06/10/15

The Clinton Record on Libya

By: Kenneth Timmerman
Accuracy in Media

Exclusive to Accuracy in Media
The emails show more than you might think

On August 21, 2011, a top aide to Hillary Clinton penned a memo lauding his boss for steering U.S. policy in Libya, aimed at convincing the media of her accomplishments as Secretary of State.

“HRC has been a critical voice on Libya in administration deliberations, at NATO, and in contact group meetings—as well as the public face of the U.S. effort in Libya. She was instrumental in securing the authorization, building the coalition, and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime,” Clinton aide Jake Sullivan wrote.

Sullivan’s memo to Mrs. Clinton’s inner circle is, of course, embarrassing today, which is one reason you are not reading about it on the front pages of The New York Times or The Washington Post.

But that’s not the only reason.

The memo, as well as other critical State Department correspondence, was withheld from multiple committees in Congress that have been investigating the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department communications officer Sean Smith, and two former Navy Seals then working on contract to the CIA, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

It finally surfaced on May 22, 2015, in response to a subpoena from the Select Committee on Benghazi chaired by South Carolina Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy. That was six months after Gowdy’s initial request to the State Department for all documents relating to Benghazi, and more than two-and-a-half years after a similar request from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which initiated its investigation into Benghazi just days after the attacks.

In Sullivan’s memo, Mrs. Clinton was the driving force in getting the Russians to drop opposition to a UN-imposed no fly zone on Qadhafi’s Libya. She alone got Turkey, Qatar and Jordan to join the coalition military operations and to provide critical support to the anti-Qadhafi forces.

To convince skeptical allies to embrace her policies, Sullivan noted that Mrs. Clinton had traveled to Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa and Istanbul. She visited with “House Democrats and Senate Republicans to persuade them not to de-fund the Libya operation.”

Sullivan’s memo provided background for media appearances by Secretary Clinton in the ensuing months, including a famous encounter with a TV news reporter in Afghanistan, just three days after Mrs. Clinton’s October 2011 visit to Libya to proclaim victory against the then-still-missing Libyan dictator.

In video outtakes, Clinton aide Huma Abedin hands the Secretary a Blackberry, with information that Colonel Qadhafi has been killed, apparently just hours after Mrs. Clinton’s brief visit to the country.

“We came, we saw, he died,” Mrs. Clinton joked.

In short, without Mrs. Clinton’s vigorous intervention, Qadhafi would still be in power, Libya would still be a country, and the jihadis who now own the place would be toast. And, of course, Chris Stevens, Smith, Doherty and Woods would still be alive.

After the attacks, Mrs. Clinton quickly forgot her leading role on Libya, sending a clueless Susan Rice to the Sunday talk shows to be the “public face” of the Obama administration’s Libya policy.

In her only public appearances to address what happened in Benghazi, she portrayed herself as a disengaged onlooker, called upon to pick up the pieces when the hired help failed to get things right. “[It] was very disappointing to me that the [Accountability Review Board (ARB)] concluded there were inadequacies and problems in the responsiveness of our team here in Washington to the security requests that were made by our team in Libya. And I was not aware of that going on. It was not brought to my attention,” she told the House Foreign Affairs committee in January 2013.

She reminded House and Senate panels in January 2013 that the State Department’s ARB, which she appointed, had determined that the failures in Benghazi were entirely the responsibility of lower level officials, even though Libya was among the top ten most dangerous postings in the world at the time of the attacks. The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler busily helped to reinforce that fiction in a “fact-checking” blog aimed to show that there were simply too many cables going in and out of the State Department for a busy Secretary to see all of them.

Interestingly, in the approximately 300 Clinton emails the State Department has released so far, there is no record of Mrs. Clinton’s original request to her staff to draft a memo lauding her achievements in Libya. Did Sullivan simply dream up the idea and forward it up the chain of command to see if it would please his boss? Or was Mrs. Clinton’s request for these talking points one of the 30,000 “personal” emails the former Secretary of State deleted as irrelevant to her official duties?

Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills forwarded Sullivan’s August 2011 memo to a second private Hillary email address. Remember how she insisted that she had just one private email account? The memo included a note that said, “Here’s the memo.” That sounds an awful lot like, “Here’s the memo you requested.”

Hillary sent it on to her personal assistant with the instruction, “Pls print for me.”

This type of exchange gets repeated many times in the Clinton emails released so far, suggesting that Mrs. Clinton was not given to making substantive comments via email, or that she deleted material that is relevant to the House Select Committee on Benghazi and is therefore guilty of obstructing justice. The other possibility is that the State Department Freedom of Information office is inexplicably dragging its feet in clearing Mrs. Clinton’s correspondence, even though the delay casts Mrs. Clinton in an embarrassing light.

