Written by Col. Tom Snodgrass (Ret.),
Benghazi And Petraeus: Too Many Obvious Questions And Too Many Non-Answers
By Col. Tom Snodgrass (Ret.), Right Side News
1. Why was security for the U.S. mission in Benghazi so totally inadequate after the U.S. ambassador repeatedly requested that it be increased and improved following recurrent jihadist attacks against Western diplomatic and Red Cross activities in the area and because of the well-known and growing presence of al Qaeda-affiliated terror groups?
2. What was the mission of the two U.S. Benghazi installations, and why was Ambassador Chris Stevens in such a dangerous place with so little personal security? Are the reports true that guns were being run to al Qaeda in Syria using these installations as a transit point?
3. Was the U.S. Benghazi mission a secret CIA detention center and were there jihadist prisoners being held there as Paula Broadwell stated in a public speech she gave on Oct. 26 at a University of Denver alumni symposium?
4. How soon after the attack on the U.S. mission began did the State Department, the CIA, the Pentagon, and the White House Situation Room each know that the attack was a planned jihadist operation?
5. President Barack Obama stated at his Nov. 14 press conference, “I can can (sic) tell you that immediately upon finding out that our folks were in danger that my orders to my national security team were do whatever we need to do to make sure they’re safe.” Exactly when was that order issued?
6. Who was the president’s rescue order transmitted to, and when and what actions did they initiate to implement it?
7. Who made the decision not to execute the president’s rescue order and why?
8. When was it reported to the president that his rescue order had been countermanded, and what orders did he issue subsequently?
9. When did the president meet with his national security team to review his failed operation and to consider follow-on security actions to protect the remaining U.S. personnel in Libya?
10. Why was there such a huge contradiction between the information contained in real time video feeds from the U.S. mission in Benghazi and from a U.S. reconnaissance drone that that left no doubt about the planned nature of the attack on Sep. 11, as well as CIA Director David Petraeus’ own CIA Libya Station Chief’s same day report that the Benghazi assault had been a terrorist attack, and Petraeus’ briefing to congress on Sep. 14 that the Benghazi attack was the result of spontaneous, violent mob reaction to the anti-Muhammad trailer, "The Innocence of Muslims?"
11. Why was there such a huge contradiction between the information in Capital Hill briefings given by representatives of the FBI and National Counterterrorism Center on Sep. 13 that it had been an al Qaeda or al Qaeda-affiliated attack and Director Petraeus’ Sep. 14 congressional briefing falsely attributing Benghazi attack motivation to the Internet anti-Muhammad video?
12. Why was there such a huge contradiction between the assertion presented Sep. 16 by U.S. UN Ambassador Susan Rice on five network, Sunday morning, talk shows that the Benghazi attack was spontaneous, flash mob reaction to the anti-Islam video and the FBI and National Counterterrorism Center intelligence briefings to congress on Sep. 13 that al Qaeda or an al Qaeda affiliate conducted the assault?
Here is the transcript from one of the shows as an illustration of how deceitful the Obama administration is. The White House spokesman, Jay Carney, lied and Ambassador Rice swore to his lie.
Joining us now our ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice. Ambassador, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."
AMB. SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Thank you.
WALLACE: This week, there have been anti-American protests in two dozen countries across the Islamic world. The White House says it has nothing to do with the president's policies.
Let's watch. or Direct Link is HERE
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: You don't really believe that?
RICE: Chris, absolutely I believe that. In fact, it is the case. We had the evolution of the Arab spring over the last many months. But what sparked the recent violence was the airing on the Internet of a very hateful very offensive video that has offended many people around the world.
13. Who prepared the false information that the Benghazi attack was in reaction to this anti-Muhammad Internet video trailer and gave it to Ambassador Susan Rice to mislead the American people on the five network shows? The CIA? The White House? A conspiracy of the CIA and White House?
14. At the president’s Nov. 14 press conference Mr. Obama addressed his administration’s misleading of the U.S. public on network television by stating, “…she [Ambassador Rice] made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her… But for them [senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham] to go after the U.N. ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi? And was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received?” The president’s admission that he selected a representative who knew nothing of the Benghazi attack to present his administration’s version of event begs the question, Why?!
15. Why did the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, on Sep. 18 say, "Our belief, based on the information we have, is it was the video that caused the unrest in Cairo, and the video and the unrest in Cairo that helped -- that precipitated some of the unrest in Benghazi and elsewhere" and "I would point you to what Ambassador Rice said and others have said about what we know thus far about the video and its influence on the protests that occurred in Cairo, in Benghazi and elsewhere" when the real time video feeds from Benghazi, the report of the CIA Libya Station Chief, and the FBI and National Counterterrorism Center Sep. 13 Capital Hill briefings had established that the assault was in fact a terrorist attack and not a spontaneous mob reaction to the video?
16. In view of all of the foregoing that indicated the attack was in the words of Jay Carney on Sep. 20 -- "It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack." -- why did President Obama mislead the nation from the Rose Garden on Sep. 12 about the motivation of the attack by saying, "We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others….", since it was “self-evident” that the attack was a terrorist, not a mob attack?
