By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
There can be no doubt that the Russians are winning the Middle East propaganda war. But it’s not just the Marxist far-left that is willing to believe whatever Vladimir Putin and his mouthpiece Russia Today (RT) are saying. Some conservatives and self-described Tea Party leaders have also accepted the disinformation the Russians are putting out, even to the extent of affirming the Russian president as a Christian statesman leading the global war on terror.
Consider Chuck Baldwin’s piece, “Rootin’ for Putin,” which insists that “Russia’s Vladimir Putin is the only one fighting a Just War in the Middle East right now.” Baldwin, a Christian pastor “dedicated to preserving the historic principles upon which America was founded,” was the presidential candidate in 2008 of the Constitution Party, a group associated with the late conservative icon Howard Phillips.
It is simply amazing that any conservative would insist that Putin, who, despite dropping the communist label is still allied with Iran, Communist China, North Korea and Cuba, is somehow doing the right thing in Syria, a long-time Soviet/Russian client state. What Putin is doing is entirely consistent with what the Soviets always did. They are trying to save a client state from what started out as a popular rebellion.
In his column, Baldwin went on to label Barack Obama, David Cameron of Britain, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey as “international gangsters.”
It is true that Obama, through a few of America’s Arab “allies,” has been supporting the cause of some jihadists and terrorists in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been implicated in these dangerous schemes, one of which culminated in the Benghazi massacre of four Americans in Libya. That was a treasonous action that should sink Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and could have justified impeachment charges against Obama himself. Mrs. Clinton was Obama’s Secretary of State at the time.
These operations in the Middle East have been characterized by former CIA officer Clare Lopez of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi as “switching sides in the War on Terror.”
But the idea that Putin has clean hands in the Middle East is absolutely ridiculous. Considering that he was a Soviet KGB spy and actually headed one of the KGB’s successor agencies, the idea that Putin has suddenly had a Damascus Road conversion to Christianity is simply ludicrous. His foreign policy is very similar to that of the old Soviet Union.
Since the foreign policy has mostly remained the same, Soviet financing and sponsorship of international terrorist networks, many of them linked to Arab and Muslim groups, also have to be taken into consideration here. It is reasonable to assume that the Russians have maintained at least parts of these networks for a purpose that we see in the backing of Bashar Assad in Syria. Indeed, writer and researcher Christian Gomez has traced the roots of ISIS to the Islamic Revival Party, created by the KGB, during the final days of the old Soviet Union. U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, has noted that the Russians are doing little in Syria to fight ISIS terrorists and that “Everything they [the Russians] are doing is to support Assad, to keep Assad in power.” In other words, Putin is continuing a clever Soviet-style strategy that seeks to maintain Assad in power while using ISIS for his own purposes. One of those purposes, as reflected in RT propaganda, is to make Putin look like a terrorist fighter.
Baldwin isn’t the only personality on the right duped by Putin and his propaganda machine. The CEO of a group calling itself simply the Tea Party has distributed an article claiming that Russia has produced “stunning photographic evidence” that ISIS oil was being smuggled into Turkey on an industrial scale.
The “stunning photographic evidence” shows nothing of the sort. Natasha Bertrand of Business Insider examined the Russian maps and found that the three main routes the Russians claim ISIS had allegedly been using to transport illicit oil into Turkey are not primarily controlled by the Islamic State. Turkish President Erdogan has countered: “Who is buying oil (from ISIS)? Let me say it. George Haswani, holder of a Russian passport and a Syrian national, is one of the biggest merchants in this business.” He noted that the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Haswani, who was also placed on an EU sanctions list, “for serving as middleman for oil purchases by the Syrian regime from the ISIS group.”
If you haven’t heard about the sanctions on the individuals and networks providing support to Syria and facilitating Syrian oil purchases from ISIS, you are a victim of the slick propaganda that is being spread around the world by such outlets as RT. It is a fact that the Russian claims against Turkey are taking precedence, even in the Western media, over the facts on the ground, as determined not only by the U.S. Treasury but the U.S. Army. Colonel Warren said, “We flatly reject any notion that the Turks are somehow working with ISIL,” he said. “That is preposterous.”