Judicial Watch and other watchdog organizations—including this author—had been trying to get Mrs. Clinton’s emails and other U.S. government documents relevant to the Benghazi attacks for the past two-and-a-half years without success until the subpoena from the Select Committee on Benghazi compelled a response.

Now, thanks to a federal court order in Washington, DC, compelling the State Department to produce additional documents it previously had said did not exist or were properly categorized as classified, we can now put Mrs. Clinton’s emails into a broader context.

As the first reports of the attacks on Benghazi were whizzing through the State Department Operations Center, bouncing off the computers of lower level employees, one is impressed by their professionalism.

For example, the British security firm that had the contract to guard the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi sent several ungrammatical missives through a State Department contact to update him on what was happening during the attacks.

Dylan Davies, one of the contractors working for the security firm, was apparently holed up in his hotel room (not at the scene of the Compound leading a daring rescue attempt, as he told CBS’ 60 Minutes), with no information at 11:55 p.m. local time—by which time, Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith were dead, the CIA contractors led by Ty Woods had driven the attackers away from the burning diplomatic compound, and evacuated back to the CIA Annex.

A half hour later, Davies sent a second report, claiming there had been “no casualties,” and relaying a hearsay report from his “Benghazi facilitator,” who claimed that sources on the street were telling him the attack was either a September 11th anniversary attack, or caused by an Internet movie “disrespecting Mohammed.”

In relaying those reports, the State Department’s Command Center cautioned that they should be “taken with a grain of salt as the Employee may not be aware of the extent of the situation.”

And yet, less than four hours later—with no other independent reporting that had been released—Hillary Clinton issued her statement blaming the attacks on an Internet video.

What happened in the meantime? Who pushed the idea of the Internet video?

The short answer is that:we still don’t know. Either Mrs. Clinton destroyed the emails and other documents showing how she latched onto a report her own specialists had rejected as hearsay, or perhaps the Archangel Gabriel whispered in her ear while she had her head in a closet in her 7th floor office suite.

Several emails released to Judicial Watch show the intense involvement of the Bureau of Public Affairs in scouring the Internet for information on the attacks, but nothing to suggest the Secretary of State was asking the intelligence community what they knew.

At 9:30 p.m,—just 40 minutes before Mrs. Clinton issued her official statement blaming the attacks on a YouTube video—Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Dana Shell Smith sent out a request to her reporting officers to find information “in the aftermath of today’s demonstrations at Embassy Cairo.” For whatever reason, her request failed to mention Benghazi.

Rebecca Brown Thompson, head of a State Department media office called the “Rapid Response Unit” (reminiscent of the Clinton campaign “war room”), responded by sending snippets from Facebook postings gleaned by Arabic language media analysts.

“I see a variety of responses spanning from conspiracy theories (that is what the Americans and Israelis are doing on purpose to hurt Arabs and Muslims, they financed the offensive movie), to those who condemn the attacks as ‘UnIslamic and barbaric,’” one analyst reported.

Two hours after Mrs. Clinton issued the statement blaming the attacks on the “inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” a second Arabic media analyst tasked with justifying that statement found a lone tweet about the film, but also reported that “some Twitter users in Libya and Egypt are spreading reports that the attacks in Libya may not be related to the infamous film but to the killing of Al Qaeda’s second in command, who is Libyan.”

The “infamous” film, which was much less well known in Libya than in Egypt, became the subject of a scurrilous account appearing the very next morning that was penned by Max Blumenthal, son of the infamous Sid “Vicious” Blumenthal who was advising Mrs. Clinton. It was picked up and amplified in a second attack blog posted at 6:56 a.m. the same morning, suggesting that the real blame for the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi fell on Mitt Romney and his “extremist” backers who produced this YouTube video in the first place.

Once information from the professionals rose to the level of Jake Sullivan, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills in Clinton’s office, it just seemed to disappear, replaced with a weird concoction of politics, public relations and outright fantasy, such as the YouTube video concoction or the Sid Blumenthal “intelligence” reports. (When Mrs. Clinton sent those around to the professional diplomats, the comments she received in response were rarely complimentary.)

The 300 recently released Clinton emails give the impression that the 7th floor of the State Department was inhabited by a bunch of grad students, pretending to be government officials.

The most tragic example of the apparent ignorance of how the State Department and the federal government actually worked appeared in Mrs. Clinton’s order to not engage the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST), an interagency team on 24/7 stand-by alert, that had been created to respond to just such an emergency as the Benghazi attacks.

Counterterrorism Bureau official Mark Thompson, who helped to establish the FEST after the 1998 Africa embassy attacks, testified at length before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about this on May 8, 2013.

