come to grips with that.
Consider Michael J. Sulick, who worked for the CIA for 28 years, served as chief of CIA counterintelligence from 2002 to 2004, and as director of the National Clandestine Service from 2007 to 2010. His new book, American Spies: Espionage against the United States from the Cold War to the Present, insists that “Senator Joseph McCarthy’s shrill allegations of pervasive communist infiltration of the US government denigrated scores of civil servants but again surfaced no real spies.” Sulick says McCarthy was “discredited” and that he ran a “misguided crusade” that “raised American suspicions of government efforts to prevent foreign espionage.”
In fact, author M. Stanton Evans has produced a “‘McCarthyism’ by the Numbers” table naming 50 people identified by McCarthy, his aides, or in his committee hearings, and what is now known about them, based on official records. They are Soviet agents, Communists, suspects, or persons who took the Fifth rather than talk about communist or Soviet activities.
In total, the number was larger. Evans says, “All told, the McCarthy cases linked together in such fashion amounted to several hundred people, constituting a massive security danger to the nation. However, numbers per se were not the central issue. By far the most important thing about his suspects was their positioning in the governmental structure, and other posts of influence, where they could shape American policy or opinion in favor of the Communist interest. This they did on a fairly regular basis, a subject that deserves discussion in its own right.”
The same question about influencing policy should now be front and center in the Benghazi probe.
But the other important question in regard to both scandals, then and now, is why a former high-ranking CIA official would take the position that McCarthy had somehow exaggerated the threat and failed to uncover even one spy. Sulick’s book includes praise from Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and former director of the NSA; Peter Earnest, executive director of the International Spy Museum (and a 35-year veteran of the CIA); and Burton Gerber, a retired CIA senior operations officer.
In his previous book, Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War, Sulick claimed McCarthy “defamed civil servants with baseless charges” and was “eventually discredited” after his “smear campaign” was over. In this book, he says McCarthy was able to identify “no major Soviet spies.”
Sulick may feel that he has to go along with the liberal view of McCarthy in order to sell books. It may be that he is resentful that a member of Congress investigated a problem of infiltration that affected the intelligence community, of which he was a part.
Whatever the motive, we are likely to see the same kind of resistance to a Congressional probe of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the intelligence community and White House.
The work has only just begun. The target can’t just be the White House. But it is a good place to start.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.