The “Tea Party” article about the Russian claims was lifted directly from the Infowars.com site of Russian apologist Alex Jones, who just scored a major interview with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. No respectable Tea Party group should have anything to do with Alex Jones, who defended the Russian invasion of its former republic Georgia in 2008. Trump’s decision toappear on his show was extremely foolish. He apparently was not aware that Jones promotes claims that actual terrorist attacks, such as the Boston Marathon bombings carried out by two Muslims from Russia, were “false flags” perpetrated by U.S. police and law enforcement agencies. His website ran a “Voice of Russia”story claiming the dead and wounded were actors plastered with fake blood.
Rather than treat Putin as a good guy or ally, GOP presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio (FL) argues that Turkey is a member of NATO and an ally that “deserves the full backing of the United States.” He noted that the Russians were “targeting Turkmen-populated pockets of northern Syria rather than territory controlled by ISIS” and that “Most Russian military strikes since the end of September have been non-ISIS targets, including many civilian areas, revealing that Russia does not share our interest in confronting and defeating ISIS but instead is intent on propping up the Assad regime.”
Before he assumed the role as a leader of the Sunnis in the Middle East, mobilizing forces against Shite Iran and Syria, Erdogan was known for his anti-Soviet views. Indeed, he was an anti-communist in his youth. As a result of Russia’s increased military involvement in Syria, he seems to have awakened to the fact that Putin has returned to his Soviet roots and that Turkey’s future lies with NATO and the West. Turkey joined NATO, originally conceived as an anti-Soviet military alliance, in 1952.
Assuming Erdogan is an Islamist of some kind, as some conservatives contend, it might make strategic sense for the West to back him for that reason alone in his battle with Russia. After all, most of Russia’s 14 million Muslims are Sunnis. RT itself recently highlighted how thousands of Muslims had gathered in central Moscow “to witness the opening of one of the biggest mosques in Europe.” The ceremony was attended by Putin and Erdogan, who had been considered to be on friendly terms.
Their relationship turned sour after Turkey shot down the Russian war plane, and it seems to be deteriorating further.
As noted by Ilya Arkhipov of Bloomberg Business, Putin used his annual state-of-the-nation address to attack Turkey and Erdogan in very personal and religious terms. Putin said, “Only Allah knows why they did this. And it seems that Allah decided to punish the ruling gang in Turkey by stripping it of common sense and reason.” Analyst Timothy Ash told Bloomberg that “The religious angle being used by Putin is unlikely to go down well in the region, where Erdogan is still seen as a defender of the Sunni faith.”
One observer has noted, in regard to Russian involvement in Arab/Muslim terrorism and now ISIS, that the monster that the USSR created may have grown too big, and that it may eventually attack its creator. In the case of Turkey, Putin is facing a Muslim problem of his own making.
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) member Clare Lopez believes that in 2011 Hillary Clinton’s State Department was orchestrating its own gun running operation to the Libyan rebels—and that arms dealer Marc Turi has been set up to take the fall for these “illicit arms deals.”
“The Justice Department has charged Turi with lying on an export-license application, alleging he hid his intent to ship weapons and ammunition to Libya in direct violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 170,” reports Jerome Corsi for WorldNetDaily.
“Marc Turi was set up and framed for something he didn’t do, while others, who actually did collaborate with Qatar and the UAE to deliver the weapons under U.S. and NATO protection and supervision, are not only not prosecuted like Marc Turi, they’re not even mentioned,” Lopez told Corsi.
“Lopez made it clear she was speaking for herself and not for the commission,” he reports.
Corsi has written several previous articles about the work of the CCB, which was established by Accuracy in Media back in 2013. “The commission has been working behind the scenes for the past two years to ensure Congress uncovers what really happened in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans,” writes Corsi.