The Judicial Watch emails include a frustrated note he sent to the State Department Operations Center at 9:01 p.m. on the night of the attacks, complaining that Secretary Clinton was trying to get the FBI to send an evidence response team to Libya, when “the State (CT) led Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) would include those folks, along with experts from other agencies. We should avoid multiple requests for assistance and rely on the comprehensive FEST approach.”

In his Congressional testimony, Thompson said he had tried to get Mrs. Clinton’s office and the White House to approve activating the FEST as soon as he first learned about the attacks from the State Operations Center, but was told “it was not the right time and it was not the team that needed to go right then.”

The redacted portions of Thompson’s email undoubtedly included a reference to the heavily-armed special operations component of the FEST whose job would be to secure the facility under attack. Had Secretary Clinton not told the FEST to stand down early on, there’s a chance they might have arrived in Benghazi before Woods and Doherty were killed in the 5 a.m. mortar attack the next morning.

At the very least, they would have been able to secure the compounds and gather evidence on the spot, instead of waiting three weeks as the FBI was ultimately forced to do.

Mrs. Clinton’s aversion to any overt U.S. military presence in Libya was well-known at U.S. Africa Command, which had been supplying the ambassador’s security detail up until just weeks before the attacks. “We were not allowed to wear uniforms outside the embassy compound, not even our boots,” the head of Stevens’ U.S. Special Forces security detail told me. “People high up at State resented like Hell us being there and doing what we did.”

And in the end, those same people ordered the Ambassador’s Special Forces security detail to leave Libya—with disastrous consequences.

05/20/15

Mike Morell Attempts to Repair His Damaged Credibility

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 tokill 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?

03/11/15

Why was Sid Blumenthal advising Hillary Clinton on Libya?

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
Accuracy in Media

Exclusive to Accuracy in Media

Until Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) revealed last week that his Benghazi Select Committee was investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for her official State Department communications, no one had a good explanation for why none of the Congressional committees that had previously investigated Benghazi had ever cited a single Hillary Clinton email in their reports.

Congressional Democrats had been pooh-poohing Gowdy’s investigation, claiming that all the important questions about Benghazi had been “asked and answered” by previous committees.

Now the best that Gowdy’s counterpart, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), can do is object to subpoenas (especially when they are issued to Hillary Clinton in person, through Counsel), and to huff and puff about the investigation becoming a “surrogate” for the “Republican National Committee.”

What a change a single revelation can bring.

We now learn that Hillary Clinton not only used a private server, maintained at her Chappaqua, New York home for official communications, but that she never used a government email at all. Not once.

No [email protected], or [email protected] or anything of the kind. Just multiple accounts on her family server, clintonemail.com, including [email protected], the same address used by former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal to communicate with her on Benghazi and related matters.

Federal prosecutors recently finished up their case against former CIA Director David Petraeus, who was conveniently forced to resign just three days after the November 2012 elections, before he could clarify what he knew about Benghazi. (Given that Petraeus had just returned from a September 2, 2012 trip to Ankara, Turkey, where he had been trying to tamp down publicity due to an arms shipment from Benghazi to the Syrian rebels, he certainly knew a lot.)

In a widely criticized decision, they forced him to plea bargain one count of a misdemeanor in exchange for dropping more serious charges. The full extent of the FBI’s case against Petraeus involved him sharing personal, hand-written notebooks with his biographer.

Prosecutors noted that the CIA had installed a SCIF—a specialized high-security area—in his Arlington, Virginia home where he could safely store classified materials brought home from the CIA. That facility was dismantled by the CIA without incident two months after Petraeus resigned from the Agency.

The prosecutors never accused Petraeus of improperly storing U.S. government classified materials either in the SCIF or elsewhere. Nor did they accuse him of sending classified materials over an unsecure server.

If they could prosecute Petraeus on one count of improperly handling classified material (he kept those personal notebooks in a rucksack in his attic), one can only speculate how many thousand counts of mishandling classified information could be brought against Mrs. Clinton. Of course, she denies having sent classified information over her personal server, but in that case how did she communicate on classified matters with her envoys and subordinates?

Was the private server at her residence designed, installed, and maintained by a U.S. government security agency? Was it connected to the government’s Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) and physically separated from the open Internet?

The Sid Blumenthal memos, sent from his AOL account to Hillary’s private email server, suggest that this was not the case. If so, the former Secretary of State was breaking the law—big time.

When the memos first surfaced in 2013—posted to the Internet by a Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer” —neither the State Department nor their purported author acknowledged their authenticity. Given that they initially surfaced on the website of Russia Today, Vladimir Putin’s reliably anti-American TV network, that was enough to consign them to oblivion as yet another Internet hoax.

Now we learn that former CIA official Tyler Drumheller apparently helped to gather the “intel” that Blumenthal sent to Hillary on the Benghazi attacks and other political developments inside Libya.

