Dark Forces; The Truth About What Happened In Benghazi
Fortress of Faith broadcast on 200 plus stations over 50 million potential listeners throughout the United States and Canada and here is today’s program and notes.
What Really Happened At Benghazi?
The Quds Force special forces unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards was responsible for the Benghazi attack and the killing U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and two CIA contractors, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty.
On today/s broadcast we had a special guest, Ken Timmerman. He has a new book “Dark Forces; The Truth About What Happened In Benghazi.” Ken is an investigative reporter. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for the work he has done to expose Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It was a joint nomination with former UN ambassador John Bolton. His reporting showed that Iran shared some of the responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Ken writes for magazines like New Max, Time Magazine, The American Spectator, etc. He lectures at the US Army War College, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Pentagon’s Joint Counter Intelligence Training Academy, etc.
Having spent 30 years as an investigative reporter in the Middle East Ken understood that we were attacked at Benghazi because we were weak. This is what happens in the Middle East, when you are weak you get attacked. When you are strong people respect you. Ken has seen this in Lebanon again and again.
Over the years Ken had developed a network of sources. Turing the attack at Benghazi he contacted one of his sources and he alerted him to the Iranian government in the area at the start of the anti-Gaddafi uprising in February 2011.
Ken used this source’s information. He went to contacts in the special operations community, people he had known for years, former CIA officers he had gotten to know over the years, etc.
In the case showing Iran’s connection to 9/11 he brought in testimony from defectors from Iranian intelligence organizations. He had spent what he described as “man years” debriefing these sources.
He was able to uncover that Benghazi was a state sponsored terrorist attack laid out by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s overseas expeditionary arm. They were spreading money in Benghazi like butter on toast, hired local militias. Even though the US government knows very well what happened, it will not talk about this in public.
Did you get that? The Benghazi attack was a state sponsored terrorist attack and the stat that sponsored it was Iran. I was really surprised when I heard this. I had not heard anything like this from any of my sources.
At the start of the anti-Gaddafi uprising in February 2011 Iran’s overseas expeditionary arm, who are professional terrorists, set up shop. The people knew who they were. As Persian speakers they stood out from the general population. They brought in people form Hezbollah who spoke Arabic. They used them for cover and to do the outreach and recruiting of jihadis and militiamen.
The Iranians were there from the beginning. They had their equivalent of our CIA annex. They were running things from their own intelligence complex. At the peak they had about 70 intelligence officers in Benghazi. At the time of the attack they were down to about 50 but they had brought in a two star general, who Ken names in his book. He is one of the senior leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. This general had the authority to make command decisions, he did not have to refer back to his leadership in Iran.
This team conducted the surveillance, did the planning of the attack, handled all of the logistics, etc. They had penetrated the communications structure of the annex and State Department at the mission compound. They had learned the evacuation plans for the Benghazi complex. This explains why they were able to send their people directly to the safe haven where Ambassador Stevens was.
As you can see, this was anything but spontaneous. The Iranian government had been planing it for a long time.
There is another book “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi” which agrees with what Ken has written in his book. This gives us two independent witnesses to these things.
SEGMENT TWO Why Did Iran Attack Benghazi?
What was the strategic purpose for the attack on our diplomatic outpost in Benghazi? Another question is the importance of the day, the anniversary of 9/11.
We underestimate the global aspirations of Iran. The Americans thought that when the hostages were released back when Reagan was elected that it was all over. This is not true. To Iran this was just one battle. They were, and are, still at war with us. For the Iranian regime this has been an unending ware with the United States of America. The big difference between now and then is that Iran is much more powerful, they have much more money, and they have have much greater skills. They are truly a global power in the way that the Soviet Union wanted to be. They are not yet a global nuclear power, but they are a global power. They have reach around the world and even in our back yard, in Venezuela. They accomplish this mostly through their intelligence organization and through terrorist operations.
The Iranians were targeting two things in Benghazi. First of all, they knew that the CIA was there sending weapons to the Syrian rebels through Libya. This was important because the Iranian regime was supporting Assad the president of Syria.
Syria was a big priority for Iran. Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, was in Syria fighting for Assad and actually turned the tide of the war last year.
Let’s clarify. The CIA was funding the Syrian rebels, which is ISIS today. The Iranians could not afford to have Assad fall in Syria. The purpose of the attack in Benghazi was to try to stop the CIA’s funding of the rebels.
The second reason was that Iran was very worried about the Arab Spring. They were afraid that the US would capitalize on this movement and be able to portray it as an American victory. They saw that the US was active in the overthrow of Gaddafi. There were not “boots on the ground,” but were active in the background.