“Lopez [said the] ‘key point is that Marc Turi, despite receiving written approval from the U.S. government to broker weapons to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, never actually went through [with] any weapons purchases or shipments to Qatar, to the UAE or to Libya,” he writes.
Lopez referred to the Citizens’ Commission’s April 2014 interim report, which stated: “Even more disturbingly, the U.S. was fully aware of and facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qa’eda-dominated rebel militias throughout the 2011 rebellion. The jihadist agenda of AQIM, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), and other Islamic terror groups represented among the rebel forces was well known to U.S. officials responsible for Libya policy.”
In fact, “The rebels made no secret of their al-Qa’eda affiliation, openly flying and speaking in front of the black flag of Islamic jihad…” states the report.
When Hillary Clinton’s Libya-related emails were released, they exposed how Mrs. Clinton was interested in arming the rebels before they were “formally recognized by the U.S. or United Nations,” according to Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne.
Fox News previously reported that Turi had said the “weapons supplied to Libya were in the hands of the U.S. government and the State Department’s Bureau of Political and Military Affairs, headed by key Hillary Clinton aide Andrew Shapiro,” reports Corsi. “Shapiro was responsible to oversee the export control process at the State Department.”
Mrs. Clinton exchanged emails with the Director of Policy Planning for the Department of State, Anne-Marie Slaughter, in the spring of 2011. On March 30, 2011, Slaughter counseled Hillary Clinton that she was “VERY dubious about arming the Libyan rebels.” When Hillary Clinton asked why, Slaughter argued that “sending more arms into a society generally… will result in more violence—against each other” and “adding even more weapons does not make sense.”
Yet Mrs. Clinton emailed her aide, Jake Sullivan, on April 8, 2011, that “FYI. The idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered.”
Years after the intervention, Libya remains a broken state marred by ongoing violence.
It’s already been established that Mrs. Clinton failed to turn over all of her work related emails, allowed sensitive and classified material on her private email server, and lied about both. Yet we are asked to believe that the more than 30,000 emails that she had deleted and wiped from her server were all personal emails. It’s clear that even her allies in the media are getting nervous about where all of this is headed, since she is the presumed Democratic Party standard bearer. The question is, will she ever be held accountable, and judged by the same standards as others who have “mishandled” classified information? And what about her role in the Libyan and Benghazi scandals? It is looking more and more like the only accountability may come from the American voters.
Original at Stand Up America.
Editor’s Note: Obama and his minions have tried their best, and largely succeeded, to purge the U.S. military of patriotic officers who love this country. As a result, under Obama, America’s best interests are always put last.
This group of retired and decorated officers and experts, led by MG Paul E. Vallely, offers all Presidential candidates advice on forging a national strategy that is in the best interests of America!
* * *
Last week, MG Vallely, along with several staff members of Stand Up America US visited Washington, D.C. to attend several events and to launch the Legacy Group, an SUA project.
The events included a full meeting with the entire Legacy Group, the Citizens Commission on Benghazi, an evening with friends hosted by MG Vallely, and a reception hosted by Congressman Ryan Zinke, R-MT. There were several other meetings and interviews.
The Legacy National Security Advisory Group (LNSAG) is set up to advise presidential and congressional members and candidates on national security and military strategy.
LNSAG was created by MG Paul E. Vallely, (US Army, retired) and is populated by former military command and flag staff, special operations leadership, seasoned intelligence community members, former law enforcement, cultural and diplomatic experts, and a network of HUMINT that spans the globe.
As a well-recognized leader with impeccable characteristics and talents, the best and the brightest have gravitated to his side and are unparalleled in their fields and endeavors.
To commemorate the trip, here are several photos capturing the events:
MG Vallely arriving at the Citizens Commission on Benghazi then off to be interviewed by Frank Gaffney, Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy. Also pictured are the General with his Senior Middle East Advisor, Mr. Nagi N. Najjar, and SUA Marketing Director, Kevin Moore at breakfast that morning.