This is extremely significant because the initial memo sent by Blumenthal, dated September 12, 2012, cites “a sensitive source,” who purportedly met with Libyan President Magarief shortly after the attacks began and claimed that a YouTube video sparked the “protest” against the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

Magarief himself never said such a thing, although the memo is worded to suggest that he did. He blew up when he heard Susan Rice make that claim on the Sunday talk shows after the attack, as I write on pages 347 and 348 of Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi.

Drumheller became infamous for several earlier pieces of disinformation. As European Division chief at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations in 2001 and 2002, he was the one who planted the phony evidence about the Niger uranium contract that was later used by the media during the Valerie Plame affair to claim that George W. Bush had “lied” about Saddam Hussein’s WMD programs. On three separate occasions, he passed the Niger information up the food chain as validated intelligence, when the CIA had been warned that it was not (see page 63 of my book Shadow Warriors).

Then-CIA Director George Tenet was so fed up with Drumheller that he spent seven full pages in his memoir debunking claims by Drumheller regarding the defector known as CURVEBALL that Tenet said were simply untrue.

Drumheller and Sid Blumenthal have a history together. In 2007, Blumenthal used Drumheller as a source to “prove” that Bush had “lied” about pre-war intelligence on Iraqi WMD. Drumheller and Blumenthal went on to work in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2007 and 2008.

So was the Guccifer/Blumenthal memo intended as disinformation, written after Hillary Clinton put out her statement on the night of the attacks blaming them on a YouTube video? Or was it actually the source of Hillary’s false claim about the video, written and sent by someone on the ground in Libya who was attempting to plant the story?

Many reporters, myself included, have submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the State Department, asking for all documents and communications that would show how Mrs. Clinton’s statement came to be worded as it was finally released. Where are all the drafts? Who commented on them? What did it say initially? How was it changed? By whom?

We have much of that information for the Susan Rice talking points, but nothing at all for Hillary Clinton’s statement on the evening of the attacks.

Given that there is not a single mention of a protest or the YouTube video in all the documents released to Congress, which included real-time communications from Tripoli and Benghazi from the State Department and CIA that night, exactly how Mrs. Clinton came up with that idea could provide key insight into what actually happened in Benghazi, and why.

02/26/15

Posing for the Cameras While the Islamic Threat Grows

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Rep. Michael McCaul  (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, says the danger is great that the thousands of Syrian refugees coming into the United States will include terrorists who want to kill Americans. So what is he doing about it? He told Sean Hannity of Fox News the other night that he has sent a letter!

He said, “I sent a letter to National Security Advisor Susan Rice asking her to explain why she’s doing this, and to try to stop this from happening. My job as chairman of Homeland Security is to protect the American people. I believe this will put Americans at risk.”

“Keep up the good work,” said Hannity.

It’s true. McCaul sent a letter to Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice. But what is she going to do about it? Rice was part of the Benghazi cover-up.

This is the same Congressman McCaul who didn’t even respond to our letter two years ago asking for an investigation of Al Jazeera’s expansion into the United States.

A letter is not a substitute for a bill to stop this dangerous wave of immigration into the United States. But this is what passes for “action” from the Republican running the House Committee on Homeland Security.

McCaul is very good at posing for the cameras and going on Fox News to talk about his hearings. But his record of doing anything to actually stop the Islamic threat is weak.

McCaul did introduce a bill, the “Secure Our Border First Act of 2015,” supposedly designed to curb illegal immigration. But Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), perhaps the top opponent of amnesty for illegal aliens in the U.S. Congress, said that McCaul’s border bill does not include the following reforms needed to achieve a sound immigration system:

  • It does not end catch-and-release.
  • It does not require mandatory detention and return.
  • It does not include worksite enforcement.
  • It does not close dangerous asylum and national security loopholes.
  • It does not cut off access to federal welfare.
  • It does not require completion of the border fence.
  • It delays and weakens the longstanding, unfulfilled statutory requirement for a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system.

We are now learning why McCaul is so reticent about doing anything of substance against the Islamic threat.

McCaul was recently exposed by Matthew Boyle of Breitbart News for having held a friendly meeting with an Islamic leader from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Texas. McCaul and CAIR Houston branch executive director Mustafa Carroll were photographed together. A photograph of the meeting includes a note written in silver sharpie from McCaul to Carroll: “To Mustafa and the Council on American Islamic Relations, the moderate Muslim is our most effective weapon.”

The February 11 hearing held by McCaul, “Countering Violent Islamist Extremism: The Urgent Threat of Foreign Fighters and Homegrown Terror,” was certainly worthwhile.

But the idea that a letter to Rice is somehow sufficient to deal with the threat is laughable.

Rice is one of the top Obama officials implicated in the Benghazi terror attack cover-up. And she is now supposed to do something to stop terrorists from coming into the U.S. disguised as refugees because McCaul has sent her a letter?

