Fresh Perspectives on Benghazi Keep the Scandals Alive
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
While much of the focus of attention on the Benghazi scandal has been about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s actions, and inaction, which may have led to the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans, there are other aspects of the story that have gotten far less attention, but are, in fact, more revealing and more damning about the foreign policy of the Obama administration.
The failure of the State Department to respond to more than 600 requests for increased security in Libya, and specifically Benghazi, and Mrs. Clinton’s claim that she was unaware of those requests, as she stated at the October 22nd hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, were damning enough.
When Accuracy in Media decided two-and-a-half years ago to form the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB), it was because it had become clear that Congress was doing an inadequate job of getting to the truth, and that the media were doing their best to pretend that this was a phony scandal that didn’t reflect badly on either President Obama or then-Secretary of State Clinton.
Among the key findings of the Commission was the fact that the war in Libya, initially described as a an effort to prevent a humanitarian crisis, but which later became a mission to take out the Libyan dictator, Muammar Qaddafi, could very possibly have been avoided through negotiations—an offer the Obama administration turned down. Then there was the dereliction of duty, namely the failure to bring available military forces to bear in an effort to save at least some of the Americans under attack during the night of September 11 and into the early morning of September 12, 2012.
There were the lies about the cause of the attack. We learned with greater specificity at the October hearing that Mrs. Clinton knew the first night, and the following day, that this was a planned, organized terrorist attack by an al-Qaeda related group. She said so in no uncertain terms to her daughter, to the president of Libya and to the Egyptian prime minister. Yet the story she conspired to tell the world, and the family members of the victims of the attack, was that the attack was the result of a YouTube video that was viewed as an insult to Islam.
But with all that, which is well documented and laid out in the CCB’s interim report released in April of 2014, the bigger story remains, “How America Switched Sides in the War on Terror.” This was the result of the fact that the Obama administration “facilitated the delivery of weapons and military support to al Qa’eda-linked rebels in Libya,” as we stated in the report.
Much more information has come out proving that to be the case. Breitbart News’ national security correspondent Edwin Mora has taken a detailed look at this part of the story, interviewing a couple of members of the CCB, and has done an excellent job of laying out the facts. It couldn’t be more timely, as the world is coming to grips with how to deal with the cancer of ISIS—one of the chief beneficiaries of this disastrous U.S. policy—and other jihadist groups that are causing so much death and destruction throughout the world today. But have no fear. According to President Obama, the gathering of more than 150 nations in Paris to posture about global warming serves as “a powerful rebuke to the terrorists.” He has said more than 20 times that climate change is a greater threat to future generations than terrorism, and during his first day in Paris for the conference he said that holding the conference there at this time is “an act of defiance that proves nothing will deter us.”
In Mora’s article for Breitbart, “Benghazi Commission: Obama Admin Gun-Running Scheme Armed Islamic State,” he cites Clare Lopez of the CCB, saying, “The Obama administration pursued a policy in Libya back in 2011 that ultimately allowed guns to walk into the hands of jihadists linked to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda (AQ) in Syria.”
Lopez, the primary author of the CCB report, said, “The ripple effects of the illegal policy to arm America’s enemies continue to be felt as the U.S. military is currently leading a war against ISIS and AQ terrorists in Iraq and Syria.”
“‘The Obama administration effectively switched sides in what used to be called the Global War on Terror [GWOT] when it decided to overthrow the sovereign government of our Libyan ally, Muammar Qaddafi, who’d been helping in the fight against al-Qaeda, by actually teaming up with and facilitating gun-running to Libyan al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood [MB] elements there in 2011,’ explained Lopez. ‘This U.S. gun-running policy in 2011 during the Libyan revolution was directed by [then] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and [the late Libya Ambassador] Christopher Stevens, who was her official envoy to the Libyan AQ rebels.’”
“‘To avoid having the funds tracked back to the Obama administration, the arms flow to Libya was financed through the United Arab Emirates, while Qatar served as the logistical and shipping hub,’ she noted.”
I urge you to read the entire Breitbart article, and also this Washington Times article, “Clinton State Department approved U.S. weapons shipment to Libya despite ban,” based on documents recovered from the compound in Benghazi. The article gives names and details of how the weapons were transferred, and confirmation that Hillary Clinton’s State Department knew all about it.
There is also a movie coming out in January entitled “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” that we’re hoping is as powerful as the book and the story from the men who wrote it. In the trailer, it shows the authors of the book, members of the CIA Annex Security Team, being told to “stand down.” That phrase is highly charged, because it is something that the Obama administration has claimed never happened. But it did, according to these heroes, who risked their lives to travel the one mile from the CIA Annex to the Special Mission Compound where Ambassador Stevens and Information Officer Sean Smith were killed. They were already dead by the time the men arrived. The movie, from the very successful action-adventure director Michael Bay (“Transformers,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Armageddon”), promises to put Benghazi back in the headlines, at least for a little while.