The Legacy National Security Advisory Group meets on the 18th. From left to right seated are Admiral Ace Lyons, Jack Shaw, Roger Aronoff, Wayne Simmons and Nagi Najjar. Standing (L to R) are Kevin Moore, LtC Dennis Haney, Clare Lopez, MG Vallely, and LtG Tom McInerney.
MG Vallely hosted a reception and is pictured with Wayne Simmons (center), and LtG Tom McInerney (right)
A group picture at the reception includes from left to right, Clare Lopez (standing), and seated on the couch are Roger Aronoff of Accuracy in Media, and Ray Tanter of the Iran Policy Group.
Seated in the chair is Mary Clare Kendall. Standing in the middle are MG Vallely, Christine Wagner, LtC Tony Shaffer, a Senior Fellow with both the London Center for Policy Research and the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, Admiral Ace Lyons, Wayne Simmons, LtG Tom McInerney, Sara and Marty Carter, Tommy Sears, Managing Director of the Legacy Group, and Nagi N. Najjar.
MG Vallely shares a laugh with (L to R), Kevin Moore, Congressman Ryan Zinke, Admiral Ace Lyons. (Turned from the camera are Lola Zinke and Tom McInerney.)
Another moment of group conversation.
MG Vallely with Tony Shaffer
Reception hosted by Congressman Zinke seen on the left next to his wife Lola, and accompanied by Tony Shaffer, MG Vallely, Kevin Moore, Tommy Sears and Nagi N. Najjar
Congressman Zinke gives a thumbs up and shares a laugh with Tony Shaffer and MG Vallely
Tommy Sears with Kevin Moore and MG Vallely holding a Legacy Group flyer.
In response to Barack Hussein Obama’s unprecedented capitulation to Iran, the world’s most prolific sponsor of terrorism, more than 12,000 people gathered in Times Square to protest the deal.
Holding signs that read “No Nukes for Iran,” “Don’t Trust Iran,” and “Urge Congress to Stop Iran from Going Nuclear,” protesters were sounding the alarm bell for a deal that does effectively nothing to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. Indeed, it encourages the rogue nation to develop ever more destructive methods of killing innocents.
The civilized and respectful crowd gathered for more than six blocks, from 42nd St into the Fashion District. With the exception of a single counter-protest that was intentionally provocative, there was no detectable acrimony in the crowd. Instead, they focused their concerns and anger at Senator Chuck Schumer, who could potentially prove the decisive vote to approve, or derail, the deal.
The rally featured an all-star cast of speakers, including retired military, national security experts, politicians, and journalists. Among the speakers were Admiral James ‘Ace’ Lyons, Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney and Clare Lopez, Major General Paul E. Vallely, Colonel Allen West, and Caroline Glick, who presented via television from Israel.
Col. West’s speech, delivered without notes, electrified the crowd as he spoke from the heart about the greatness of America and the smallness and treachery of Obama and Kerry. This deal is yet another betrayal to the military veterans who fought in Iraq, only to have Obama intentionally lose the war and hand over parts of the country to ISIS.
Gaffney ended his speech calling this “deal” with Iran what it actually is – “TREASON!”
If it Walks like a Duck, and Quacks like a Duck…
Why would Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry hand a carte blanch deal to Iran? A deal that allows inspections only after a lengthy appeals process and 24 days between inspection requests and actual inspections?
Extensive research has shown conclusively that the Obama administration is filled with agents of the Muslim Brotherhood, the mothership of all Islamic terrorism. In Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria, the United States backed Muslim Brotherhood rebels to overthrow stable governments. This plan was made explicit in a secret presidential directive, PSD-11.
Once the Muslim Brother Mohamed Morsi was elected President in Egypt, he traveled to Tehran to establish a closer relationship with the terror master Mullahs.