McCaul himself signed a letter to Obama, noting that Rice “propagated a falsehood that the [Benghazi] attacks were ‘spontaneous,’ the outcome of a protest ‘spun out of control,’ and the result of a YouTube video.”

The letter, signed by McCaul and others, said Rice “is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter. Her actions plausibly give U.S. allies (and rivals) abroad reason to question U.S. commitment and credibility when needed.”

The letter was designed to warn Obama against making Rice Secretary of State. Instead, he made her National Security Advisor.

The letter that was sent to McCaul two years ago, warning of Al Jazeera’s expansion into the U.S., cited Dr. Judea Pearl’s criticism of Al Jazeera as “the main propaganda machine” of the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. Equally significant, Dr. Pearl, the father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, said that “Al Jazeera weaves the ideological structure and combustible angers from which Jihadi recruits eventually emerge.”

McCaul now claims to be concerned about the emergence of Islamic terrorists on American soil. Yet he refused to even respond to the letter about Al Jazeera.

Accuracy in Media learned and reported that Al Jazeera and its financial sponsor, the government of Qatar, had hired various K Street lobbyists to put pressure on McCaul and other Republicans to stop a probe into Al Jazeera’s operations on American soil.

Yet, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey has said, in regard to Al Jazeera, “I think if an American medium is controlled by a political force from abroad, that’s a proper subject for inquiry.”

McCaul is emerging as very good at getting “face time” on the news to sound tough about the Islamic threat. But when the threat is mounting, sending letters just doesn’t seem to cut it.

A tougher border bill that would help keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States seems like an absolute necessity. But McCaul and the Republican-controlled Congress aren’t even pushing for that.

“My job as chairman of Homeland Security is to protect the American people,” he says. So why won’t he do his job?

A letter to Susan Rice won’t protect us. A tougher border bill would help. And so would hearings into Al Jazeera leading to the eviction of this Muslim Brotherhood channel from the United States.

01/31/15

Washington Times’ Bombshell Tapes Confirm Citizen Commission’s Findings on Benghazi

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

As Hillary Clinton further delays the announcement of her 2016 run for the White House, more news has broken regarding her role in the 2011 disastrous intervention in Libya, which set the stage for the 2012 Benghazi attacks where we lost four brave American lives.

Two new stories from The Washington Times expose some of the infighting among government agencies and branches of government on this controversial decision, and highlight the key role that Clinton played in initiating the war. You can listen to tapes of discussions between Pentagon staffers, former Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and the Qaddafi regime for yourself.

This news also validates the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) 2014 interim report, which exposed that Muammar Qaddafi had offered truce talks and a possible peaceful abdication to the United States, which Washington turned down.

“[The article] also makes it clear that the Benghazi investigation needs to be broadened to answer the question: ‘Why did America bomb Libya in the first place?’” commented Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic (Ret.), a key source for the CCB’s interim report who was also quoted by the Times.

“Despite the willingness of both AFRICOM Commander Gen. Carter Ham and Muammar Qaddafi to pursue the possibility of truce talks, permission was not given to Gen. Ham from his chain of command in the Pentagon and the window of opportunity closed,” reads Kubic’s statement for our report from last year. You can watch here, from a CCB press conference last April, as Admiral Kubic described his personal involvement in the effort to open negotiations between Qaddafi and the U.S. government.

Now we learn that the likely source of the stonewalling came from the State Department—and Secretary Clinton—herself. “On the day the U.N. resolution was passed, Mrs. Clinton ordered a general within the Pentagon to refuse to take a call with Gadhafi’s son Seif and other high-level members within the regime, to help negotiate a resolution, the secret recordings reveal,” reported the Times on January 29.

Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates indicated in his book, Duty, that he was opposed to the war for national security reasons. He highlighted a division among White House advisors—with Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, and Samantha Power “urging aggressive U.S. action to prevent an anticipated massacre of the rebels as Qaddafi fought to remain in power.” Add to that list the former Secretary of State.

“But that night, with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces turning back the rebellion that threatened his rule, Mrs. Clinton changed course, forming an unlikely alliance with a handful of top administration aides who had been arguing for intervention,” reported The New York Times on March 18, 2011, the day after UN Resolution 1973 authorizing a “no fly” zone in Libya was voted on and passed.

“Within hours, Mrs. Clinton and the aides had convinced Mr. Obama that the United States had to act, and the president ordered up military plans, which Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hand-delivered to the White House the next day.”

