Benghazi scandal tied to White House
[The documents] include a newly declassified e-mail showing then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other Obama administration public relations officials attempting to orchestrate a campaign to “reinforce” President Obama and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” Other documents show that State Department officials initially described the incident as an “attack” and possible kidnap attempt.
In addition a document showed Susan Rice was informed before her TV appearance: “Responding to a question about whether it was an organized terror attack, Toria said that she couldn’t speak to the identity of the perpetrators but that it was clearly a complex attack.” Toria refers to Victoria Nuland, then State Department spokeswoman and now assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasia. She had been unfairly maligned in some quarters and falsely accused of participating in the illicit editing of the talking points. These documents exonerate her entirely, pointing the finger directly at the White House and the CIA. (It is noteworthy that in the days between the attack and Rice’s TV outing, Nuland never tied the video to the attack; Carney did, most clearly on Sept. 14.) With regard to the CIA:
The Judicial Watch documents confirm that CIA talking points, that were prepared for Congress and may have been used by Rice on “Face the Nation” and four additional Sunday talk shows on September 16, had been heavily edited by then-CIA deputy director Mike Morell. According to one email
The first draft apparently seemed unsuitable….because they seemed to encourage the reader to infer incorrectly that the CIA had warned about a specific attack on our embassy. On the SVTS, Morell noted that these points were not good and he had taken a heavy hand to editing them. He noted that he would be happy to work with [then deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton]] Jake Sullivan and Rhodes to develop appropriate talking points.
The e-mails were exchanged at a time when the State Department and CIA already knew that the video was not at issue and that this was a staged attack of some type. Former United Nations spokesman Richard Grenell who was briefly part of the Mitt Romney presidential team told Right Turn, “The e-mail from Ben Rhodes to a bunch of political appointees at the White House proves that there was a scramble inside Obama’s inner circle to protect him from the fallout of a U.S. Ambassador being killed on the anniversary of 9/11 and a few short weeks from his reelection.” He pointedly added: “ It’s time for real journalists to confront the President. It’s clear now that he and his team have not been truthful with the American people.”
At the start of the Libyan civil war, which began as part of the Arab Spring movement, the U.S. and Europe had difficulties telling friend from foe. Al Qaeda sympathizers and extremists were directly woven into the fabric of the rebel fighters, and weapons shipments coming from the Persian Gulf into Libya landed in the hands of terrorists and other non-state actors, according to a United Nations report and several U.S. officials who spoke to TheBlaze. The 2014 U.N. report revealed that “most arsenals continue to be controlled by non-state armed groups and governing institutions have very limited capacity to control Libya’s borders, ports and airports, which contribute to the overall insecurity in the surrounding region and within Libya.”
“Information started to surface in other media about the terrorist element that was within the rebels and about how we had to be very, very careful about who we were supporting,” said Kubic, who has spent a significant time in Libya before and after the overthrow of Gadhafi. ”Even [former NATO top commander] Adm. [James] Stavridis went before the Congress and alluded to an intelligence summary that he had received that had indications … of rebels who were actually terrorists.”
It was shortly after the 2011 NATO military campaign started against then-Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, however, that rumors began to surface that members of the rebel forces were actually linked to Al Qaeda, retired Rear Adm. Chuck Kubic told TheBlaze. Kubic is a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, a group comprised mainly of retired military officials and former intelligence officers aimed at discovering the truth of what happened the night of the attacks.
A U.S. businesswoman who had access to senior Libyan officials and provided information as a paid informant for the CIA and FBI, said she was asked to provide intelligence on various rebel leaders and their actions while she was conducting business in Libya. Speaking to TheBlaze TV’s For the Record and going only by the pseudonym Annie to protect her identity, she said the Obama administration was aware that $500 million of the $1 billion in weapons delivered in shipments from weapons dealers in the Persian Gulf were being taken by members of Al Qaeda.
Current and former U.S. officials intimately familiar with operations in Libya at the time confirmed Annie’s statement to TheBlaze.