|This article appears in the September 28, 2012 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Obama's Coverup of Benghazi,
New 9/11, Starts To Collapse
by Edward Spannaus
[PDF version of this article]
Sept. 24Within days of the mass circulation of Lyndon LaRouche's statement, demanding Obama's immediate impeachment for his complicity in a new 9/11, and for ignoring specific warnings of a possible attack in Benghazi, Libya (see last issue), the White House coverup of the truth about the attack on the U.S. consultate there, began to unravel. The most noticeable shift was when, on Sept. 20, White House press spokesman Jay Carney was forced to admit that the Sept. 11 killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. employees was an act of terrorism. Just days earlier, he and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice had been desperately claiming that the attack was a spontaneous act of mob violence in response to a pathetic anti-Islam movie trailer posed on YouTube, and not a premeditated attack on the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
Moreover, as more details about the period leading up the attack, and concerning the attack itself, have come out, it becomes more and more clear that not only did President Obama and the White House ignore warnings that an attack was likely, but they more or less ignored the attack itself, taking no action when notified of it, and not letting it interrupt Obama's campaign schedule.
Leading the coverup are Ambassador Rice and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who has tried desperately to stall any Senate probe of the killings or any independent investigation.
The consequences of letting this process continue are deadly. Just as was done under the Bush Administration, the Obama Administration is colluding with forces from the British and Saudi monarchies, to perpetrate a 9/11 Take Two, one that threatens a rapid march toward World War III. The coverup must be broken, and Obama removed from power immediately, for collusion with enemies of the United States.
The 'Spontaneous' Myth
Numerous eye-witnesses have come forward to contradict the White House cover story that the attack was a spontaneous outgrowth of a protest demonstration that could not have been foreseen. In fact, it is now clear that there was no protest at the consulate, such as took place in other countries at U.S. embassies, before the attack began in Benghazi. New evidence about advance warnings of an attacktoo numerous to recount hereis also coming out daily.
For example, within two days of the attack, McClatchy newspapers interviewed a Libyan security guard who was at the U.S. consulate when it was attacked, who said that the area around the consulate was quiet"there wasn't a single ant outside"until about 9:35 p.m., when as many as 125 heavily armed men descended on the compound from all directions. He said the attackers lobbed grenades into the compound, wounding the guard and knocking him to the ground, then stormed through the facility's main gate.
A widely circulated CBS News clip from Sept. 20 emphasized that witnesses are saying that "there was never an anti-American protest outside of the consulate," adding: "Instead, they say, it came under planned attack. That is in direct contradiction to the Administration's account of the incident."
Even a detailed chronology published in the Sept. 21 edition of the New York Timeshardly an anti-Obama publicationpointed out that what it called the "most significant inconsistency" between U.S. and Libyan accounts is over the question of whether the attacks began with a protest over the anti-Muslim film. While U.S. officials insist that there was a small protest which was "hijacked by armed militants," the Times reports,
"Libyan witnesses, including two guards at the building, say the area around the compound was quiet until the attackers arrived, firing their weapons and attacking the compound from three sides."
Who Was 'Protecting' the Consulate?
There were no Marines outside or inside the consulate, in contrast to most other embassies and missions. The New York Times account, as do many others, identified the guards outside the compound as consisting of two groups:
three guards from the Libyan 17th of February Brigade, and
five Libyans contracted by the British security firm Blue Mountain.
Let's look more closely at each of these, to shed more light on how the operation was run.
The 17th of February Brigade, formed in 2011 at the beginning of the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi, is part of Libya's security forces. The Newsweek-owned Daily Beast website reported on Sept. 21, that two U.S. intelligence officials had said that the intelligence community is analyzing an intercept between a Libyan politician, whose sympathies are known to be with al-Qaeda, and the 17th of February Brigade, which was providing security to the consulate. "In the intercept," says reporter Eli Lake,
"the Libyan politician apparently asks an officer in the brigade to have his men stand down for a pending attackanother piece of evidence implying the violence was planned in advance."
So much for the security provided by this half of the outside-the-compound force. The other part was provided by the British Blue Mountain Groupjoined at the hip with the British SAS (Special Air Services, the leading British special operations force).
On Sept. 19, after forcefully denying it the previous week, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland admitted that the Blue Mountain Group had indeed been contracted by the State Department to provide security for the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. This had been first reported by Wired.com's "Danger Room," which learned that State had signed a contract with Blue Mountain on May 3 to provide security for the consulate, even though Blue Mountain is not on the State Department's list of approved contractors for diplomatic security. As EIR has determined, the Federal government's contract database shows two contracts for security guardsone dated Feb. 17, and one May 3funded by the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
But, as first pointed out by Breitbart News, Blue Mountain was not identified as the vendor in that summary of the contract, but instead, the vendor was listed as "Miscellaneous Foreign Awardee." The vendor contact address and phone number are not for the office of Blue Mountain Group, but for a General Services Administration office in Washington, D.C. However, the State Department has confirmed that the vendor for these contracts is Blue Mountain.