The Washington Times now reports that “In the recovered recordings, a U.S. intelligence liaison working for the Pentagon told a Gadhafi aide that Mr. Obama privately informed members of Congress that Libya ‘is all Secretary Clinton’s matter’ and that the nation’s highest-ranking generals were concerned that the president was being misinformed” about a humanitarian crisis that didn’t exist. However, one must wonder just how much President Obama implicitly supported Clinton in her blind push to intervene in what was once a comparatively stable country, and an ally in the war against al Qaeda. While this new report is certainly damning of Mrs. Clinton’s actions, and appears to place the blame for the unnecessary chaos in Libya—which ultimately led to Benghazi—on her shoulders, President Obama shares the blame as the ultimate Decider-in-Chief.

“Furthermore, defense officials had direct information from their intelligence asset in contact with the regime that Gadhafi gave specific orders not to attack civilians and to narrowly focus the war on the armed rebels, according to the asset, who survived the war,” reports The Washington Times in its second of three articles. Saving those in Benghazi from a looming massacre by Qaddafi seems to have been a convenient excuse made by the administration for political expediency. Could it be, instead, that President Obama, as well as Mrs. Clinton, put greater value on the rise to power of an “Arab Spring” government with Muslim Brotherhood connections? And, as the CCB interim report shows, the U.S. government was willing to go so far as to facilitate the provision of arms to al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Libya in order to ensure that Qaddafi fell.

Will the mainstream media pick up on these new revelations, or will they cast them aside as another “phony scandal” to throw into their dustbins filled with other stories that might possibly embarrass the Obama administration, or prove to be an impediment to Mrs. Clinton’s path to the White House?

“It’s critical to note that Qaddafi was actively engaged with Department of Defense officials to arrange discussions about his possible abdication and exile when that promising development was squashed by the Obama White House,” noted CCB Member Clare Lopez, a former CIA officer, regarding the failed truce talks. “The Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi has been asking, ‘Why?’ for well over a year now.”

“It is time the American people and the families of those who fought and gave their lives at Benghazi in September 2012 were told why those brave Americans had to die at all, much less die alone with no effort made to save them,” she said.

Clinton, through House Democrats, has indicated that she is willing to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. But Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) recently indicated that the Committee must first examine her emails from the State Department before questioning his witness. This complicates the issue of her testifying, since Mrs. Clinton is in the process of calculating when she will announce her presidential run.

Do the emails that Gowdy has requested from the State Department even extend back to 2011?

Chairman Gowdy identified three “tranches” that his potential questioning would fall under in an interview with Fox’s Greta Van Susteren:

  • Why was the U.S. Special Mission Compound open in the first place?
  • What actions did Clinton take during the attacks?
  • What was Clinton’s role during the talking points and Susan Rice’s Sunday morning talk show visits?

A fourth tranche should be: Clinton’s push to intervene in Libya and how it set the stage for an insecure country and strong jihadist movement willing—and able—to attack the Americans posted there. And while he’s at it, Rep. Gowdy should ask Mrs. Clinton to explain why all of the very legitimate requests for increased security in Benghazi were turned down, and why were Ambassador Chris Stevens’ personal security staff, from the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) directed to store their weapons in a separate location—not on them—on the night of September 11, 2012?

01/18/15

A New Year: Why Mr President, Why?

By: Lloyd Marcus

Happy New Year my fellow Americans. Getting my butt back into the gym is my New Year Resolution. I saw a guy I thought was around my age who looked fantastic, very muscular. He said he was 57; his secret was protein and creatine supplements.

As I begin 2015, another year into the battle to save my country, I observe the daily news thinking, “Same old, same old.” President Obama continues to, in essence, give congress and American voters the finger; arrogantly governing unilaterally against the best interest, the will and protection of the American people.

My dear friend Victoria Jackson, former star of SNL has been deemed a nut case for calling Obama a Muslim and a communist. http://bit.ly/1C5Obta While I can not confirm whether or not Vickie and other pundits are correct in their assessment, clearly Obama is on a different page than those of us who love freedom and America.

The question which continues to nag millions of Americans is why does this man do what he does? Why Mr President, why?

Why did you bring Ebola to America? http://bit.ly/1wYJU7O Why do you refuse to place a travel ban into America from Ebola riddled countries? http://bit.ly/1xnXGQ9

After abdicating your responsibility to enforce immigration law, why did you sued Arizona for enforcing immigration law; leaving Arizonians open to attacks from immigration smugglers and violent Mexican drug cartels? http://reut.rs/1AP7Mi4

Why do you block border patrol officers from doing their job? http://bit.ly/1lPVv6J Why did you dis American voters by granting executive amnesty to five million illegals? http://fxn.ws/1r2B5aj

Why are you planning to give illegals social security numbers, opening the floodgates for them to claim any number of credits; rewarding them for entering our country illegally with checks written by American taxpayers? http://bit.ly/1C5VWzo