The Iranians saw this and were worried because they knew that the Arab Spring had actually began in Terran in 2009 when three million Iranians protested the fraudulent elections in Iran. The protesters held up signs in English saying “President Obama, are you with us?” Of course Obama ignored their calls for help.
The Arab Spring spread next to Tunisia at the end of 2010 and Egypt in 2011, and finally to Libya in February of 2011. The wanted to stop it from returning to Iran and overthrowing the Iranian regime. They wanted to drive America out of Libya and to remind the people on the ground of what the Ayatollah Khomeini said at the beginning of the revolution, “America can do nothing.”
In 2009 Obama said that we do not interfere in elections in other countries when the Iranian people called for his help. On the other hand, he had no problem interfering in Egypt when it suited him to do so.
Let’s summarize this. The two reasons for Iran sponsoring the attack on Benghazi were the fact that the CIA was smuggling arms into Syria to the rebels and because of the American influence during the Arab Spring. They attacked the mission at Benghazi to make the Americans seem weak to the Libyans and the rest of the Islamic world. They wanted to be seen as the big dog in the neighborhood and that they were the ones to be feared. They succeeded in doing just that.
At that time we were not supposed to be giving arms to the rebels in Syria. We don’t know if this was legal or illegal because that information is still classified. The administration did leak information stating the the President had authorized the supply of arms to the Libyan rebels.
Syria was a different matter because we have yet to see any Presidential authorization to supply arms to Syria at that time. Some sources say that Obama felt that he had existing authority and that he didn’t need any new authorization. We are not sure that the President had that authority. This might explain the allegations that the State Department was destroying documents relating to Benghazi.
This might also explain why Obama has been so slow to respond to the threat of ISIS. If it is found out that we armed them it will be, to say the least, embarrassing.
SEGMENT THREE: The Events of the Day
Lets break down how everything happened on the day of the attack.
First of all, there was no demonstration in front of the diplomatic facility. Ad 9:40 PM the Libyan policeman starts his car and drives off. This left complete darkness in front of the mission. Two minutes later the State Department security officer sitting in the command center saw the security TV monitors explode with shouts and bodies and automatic weapons fire from about 20 to 30 terrorists, not demonstrators, who emerged out of the darkness and attacked the front gate of the compound. They were not outside chanting and demonstrating against the YouTube video. They came out of the darkness and attacked immediately.
There were four Libyan guards, two of whom ran away. They shot one of them in the kneecaps and made him open the gate. They then stormed into the compound. It was a terrorist attack from the very beginning. It was coordinated by the Iranians. They were outside doing the surveillance and giving the orders.
I don’t believe that the Iranians actually entered the compound. The left that to the Libyans they had hired, except or one very critical exception which I will explain later.
They used military hand signals as the silently made there way to the residential villa at the center of the compound where they knew that the Ambassador and Sean Smith had holed up because they had access to the secret evacuation plans. The safe have was section off from the main reception area of the residential villa by an iron gate.
Although they did rattle the gate, they never tried to break it open, the never tried to capture the Ambassador. This was an attempt to assassinate him. There was actually a fatwa h issued authorizing the killing of the Ambassador.
Once they made sure he was there they went upstairs, and on orders from the Iranians, they poured diesel fuel all over the residential villa and set it on fire. It was the diesel fumes that actually killed the Ambassador. They were so thick no one could see through them and people were asphyxiated very quickly.
When Sean Smith was pulled out through the window he was already dead. Our security people when back into the building more than a dozen times and could not find the Ambassador.
This was not a protest, it was a running gun battle that lasted over an hour and forty-five minutes. It was violent and viscous for all of that time. They had to shoot their way out of the compound to go back to the CIA annex.
Ty Woods was based at the CIA annex. Glen Doherty was actually in Tripoli working on CIA business. He, and a couple of other men, chartered a private jet and flew in and arrived at about 1:30 in the morning well after the first wave of the attack. He was held at the airport by the February 17 Martyrs brigade, who was supposed to be our ally and were under contract to us.
Instead of being our ally, they were manning roadblocks to keep people like Glen Doherty from coming to the aid of the Ambassador and the rest of people at the compound. When he finally was released and allowed to go to the CIA annex it was about 4:30 in the morning.
It was about 30 minutes later that Glen Doherty, Ty Woods, and some others rushed to the roof of the annex and were trying to target the attackers. That is when the mortars hit.
I said early that there was not direct Iranian military involvement except for on important thing. Here is that involvement. It was the Iranians that directed the mortar fire. It was very professional in the way it was done. Libya didn’t have any personnel capable of doing this.
We must ask, how soon did those in the State Department receiving the calls know that this was a terrorist attack? Was it hours into the battle, or did they know right away? And what did they do in response to the calls for help?