One can see why the State Department might not want to brag about its contacting with Blue Mountain. Its personnel overlap with other British intelligence/security groups that EIR has profiled for many years for their dirty operations in Africa, including Control Risks and Executive Outcomes. Its website boasts:
"Our core expertise derives from our heritage, gained from many years service in UK Special Forces, with operational skills and expertise acquired from both the SBS and SAS, together with specialist police and intelligence units."
(SBS refers to Special Boat Services, a long-standing component of the British special operations forces.)
The State Department's reasons for hiring Blue Mountain are suspect on another count. Breitbart.com says that an intelligence source told it that the Administration's policy following Qaddafi's death was to keep a low profile, and this is why U.S. Marines were not stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli or the consulate in Benghazi, as would typically have been the case. Further, in the spirit of keeping a low profile, the Obama Administration didn't even want an American company in charge of private security, so it hired the British firm, Blue Mountain, which was willing to abide by the "no bullets" Rules of Engagement. "In essence," Breitbart says, "the Obama Administration tasked an unarmed British firm with security responsibilities that should have been handled by armed American servicemen."
To sum it up: Of the two groups of security guards responsible for protecting the U.S. consulate on the outside, one was apparently infiltrated by al-Qaeda, and the other was a direct arm of British Intelligence. Is it any wonder that the consulate was overrun with little or no resistance?
The Cover Story Falls Apart
After over of a week of claimng that the Benghazi attacks were a "spontaneous" outgrowth of protest demonstrations, the cover story began to crumble when, on Sept. 19, an Obama Administration official called the assault on the consulate a "terrorist attack." At a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olsen, when asked about the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and the three other Americans, stated that "they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy." When asked if his agency has any idea who was responsible, Olsen said that "a number of different elements" appear to have been involved, and that there are indications that some of those involved may have been connected to al-Qaeda, and particularly to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Otherwise, Olsen, a career intelligence official who served in the DOJ and NSA during the Bush Administration, stuck fairly closely to the Administration line, in saying that U.S. officials don't have "specific intelligence that there was significant advanced planning or coordination" for the attack. He still called it an "opportunistic" attack which evolved and escalated over several hours.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.), a leading member of the Homeland Security Committee, sharply disputed Olsen's assessment about the lack of premeditation. She stated:
"I will tell you based on the briefings I have had. I've come to the opposite conclusion, and agree with the President of Libya that this was a premeditated planned attack that was associated with the anniversary of 9/11. I just don't think that people come to protest equipped with RPGs and other heavy weapons, and the reports of complicity, and they are many, with the Libyan guards who were assigned to guard the consulate, also suggests to me that this was premeditated."
Earlier, in her opening statement, Collins had declared: "In my judgment, which is informed by numerous briefings and discussions with experts, this was not a 'black swan' [completely unexpected] event, but rather an attack which should have been anticipated." Collins also charged that there was an "inexplicable lack of security" at the consulate in Benghazi.
When asked by Collins if there were any indications of communications between extremist elements and the Libyan guards at the consulate, Olsen didn't deny it, but said that it would be better addressed in the closed-door briefings scheduled for the next day.
Olsen's testimony was picked up by the news media and widely characterized as a break from the White House line that the attacks were a spontaneous protest against an amateurish anti-Islam video. Senator Collins was also widely quoted as saying that she agrees with the President of Libya that "this was a premeditated planned attack" timed for the anniversary of 9/11, and that "I just don't think people come to protest equipped with RPGs and other heavy weapons."
As a consequence, on the next day after the Senate hearing, White House spokesman Carney finally admitted that it was a "terrorist attack." After over a week of evasion and obsfucation, Carney acknowledged: "It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Banghazi was a terrorist attack. Our embassy was attacked violently, and the result was four deaths of American officials. So, again, that's self-evident." Why this was "self-evident" on Sept. 20, but had been denied for the past week, was left unexplained by Carney.
The day after Carney's about-face, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself characterized the killings as terrorism.
Evidence of advance warnings that an attack was possible or likely, continues to be widely circulated.
The Wall Street Journal noted in a detailed Sept. 21 account that there had been "a string of attacks" in Benghazi in the period leading up to Sept. 11, including an IED explosion outside the compound on June 6, in which a perimeter wall was damaged. On June 11, an RPG hit a convoy in Benghazi carrying the British Ambassador, and two guards were injured, causing the British to close their consulate. On Aug. 27, the State Department issued a travel warning for Libya, citing a threat of assassinations and car bombings in both Tripoli and Benghazi. And, as is usual, in the days before Sept. 11, U.S. intelligence agencies issued warnings of increased security risks around the anniversary of the attacks in 2001.
It has now been learned that Ambassador Stevens was concerned about terrorist threats. His personal, handwritten journal, obtained by CNN, shows that he was worried about the security threats in Benghazi, and that he believed he was on al-Qaeda "hit list."