You once admitted that an influx of illegal immigrants will harm “the wages of blue-collar Americans” and “put strains on an already overburdened safety net.” http://bit.ly/1uCOrPF Why then would you implement an open border policy guaranteed to attract the poor from around the world; encouraging them to break our immigration laws and receive taxpayer funded handouts? http://yhoo.it/1508ZI6

Why have you forced schools across America to take in illegal students carrying various diseases? http://bit.ly/1BZD33i

Why did you refuse to call the shooting at Ft Hood a “terrorist attack” which blocked the victims and their families from receiving their entitled combat benefits? http://bit.ly/14UDTlK Why did you run to read the Boston bomber his Miranda rights which blocked interrogators from questioning him about other planned attacks on Americans? http://bit.ly/14yvFyB

Why did you join Al “scumbag” Sharpton and other race profiteers in furthering their insidious divisive hate-generating lie that America’s police target and murder blacks? http://bit.ly/1AZJOmS

Why did you lie to the American people on at least 29 occasions that if they like their health-care plan and their doctor they could keep them? http://bit.ly/1DXzBpn

Why did you attempt to bully the beautiful ministry of Little Sisters of the Poor, a 100 year old order of nuns to violate their faith by forcing them to sign a form supporting abortion services? http://bit.ly/1AOMv83

Why does your Obama care continue to cause millions to lose health care plans they like and Cancer patients losing their doctors credited with saving their lives? http://bit.ly/1BZBNwW

Why did you deny additional security requests at our consulate in Benghazi which lead to the death of U.S. Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans during a 9/11/2012 terrorist attack? http://bit.ly/14V4X4g Why did you order the Benghazi Annex security team to “stand down” rather than attempt to rescue our Ambassador? http://bit.ly/1DFlFTs

Why were military assets not deplored to defend our Benghazi consulate and save our Ambassador? http://tws.io/17GYomR

Why did you send Susan Rice on five national TV shows to knowingly lie to the American people, telling them that the Benghazi attack was caused by an anti-Muslim youtube video that was seen by hardly anyone? http://bit.ly/SbNnmb Why do you persist in claiming that the war on terror is over despite glaring worldwide evidence proving otherwise? http://fxn.ws/1IJB1Vk

Why did you choose to pass on attending the historic Paris, France rally in which 40 nations came together against Islamic extremism? http://bit.ly/1BZwxcQ Why do you refuse to admit that we are at war with radical Islam?

Why did you release five lethal Taliban terrorist leaders and continue to release other terrorists certain to reenter the battlefield to kill more Americans? http://bit.ly/S8lElp

Why did you demand that the name of Jesus be covered up on a stage before you spoke? And yet, you passionately defend Islam. http://lat.ms/14y9Ije Why did you offer a new asylum decree favoring Muslims over Christians? http://bit.ly/1hiVCmU

Why have you forcefully burdened our military with social engineering policies which critics say will undermine good order and discipline for decades? http://bit.ly/1DZIyOP

Why have you launched a war on coal estimated to cost nearly a quarter-million jobs per year and force plants across America to close? http://bit.ly/1yhWZfa

Why do you vow to Veto the Keystone XL oil pipeline bill which will further energy independence and create jobs for thousands of Americans? http://bit.ly/1AAIC98

Folks, cited in this article is only the tip of the iceberg of Obama’s war on America as founded: his attacks on traditional Americanism and Christian values – his unseemly attempts to divide us along racial lines to silence opposition to his overreaches – his thuggish use of government agencies to bully and intimidate Americans into submission http://bit.ly/1KKx9XS – his encouraging the sin of covetousness/class envy to divide Americans along economic lines – his attempts to addict as many Americans as possible to government dependency and his relentless efforts to diminish the worldwide influence of the United States of America.

Who are you Mr President? Why are you always on the wrong side of what is best for America and her people? What is your ultimate goal?

Many of us are scratching our heads, asking;…why Mr President, why?

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Chairman, Conservative Campaign Committee

01/17/15

It’s the President’s Policies—Not His Team’s Vision

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

It’s been a gradual process, but we welcome former New York Times columnist Leslie Gelb to the realization that President Barack Obama’s leadership has been disastrous for this country. Last October Gelb wrote, “While Obama inherited rather than caused many of the world’s current crises, his habitual complacency and passivity prevent him from mitigating or resolving them.”

By November, Gelb had scathing criticism for Obama, writing for The Daily Beast that “The leak suggests that Mr. Obama remains blind to the principal cause of his foreign policy woes… he is the person most responsible for the absence of a U.S. foreign policy strategy, for policy zigs and zags, and for the loss of credibility and power. The essential fault lies not with the stars around him, however dim, but with himself.”

The failure to send a high-ranking member of the Obama administration to Paris for the so-called unity rally was the last straw for Mr. Gelb, whose impeccable establishment credentials include board senior fellow and president emeritus at the Council on Foreign Relations. He even acknowledges it in The Daily Beast title: “This Is Obama’s Last Foreign Policy Chance.”