17. On Sep. 19 Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olsen, told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, "They were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy. ... At this point, what I would say is that a number of different elements appear to have been involved in the attack, including individuals connected to militant groups that are prevalent in eastern Libya, particularly the Benghazi area, as well we are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to al Qaeda or al Qaeda affiliates, in particular al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb." On Sep. 21 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,…" On Sep. 23 CNN released excerpts from Ambassador Stevens’ journal, which their reporter found in the ruins of the U.S. mission, wherein he wrote that he worried about what he called the security threats in Benghazi and a rise in Islamic extremism. And yet, on Sep. 25 President Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly about the Benghazi attack and misled the entire world by stating, "There is no video that justifies an attack on an embassy." Why would the president blame the motivation for the attack on the anti-Islam video with all the contradictory evidence that he had access to by this date, two weeks after the attack?!
18. Fox News reported that on the day of the attack, Sep. 11, three e-mails from Libya to the Executive White House Office of the President, the Pentagon, the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI, and multiple recipients in the State Department made an initial report of the attack, updated situation an hour later, and then followed-up with a report that Ansar al Shari’a [Partisans of Strict Islamic Law] claimed responsibility for the attack on FaceBook and Twitter. Why were these e-mails disregarded by the president in his Sep. 12 Rose Garden comments and in his Sep. 25 UN address?
19. On Sep. 20 it was reported that President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton made ads disavowing the video, costing the U.S. taxpayers $70,000, that were run on Pakistani TV. In view of all the evidence to the contrary above, the question is, why would they promote and prolong a false narrative, which needlessly provoked Muslims against the U.S.?!
20. On Oct. 26 Fox News reported that a source in the Benghazi CIA annex says the rescue team was repeatedly told to "stand down" before disobeying orders and heroically rescuing the survivors at the U.S. mission, although their actions ultimately led to the deaths of these two CIA and ex-SEAL rescuers. Why were the “stand down” orders issued?
21. On Nov. 8 CIA Director David Petraeus allegedly resigned because of the sex scandal swirling around him, and it is further alleged this was the first time that President Obama learned of the sex scandal even though the FBI had been investigating Petraeus for five months and Attorney General Eric Holder was well aware of the investigation. Why was the president not informed that his Director of Central Intelligence was a potential security risk?!
22. Was CIA Director Petraeus pressured by the Obama administration to mislead congress and the American people on Sep. 14 with his false briefing that blamed the motivation for the Benghazi attack on the anti-Islam video, instead of on the Islamic terrorism, which Obama claimed to have already suppressed?
1. Charles Woods, the father of one of the CIA contractors and Navy ex-SEALs, who was killed in Benghazi, said that Hillary Clinton told him at Andrews Air Force Base when his son’s body was returned to the U.S., “We’re [she and Obama] going to have that person [the maker of the anti-Muhammad film] arrested and prosecuted.” That filmmaker is and will stay in jail because Obama and Clinton apparently made good on their pledge of vengeance, although it is now clear that his endeavor had nothing to do with the Benghazi attack. Thus far, President Obama and Secretary Clinton have not yet claimed that the filmmaker’s incarceration settles the issue.
2. On Sep. 12 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "We are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault. Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. America's commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.”
3. On Sep. 25 President Obama appeared on ABC's "The View." He was asked this question, "I heard Hillary Clinton say it was an act of terrorism. Is it? What do you say?" President Obama equivocated in response, "We're still doing an investigation. There's no doubt that (with) the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault, that it wasn't just a mob action. We don't have all the information yet, so we're still gathering it. But what's clear is that around the world, there's still a lot of threats out there." Obama also said "extremist militias" were suspected to have been involved.
4. On Sep. 28 Shawn Turner, spokesman for Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, issued this statement: "In the immediate aftermath, there was information that led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo. We provided that initial assessment to executive branch officials and members of Congress, who used that information to discuss the attack publicly and provide updates as they became available. Throughout our investigation, we continued to emphasize that information gathered was preliminary and evolving. As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists."
5. On Oct. 3 Secretary of State Clinton announced that she was appointing a review board to investigate the Benghazi attack. The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA, said he understood that the accountability review board's work was "critically important. . . "It should not, however, be used by the State Department as an excuse for delaying efforts to address problems or answer specific questions," Issa said. But Clinton stressed that such an investigation "will take time."
6. On Oct. 16 President Obama, during his second debate with GOP challenger Mitt Romney, said, “The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened; that this was an act of terror. And I also said that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime."
7. On Nov. 14 President Obama was still refusing to confront the preplanned aspect of the attack when he stated, “I think it is important for us to find out exactly what happened in Benghazi and I’m happy to cooperate in any ways that Congress wants. We have provided every bit of information that we have and we will continue to provide information. And we’ve got a full-blown investigation, and all that information will be disgorged to Congress.
And I don’t think there’s any debate in this country that when you have four Americans killed, that’s a problem. And we’ve got to get to the bottom of it and there needs to be accountability. We’ve got to bring those who carried it out to justice. They won’t get any debate from me on that.”
The deceit being employed by the Obama administration to obfuscate the truth about the Benghazi and Petraeus issues makes Boss Tweed and his Tammany Hall administration appear to have been model government. Obama’s mendacity in governing is powered by turbo-cynicism.
Col. Thomas Snodgrass, USAF (retired), was an Intelligence Officer and an International Politico-Military Affairs Officer serving in seven foreign countries during a thirty-year military career.