Kerry, who like Obama is desperate for a legacy, is personally close to the Iran because his daughter is married to an Iranian man with family there. Moreover, Obama’s Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, who many believe to be the true force behind this calamitous presidency, was born in Shiraz, Iran.
The rally was organized by a large and diverse coalition of organizations that included activists and concerned citizens who are anti-terrorism, pro-Israel, and for a strong national defense of America and American values.
AIM Editor Roger Aronoff appeared on July 7 on the Philadelphia, PA Conservative Commandos radio show with Rick Trader and Anna C. Little to talk about Aronoff’s recent column “Email Dumps Continue to Undermine Clinton Candidacy.”
Hillary Clinton’s excuses regarding her private email server were immediately exposed as lies when Sidney Blumenthal provided additional emails to the Select Committee on Benghazi, ones that she herself had not provided to the State Department.
Blumenthal “was faced with a dilemma when he went to the Committee,” said Aronoff on the show. He added that if Blumenthal had withheld the emails that made clear that Mrs. Clinton hadn’t turned over all of her work-related emails to the Committee, he would have been risking being held in contempt by the Committee.
“So what we know is that she provided edited material, she didn’t provide all the material—and so she’s caught in these lies,” said Aronoff. He also noted that some of her messages are now classified.
“Yet you don’t hear the media talking about it at all,” he continued. “It’s basically, ‘What did [Donald] Trump say?’ and ‘Ask Chris Christie what Trump said,’ and ask everybody what Trump said, and let’s spend three hours talking about that.”
“But none of this with the apparent nominee for the Democrats,” said Aronoff. “There’s no—very little interest [from] the media in digging into this and talking about this.”
This scandal has a twin counterpart in the conflicts of interest posed by the Clinton Foundation, another story the mainstream media have either not pursued or attacked. “So what they ended up doing was through the Clinton Foundation…that when Hillary was Secretary of State they would take millions of dollars from countries who were doing business with the U.S. government,” he said. “And, again, everyone just wants to act like she’s just above all that, that there’s no way she would do anything. But yet she gets caught in lie, after lie, after lie…”
Aronoff argued that since there is no controlling legal authority willing to hold Clinton accountable at this time, the consequences for her may be more political than legal, especially if Vice President Joe Biden were to jump into the Democratic presidential primary. “I think the Clintons believe it’s their time and their entitlement to have that position,” he said, “and if they see the Obama administration all of a sudden line up behind Biden, whether openly and overtly or kind of behind the scenes, I think it’s going to be a real battle in the party.”
While the Select Committee is currently focused on accessing Clinton’s and her staff’s emails, no further information is necessary to expose the ongoing Benghazi cover-up by the Obama administration and Mrs. Clinton. “We put out a report a year ago April, and people can go look at this,” said Aronoff. “It’s at aim.org/Benghazi, and see what the real story is.”
The Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi’s interim report details how the initial intervention in Libya was unnecessary, that Muammar Qaddafi offered truce talks that the U.S. did not pursue, and that the U.S. government was facilitating the provision of arms to al-Qaeda-linked rebels in that nation.
CCB Member and former CIA officer Clare Lopez recently explained to WorldNetDaily that when Ambassador Chris “Stevens was facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qaida-affiliated militia in Libya, he was living in the facility in Benghazi that was later designated the Special Mission Compound.”
You can listen to the complete interview here.
The Obama-tied leftist group that helped a gunman commit an act of terrorism against a conservative organization has assembled a starter kit for Islamists to attack American women who refuse to comply with Sharia law, the authoritarian doctrine that inspires Islamists and their jihadism.
It’s the summer special from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an extremist nonprofit that lists conservative organizations that disagree with it on social issues on a catalogue of “hate groups.” A few years ago a gunman received a 25-year prison sentence for carrying out the politically-motivated shooting of the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters after admitting that he learned about the FRC from the SPLC “hate map.” Prosecutors called it an act of terrorism and recommended a 45-year sentence.
