Earlier today, Foreign Policy reported on what two of its reporters found when they visited the Benghazi consulate, six weeks after the terrorist attack there. In the building known as the Tactical Operations Center were several documents that had not previously been reported on, or, perhaps, discovered:
One letter, written on Sept. 11 and addressed to Mohamed Obeidi, the head of the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ office in Benghazi, reads:
“Finally, early this morning at 0643, September 11, 2012, one of our diligent guards made a troubling report. Near our main gate, a member of the police force was seen in the upper level of a building across from our compound. It is reported that this person was photographing the inside of the U.S. special mission and furthermore that this person was part of the police unit sent to protect the mission. The police car stationed where this event occurred was number 322.”
The account accords with a message written by Smith, the IT officer who was killed in the assault, on a gaming forum on Sept. 11. “Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures,” he wrote hours before the assault.
These documents strongly suggest that Libyan authorities conspired in the terrorist attack; perhaps only a policeman or two, or perhaps at a higher level. With every day that passes, the Obama administration’s dishonest effort to paint the attack as a spontaneous “protest” over a YouTube video becomes more ludicrous.
Today Darrell Issa wrote to Hillary Clinton about these documents. Issa quotes in full the letter from which the first paragraph above is taken:
Issa complains pointedly about the State Department’s lack of cooperation:
Issa asks Clinton to respond by November 8, which is post-election–probably all that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton care about. If they can lie their way to November 6, they will be satisfied.
But that isn’t all: yesterday, Fox News broke another story. Cables from Benghazi to the State Department raised specific concerns about the consulate’s ability to withstand the type of attack that occurred on September 11:
The U.S. Mission in Benghazi convened an “emergency meeting” less than a month before the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, because Al Qaeda had training camps in Benghazi and the consulate could not defend against a “coordinated attack,” according to a classified cable reviewed by Fox News.
Summarizing an Aug. 15 emergency meeting convened by the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Aug. 16 cable marked “SECRET” said that the State Department’s senior security officer, also known as the RSO, did not believe the consulate could be protected.
“RSO (Regional Security Officer) expressed concerns with the ability to defend Post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound,” the cable said.
According to a review of the cable addressed to the Office of the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Emergency Action Committee was also briefed “on the location of approximately ten Islamist militias and AQ training camps within Benghazi … these groups ran the spectrum from Islamist militias, such as the QRF Brigade and Ansar al-Sharia, to ‘Takfirist thugs.’”
Hillary Clinton could not have been more clearly warned of the danger unless she had been confronted with flashing red lights; yet she did nothing. Again, one wonders whether this represents mere incompetence, or whether some devious political agenda was at work.
Beyond that, of course, we have the most troubling question of all: why was nothing done to try to help the men who were bravely fighting overwhelming terrorist forces as the Benghazi battle went on, for seven hours or more? President Obama himself is as silent as the Sphinx, but administration sources tell us that near the beginning of the gun battle, Obama directed that military assets be mobilized and stationed so that they could intervene if necessary. But they never did. Why not?
The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake offers a partial explanation, based on information from “two senior U.S. officials familiar with the details of military planning:”
On the night of the 9/11 anniversary assault at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the Americans defending the compound and a nearby CIA annex were severely outmanned. Nonetheless, the State Department never requested military backup that evening….
“The State Department is responsible for assessing security at its diplomatic installations and for requesting support from other government agencies if they need it,” a senior U.S. Defense official said. “There was no request from the Department of State to intervene militarily on the night of the attack.”
The president, however, would have the final say as to whether or not to send in the military.
With every passing day, it becomes clearer that the Obama administration was almost unbelievably cavalier about the safety of America’s diplomats in Libya, and that four Americans paid with their lives for Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s carelessness–or, perhaps, their political agenda. It also could not be more plain that Barack Obama and his campaign team–the real powers in the administration–made a calculated decision to lie to the American people about Benghazi in hopes that the truth would not come out until November 6. Indeed, their effort has largely succeeded, as we still do not know what happened to Ambassador Stevens, and Americans who rely on news outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, CBS, NBC and ABC have heard only the barest outlines of the scandal, if that.
As for the most explosive question of all–who decided not to try to aid the Americans who were fighting desperately for their lives in Benghazi, and why–it appears that no one will know the answer until after the election.