The answer to the first question is, they knew within a minute. We know that Alex Henderson with diplomatic security immediately sounded the alarm within the compound over the loud speakers. The one word used in the alert was not demonstration, it was attack. Then he got on the radio and called the annex. The CIA annex was less than five minutes away and they had an existing procedures and no one had to think about it, no one had to ask for authorization. They knew what to do.
Ty Woods heard the call and turned to the rest of his team and said “lets go.” They started getting into two SUV s and then the CIA chief of base that said no, guys, stand down, we don’t have authorization to go. The chief of base delayed them for 22 minutes. It was because of this delay that the CIA security team could not rescue the Ambassador. It was because of this delay that Ambassador Stevens died. All who have looked at this honestly believe that Ambassador Stevens would still be alive today had Ty Woods and his team not been delayed.
We don’t yet know if the order to stand down given by the station chief was his own decision or if it came from higher up in the administration. This is something the select committee investigating this will have to determine.
The information we have says the the station chief is telling people that he told them to “hold in place,” not to stand down while he was trying to get a couple of gun trucks from the February 17 Brigade. We have already seen whose side this group was on. After 22 minutes Ty Woods and his team just left and went to help out.
The British had left Benghazi in June because of an attack on their facilities. The head of security in Tripoli told the officials that they should leave at the same time, but they chose not to do so.
SEGMENT FOUR: Hillary Clinton and The State Department’s Response
Since Benghazi was a diplomatic station it fell under the responsibility of the State Department. Next we will take a look at the State Department’s response under Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton was formally notified of the attack by 10:00 PM Libyan time or 4:00 PM Washington time. She got a phone call and a cable from Greg Hix, the number two in command ant the embassy in Tripoli. 4:05 PM Washington time they put out an official alert over the State Department’s operation center so it went to entire national security operations apparatus. It went to the military, it went to the CIA, it went to the Defense Intelligence Agency, it went to the Joint Special Operations Command, it went to Africa Command, it went all across the government. This means that everyone knew within twenty minutes of the attack.
The scandal in this event is that there were automated procedures for this type of situation that should have kicked in. These procedures had been in place since the late 1980’s because of earlier attacks on US diplomatic facilities. We could have had jets there within 40 minutes and we could have special ops troupes there withing four hours. In other words we could have had our forces on the ground before the final attack on the annex.
Those orders were never given. General Hamm, who was in charge of Africa Command and who would have had to make that call, said that he did not have enough information about what was happening in Benghazi.
Let me just walk back a bit. They had a drone overhead by 11:00 PM local time so they were getting real time video feeds. They were getting cellphone calls. In the beginning they were getting secure communications from the ground in Benghazi and from the people in Tripoli. They also had satellites overhead. I’m not quite sure what more information they needed.
General Hamm also knew that his troupes would not be welcome in a State Department facility. One of his top operations officers said. ‘ Look, we understood that Hillary Clinton did not want the military coming to a US diplomatic facility. We knew that, we had been told that over and over again.” This explains why General Hamm was not in a big rush to get US troupes on the ground in Benghazi.
General Hamm had some special forces troupes in Tripoli and he begged them to keep them there for security. Ambassador Stevens said no because his Secretary (Hillary Clinton) did not want them there. In fact, when these soldiers left the compound at Tripoli, they not only had to take off their uniforms, they had to take off their boots. Hillary’s disdain for the military was well know, everybody got it.
Ambassador Steven’s life might have been save were it not for the contested stand down order. He might not have been saved had the military arrived, but it is probable that Glen Doherty and Ty Woods would not have died.
President Obama’s Response
The President was pretty much disengaged. He met General Dempsey and Secretary of Defense Panetta at 5:00 PM Washington time. This was a per-arranged meeting, it was not for Benghazi. He was briefed for about a half an hour and then said that he had a fund-raiser the next day and had to get up early. He told them to do what was necessary to take care of the situation, but not to bother him.
What About The Video
The only other thing we know is that he had a phone conversation with Hillary Clinton. Immediately after that phone call she issued a statement from the State Department blaming the attack on this obscure video.
Not only had nobody seen this video, we now have the emails through the State Department that she was reading. They were coming from Benghazi and from Tripoli. We have the phone records and transcripts coming from her State Department officials who were up the food chain. Not a single one of the emails or phone messages mentions a demonstration because of a video. Despite all of this Hillary insisted it was because of a YouTube Video.
We must ask why the video was presented as the cause of the attack. Before this attack the video only had about 16 hits on YouTube. There is some evidence that after the attack the video was promoted by a company that doe4s productions for the military.
Was the video promoted to cover up the gun running? We really don’t know. This will have to be answered by the select committee investigating the issue. All I can say is that, to me, this looks an awfully lot like criminal behavior.
We will work to keep you updated on this subject.