Now the SPLC, which has conducted diversity training for the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ), is targeting female bloggers, activists and television personalities who refuse to comply with Sharia law which is rooted in the Quran. The European Court on Human rights has repeatedly ruled that Sharia is “incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy” yet politically-connected radical Muslim groups—such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)—keep pushing to implement it in the United States and the movement has gained steam.
Among those resisting this effort publicly are the high-profile women being targeted by the SPLC. Some of them are colleagues or friends of Judicial Watch and now they must fear for their safety simply for practicing their rights under the U.S. Constitution. The new hate list is titled Women Against Islam/The Dirty Dozen and includes illustrations and detailed information on all the women, who are branded “the core of the anti-Muslim radical right.” The new SPLC hate brochure further targets them by claiming that they’re “a dozen of the most hardline anti-Muslim women activists in America.”
Political activist and commentator Pamela Geller is branded the “country’s most flamboyant and visible Muslim-basher” for, among other things “smearing and demonizing Muslims.” Blogger Ann Barnhardt is identified as one of the “most extreme Muslim-bashers in the United States” and radio talk-show host Laura Ingram made the list for saying that hundreds of millions of Muslims were delighted that 12 people were massacred by Islamic terrorists in the Paris headquarters of a satirical magazine. Former CIA agent Clare Lopez, who runs a Washington D.C. think-tank focusing on national security issues, made the list for saying that the Muslim Brotherhood has “infiltrated and suborned the U.S. government to actively assist…the mission of its grand jihad.”
Others appearing on the anti-Sharia docket include television personality and former judge and prosecutor Jeanine Pirro, former chairwoman of the Texas Republican Party Cathie Adams, talk-show host Sandy Rios of the American Family Association, syndicated columnist Diana West, attorney and columnist Debbie Schlussel, blogger Cathy Hinners, ACT! for America founder Brigitte Gabriel and conservative writer and TV personality Ann Coulter. Among her biggest offenses, according to the SPLC, is proclaiming that “not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims—at least all terrorists capable of assembling a murderous plot against America.”
Incredibly, the SPLC is one of a number of leftist special interest groups that has colluded with the DOJ since Obama moved into the White House. A few years ago JW uncovered government records that show the DOJ Civil Rights and Tax divisions engaged in questionable behavior while negotiating for SPLC co-founder Morris Dees to appear as the featured speaker at a 2012 “Diversity Training Event.” JW pursued the records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to determine what influence the SPLC’s branding of hate groups has had on government agencies.
Please consider supporting the important work of Judicial Watch by clicking here.
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
Mike Morell, the former Deputy CIA Director and Acting CIA Director, is out with a new book, and has been making the rounds on virtually every TV network. This is supposed to be his time to set the record straight, but he has apparently decided not to do that. Instead, his truthful revelations are mixed in with obvious falsehoods, so it becomes difficult to distinguish one from the other.
We noted his difficulty with the truth back in this 2014 column by former CIA officer Clare Lopez, in which she cited, among other things, that Morell and then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice met with several Republican senators about the editing process that the Benghazi talking points had gone through before Rice used them on the five Sunday morning shows, just days after the attacks in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Lopez, in her column titled “Benghazi and the Politicization of Intelligence,” wrote:
Under questioning from the senators about the talking-points editing process, Morell tried to blame the FBI for cutting the reference to al-Qa’eda terrorism; he said the FBI didn’t want to compromise an ongoing criminal investigation. When Graham called the FBI and told them what Morell had said, ‘they went ballistic,’ Graham said in an interview with Fox News. ‘Confronted with this, Morell changed his statement and admitted that he, and the CIA, had been responsible after all.’
Although Morell has made statements undermining Hillary Clinton and President Obama on other intelligence issues, he is actively assisting both the mainstream media and the Obama administration in an effort to ignore and revise the 2012 events in Benghazi with his new book The Great War of Our Time.