On Sept. 20, in response to an inquiry from the Huffington Post, CNN's Anderson Cooper declared: "On Wednesday of this week, we reported that a source familiar with Ambassador Stevens's thinking said in the months before his death, Ambassador Stevens talked about being worried about what he called the 'the never-ending security threats in Benghazi.' We also reported that the Ambassador specifically mentioned 'the rise in Islamic extremism,' 'the growing al-Qaeda presence in Libya,' and said he was 'on an al-Qaeda hit list'.... Some of that information was found in a personal journal of Ambassador Stevens in his handwriting."
The State Department went berserk, charging that CNN's reporting on Stevens' journal was "indefensible." CNN defended its actions, saying that they had notified Stevens' family about the journal, and explained:
"We think the public had a right to know what CNN had learned from multiple sources about the fears and warnings of a terror threat before the Benghazi attack, which are now raising questions about why the State Department didn't do more to protect Ambassador Stevens and other U.S. personnel. Perhaps the real question here is, why is the State Department now attacking the messenger?"
One thing that the State Department ought to disclose, is whether Ambassador Stevens had expressed his concerns in cables or e-mails to State Department headquarters or others; it seems likely that he would have.
Kerry Protects Obma
Senator Kerry, ever Obama's water-boy, who facilitated Obama's illegal and unconstitutional war on Libya, has now been greasing the way for a coverup of the Benghazi attacks. At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting on Sept. 19, Kerry killed a bill introduced by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), which would have required the State Department to report to Congress on last week's attacks in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen, within 30 days. Kerry has also fought to prevent any investigation by the Senate itself.
Kerry stated that the Corker-DeMint bill was not needed, because the State Department is setting up a panel (supposedly "independent and bipartisan") to investigate the Benghazi attack. Kerry said that Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides had told him the Department had already begun setting up the panel, which, Kerry said, would be independently appointed and accountable to Congress.
However, this panel, known as an Accountability Review Board, is only required to be convened within 60 days of the attack. According to Josh Rogin, writing in "The Cable" blog on the Foreign Policy website, these boards typically take an average of 65 days to complete their work, and then, after completion, the results must be submitted to Congress within 90 days after the Secretary of State receives the findings. Rogin notes: "According to that timeline, the board would issue its report in January and Congress could receive it as late as next April"by which time the elections will be but a distant memory.
Senator DeMint was not mollified.:
"The attacks on American embassies and diplomats are outrageous. The Administration owes the American people detailed answers on how this happened and how it can be prevented in the future. It now appears these violent acts may have been coordinated terrorist attacks against America around the anniversary of 9/11. There may have even been warnings beforehand. Americans need to know if we were properly prepared and what steps must be taken to protect our diplomats in these dangerous environments."
The next day, Kerry and the White House arranged for Secretary Clinton and other Administration officials to present a close-door briefing on the Benghazi attacks to members of the House and the Senate. Like everything else the White House has tried to do to cover up Obama's complicity in the killings, this also blew up in their faces.
Josh Rogin reported on Sept. 21:
"Several high-level GOP senators emerged from Thursday afternoon's classified briefing with top administration officials incensed that the Obama team had offered them no new information and answered none of their questions about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four Americans.
" 'That was the most useless, worthless briefing that I have attended in a long time. Believe me, there is more written in every major and minor publication in America about what happened,' said Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)... 'It was like a one-hour filibuster with absolutely not one single bit of new information being brought forth ... very disappointing.'
"Corker said that the briefing was so poorly received by Senators that it would spur Congress to push for more independent investigations about the causes of the attack, the perpetrators, the security at the consulate, and the personal security of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died in the attack."
House members were equally displeased with the briefing they got. "You hate to think that the President would purposely mislead the American people, but it sure looks like it to me," said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.). McKeon told Fox News that it's time for Obama to address the American people about what's happening. "Rather than traveling around ... to raise money and campaign for four more years of whatyeah, I think it would be good if he did a little bit of what he's being paid to do," McKeon said.
The House Oversight Committee sent a letter to the State Department on Sept. 20, demanding the results of this probe by Oct. 4.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a CNN interview on Sept. 23 that not much new came out in the briefing, and that the Administration had just "doubled down." And Rogers reiterated his view that the attack was a "pre-planned event."
"I have seen no information that shows that there was a protest going on," as was the case with other embassies, Rogers said.
"It was clearly designed to be an attack. And what's so egregious about thisand that's why every American should be offendedthis isn't about George Bush or Barack Obama, it's not about Republicans, it's not about Democrats, they targeted and killed the face of the United States of America, a U.S. Ambassador, and three Embassy employees...."
"This is as serious an event as I have ever seen. And it's confusing to try to follow where the Administration has been. I'm disappointed the President didn't say, 'I'm not going to the fundraiser, I am going to go on national TV and put this right.' Americans deserve the truth. They deserve the facts."