Gelb said that failing to go to Paris or to send the vice president was more than a “horrible gaffe,” adding that it “demonstrated beyond argument that the Obama team lacks the basic instincts and judgment necessary to conduct U.S. national security policy in the next two years. It’s simply too dangerous to let Mr. Obama continue as is—with his current team and his way of making decisions. America, its allies, and friends could be heading into one of the most dangerous periods since the height of the Cold War.”

But unfortunately, this wasn’t Obama’s last foreign policy chance. Gelb recommends that Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Denis McDonough, and Valerie Jarrett should go. There is no doubt that these four have helped make an utter mess of American foreign policy, but largely at the direction of their boss.

Gelb suggests that President Obama add establishment Republican Thomas Pickering, who is soft on Iran and also complicit in the Benghazi cover-up as the Chair of the discredited Accountability Review Board (ARB), the State Department creation that didn’t even interview then-Secretary of State Clinton, and informed Mrs. Clinton through her aide, Cheryl Mills, when the vice chair of the ARB became concerned about the testimony of one of the witnesses.

“Pickering has personally explored opening relations with Hamas; pushed peace talks with the Taliban; argued for getting rid of, or removing to the U.S., all tactical nuclear weapons in Europe (and moving Russia’s to east of the Urals); and promoted bilateral talks with Iran without preconditions,” wrote Andy McCarthy. These are the credentials to pull our country out of its foreign policy disasters?

Actually, we may not even agree with Gelb’s belief that the President should replace his current team, or whether that even matters. And that is because of another point he makes: “In the end, making the national security system work comes down to one factor, one man—Barack Obama. He’s the key problem, and he’s the only one who can bring about a solution.”

What Gelb’s column fails to recognize is that this isn’t a problem of President Obama receiving bad advice. It is that he is ideologically driven, and his agenda is clearly antithetical to America’s national security needs and interests. This has been apparent since before the President took office, but it was laid bare in his first year in office. It is just that virtually everyone at The New York Times and other foreign policy establishment institutions either didn’t recognize it, or thought his presidency would be a great antidote to the “cowboy” foreign policy, as they saw it, of the George W. Bush era.

Consider these following presidential actions:

  • President Obama’s Cairo speech in his first months, where he invited the Muslim Brotherhood, and didn’t invite the then-president of Egypt to attend;
  • His hands-off approach to the green revolution in Iran that possibly could have overthrown that dangerous, terrorist sponsoring, corrupt regime;
  • The unilateral removal of our missile defense system from Poland and the Czech Republic;
  • His ongoing pledge to shut down Guantanamo Bay;
  • His immediate demands on Israel that proved both wrong and counterproductive for what he was hoping to achieve;
  • The unnecessary war in Libya, and the ensuing Islamic terrorist attack on our Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex in Benghazi, and the obvious lies and dereliction of duty that went along with it;
  • The current phony war against ISIS, with a plan to defeat them that would be absurd if it wasn’t so tragic;
  • His lies and distortions about the nature of the threat in today’s world, which include the West’s failure to confront Islamist, jihadist terrorism and growing influence of the caliphate.

Thursday’s Wall Street Journal had an article about the Iraqis’ growing impatience with how the U.S. and its coalition are carrying out the war against the Islamic State (IS), with whom we’re supposedly in a years-long process of degrading and destroying. “The swelling disapproval reflects Iraqi impatience at the U.S.-led mission’s multiyear strategy against Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Many Iraqis see the insurgents as an immediate threat pulling their country apart amid immense suffering,” reports the Journal. “Some Iraqis even believe the coalition is aiding the extremists by airdropping weapons into the third of the country they control.”

It has put us in the position of coordinating with Iran, and the Iranian backed militias are doing much of the fighting on the ground. At the same time, we are supposedly attempting to defeat ISIS in Syria, where we are doing some of the dirty work for Syrian president Basher al Assad, another Iranian proxy.

Mr. Gelb, we’ve just outlined how President Obama’s foreign policy team has been mishandling the hard questions—since day one—and Paris was, unfortunately, just a flash in the pan that momentarily illuminated the President’s perverse ideological strategic vision. He wasn’t there, nor did he send Vice President Biden, because he doesn’t stand in solidarity with the views of the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, who said in the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris that left a total of 17 dead, “We’re at war, but not at war against a religion, not against a civilization, but at war to defend our values, which are universal.” He added, “It is a war against terrorism and radical Islam, against everything aimed at breaking solidarity, liberty and fraternity.”

The problem is not a lack of policy, or rearranging the circle of advisers—it’s Obama’s ideology and actual policies themselves that have us in this mess that Leslie Gelb has come to recognize.