“One of the most striking aspects of Morell’s chapters on Benghazi is his dogged insistence that the attacks were simply the result of a mob spinning out of control,” writes Steven Hayes for The Weekly Standard. “But Morell maintains that the attacks were not planned and claims, repeatedly and bizarrely, that the attackers did not necessarily want to harm Americans.”
This, Hayes notes, does not match the Abu Khatallah indictment, which contends that the objective of the attackers in Benghazi was to “kill United States citizens at the Mission and the Annex.”
A Defense Intelligence Agency email, obtained by Judicial Watch and made public on May 18, shows that the DIA reported on September 16, 2012 that the terrorist attack had been planned 10 or more days prior by Al Qaeda.
“The memo was copied to the National Security Council, the State Department and the CIA,” reports Catherine Herridge of Fox News. “A third DIA memo, dated Oct. 5, 2012, leaves no doubt that U.S. intelligence agencies knew that weapons were moving from Libya to Syria before the attack that killed four Americans.”
Morell refused to comment on the flow of weapons to Syria during his recent Fox News interview with Bret Baier, host of Special Report. Morell’s carefully crafted chapters on Benghazi, a total of 47 pages, deceive so systematically and so completely as to create an entirely false account of these events. He seeks to rewrite history by contradicting other witnesses. All evidence supporting this scandal that is not ascribed to the White House’s stonewalling efforts is reduced to spurious claims or myths.
But it is his word against those on the ground that night—from Gregory Hicks to the former Libyan president, including the security contractors and diplomatic security agents. Morell’s own account is irredeemably sullied by the fact that he won’t even admit to conversations he’s had concerning the CIA’s Benghazi talking points.
“I told my colleagues that I had some concerns about the talking points and that I knew other agencies did as well,” he writes of his controversial participation in a Deputies Meeting. “I did not say what my concerns were. I concluded by saying I would edit the talking points myself and share them with the relevant deputies before sending them to the Hill. McDonough simply said, ‘Thank you, Michael.’” McDonough is Denis McDonough, then-Deputy National Security Advisor, now White House Chief of Staff.
Contrast this with email records obtained by Judicial Watch, and you find that Morell’s assertions prove entirely false. “On the SVTS [call], Morell noted that these points were not good and he had taken a heavy editing hand to them,” states an administration email from September 15, 2012. “[Morell] noted that he would be happy to work with Jake Sullivan and Rhodes to develop appropriate talking points. McDonough, on Rhodes’ behalf, deferred to Sullivan.” Rhodes is Ben Rhodes, former Obama speechwriter, Deputy National Security Advisor, and brother of David Rhodes, the president of CBS News.
“It was agreed that Jake would work closely with the intelligence community (within a small group) to finalize points on Saturday that could be shared with HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence],” it continues.
In order for there to be an agreement, there must first be a conversation involving multiple parties. And the details of this email clearly demonstrate that there was more of a discussion with others than Morell would like to admit.
But the mainstream media aren’t interested in asking Morell about his factual inaccuracies or contradictions.
During a Q&A, Michael Hirsh of Politico asked Morell a softball question on Benghazi, saying, “You say the CIA reevaluated its security posture in Benghazi after that but it’s unclear why State did not do more. Can you explain?”
This approach revealed that Hirsh hadn’t done any independent research, and was hoping that the Benghazi scandal could be “explained” away by the most authoritative—and, in this case, incredibly biased—administration source.
Politico also published an article by Morell, which claims to be “The Real Story of Benghazi.”
Hirsh’s question doesn’t even reflect Morell’s actual statements. “It was only …after the tragedy of 9/11/12…that we learned that only a few security enhancements had been made” at the Special Mission Compound, writes Morell.
Members of the Annex Security Team write in their book, 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, that status updates between them (at the CIA Annex) and the Special Mission Compound (located about one mile from the Annex) occurred “usually every Friday.” Does Morell really expect his readers to believe that these two facilities, located so close together, were not aware of each others’ security efforts? Hirsh apparently does.
By informing his readers about unreleased video footage from the night of the attack at the Special Mission Compound (SMC), Morell seeks to establish himself as a first-hand expert on what happened there. He is not. But because the video footage is not available to others, it is impossible to independently verify the facts.
For Politico to have taken Morell at his word without fact-checking is no better than citing anonymous administration officials.
“Some of the attackers were armed with small arms; many were not armed at all,” Morell writes. “No heavy weapons were seen on the videotape.” This contradicts another account, from the book Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi by Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz, which maintains that “Some of the attackers carried RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] slung over their shoulders, apparently to be used on the armored doors of the safe haven and the TOC [Tactical Operations Center] or to repel any counterattack. The DS [Diplomatic Security] agents knew they were facing superior firepower.”
“…definitely, it was planned by foreigners, by people who—who entered the country a few months ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their—since their arrival, said former Libyan President Mohammed al Magariaf on September 16, 2012 on CBS’ Face the Nation.
But, according to Morell, this is merely a “myth,” a false perception “that the attacks were well organized, planned weeks or even months in advance.”
“What’s more, the failure to anticipate and prevent such attacks would be, by definition, an intelligence failure,” writes Steven Hayes. Such a failure would reflect badly on the CIA, and therefore Morell himself.
Morell contends that there was no tactical warning for the attacks. Instead, “We routinely sent such cables each year on the anniversary of 9/11—but we did want our people and their US government colleagues to be extra vigilant.”
“Be advised, we have reports from locals that a Western facility or US Embassy/Consulate/Government target will be attacked in the next week,” reads the warning described in 13 Hours.
Morell recounts the stand down order with as much dishonesty as his description of the secret Deputies Meeting. “While these calls were being made, the response team was frustrated that it was not moving out,” he writes. “Although the delay was no more than five to eight minutes, I am sure that to those involved it must have seemed like forever.” But, he writes, it wasn’t ordered by anyone up the chain of command and was totally justified.
Morell’s account doesn’t even address whether the security team left with CIA Chief of Base “Bob’s” blessing or otherwise. They did not. And, according to the 13 Hours account, at least 20 minutes “had elapsed since the operators had first mustered at Building C.”
In a firefight, 20 minutes can be an eternity. AST Member Kris Paronto told Fox News’ Bret Baier last year that, without the delay, “Ambassador Stevens and Sean [Smith], yeah, they would still be alive, my gut is yes.”
Admitting as much would concede the CIA’s role in the overall dereliction of duty. Yet Nick Romeo writes for the Christian Science Monitor that although “it’s clear that he wants to defend the reputation of the agency” Morell has credibility because he notices “the many weaknesses and flaws in the design and function of intelligence agencies.”
However, when it comes to the death of four Americans—where it counts—Morell perpetuates the cover-up.
After leaving the CIA in 2013, Morell joined Beacon Global Strategies, started by Hillary Clinton’s “principal gatekeeper”—as described by The New York Times—Philippe Reines. The company serves as a sort of Clinton government-in-waiting. Thus, Morell’s statements become even that much more suspect due to a conflict of interest, while trying to protect Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House.
And the dereliction of duty could have been prevented. Chief of Base “Bob” had already been given an opportunity to see the February 17 Martyrs Brigade’s lack of action earlier that year when they failed to come to the aid of another operator and Tyrone Woods during an altercation with a group they believed to be Ansar al Sharia. Woods himself later became a September 11, 2012 casualty. Even the Accountability Review Board notes that on the day of the attacks, the militia “had stopped accompanying Special Mission vehicle movements in protest over salary and working hours.”
But it is easier to ignore and marginalize the Benghazi scandal than for journalists to do independent research. Case in point, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviewed Morell on May 13 about ISIS and the Osama bin Laden operation, but did not ask him about his false Benghazi narrative.
If Morell has so transparently lied about the death of four Americans and the resulting administration cover-up, why, exactly, should the media trust him on other matters?