The author of the comments below is a reader who contributed “Fools and knives, part 2” to our long-running series. With former CIA deputy director Mike Morrell scheduled to appear before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence this morning — Morrell had a powerful hand in shaping the Obama administration talking points from which the ineffably lame Susan Rice spoke on the Sunday gabfests following the 9/11 attack on our mission in Benghazi — our reader offers the following comments:
As a contributor to your “Fools and Knaves” series, I thought it appropriate to respond again after seeing the latest “explanation” of how the administration arrived at their infamous talking points which Susan Rice parroted on five morning shows the Sunday after our consulate was attacked in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
Mike Morel appears to be the central figure in altering the talking points to fit the administrations “Al Qaeda is on the run” mantra during the 2012 election. His testimony scheduled for today will be of great interest to me because it appears that he will say that even though the CIA station chief in Tripoli told him in no uncertain terms that the attack was “not/not an escalation of protests,” Morrell decided to “rely on media accounts from Benghazi quoting witnesses saying there had been a protest, as well as reporting by other intelligence divisions, including the National Security Agency.”
What anonymous “media accounts” trump the CIA station chief, I wonder? After going back and reviewing the timeline again, it is even more obvious to me that the best available media reports indicated just what the CIA station chief reported, that there was an assault on the consulate, and that it was not preceded by any protest at all.
In my original post of September 16, 2012, I quoted the Libyan security guard who gave an inter view to the Star Telegram (http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/09/13/4257683/guard-at-consulate-in-libya-says.html) on 9/13/2012 where he stated there was never a protest, only an attack. You also had a link to the Boston Globe (http://articles.boston.com/2012-09-14/metro/33818187_1_thomas-burke-libya-emergency-department) article on September 14, 2012, in which an emergency room doctor from Boston who was in Benghazi during the attack said his colleague was speaking on the phone with Ambassador Stevens’s attache at the time the attack started. He said nothing about the attache saying a protest was going on, only “He yelled, ‘Oh my God, Oh [expletive],’ and then he hung up,” said Burke, who was in a hotel about a mile from the consulate when the attack began. “Then we heard these deep blasts.”
One important fact I failed to mention in my original post was that Sean Smith himself also provided convincing evidence that there was never a protest preceding the attack on 9/11/2012. Sean Smith, a/k/a Vile Rat (his gaming identity) was online communicating via instant messages with a fellow gamer at the time of the assault. This gamer, whose blog is called The Mittani (http://themittani.com/news/rip-vile-rat) was perhaps one of the first people in the US to know an attack on the consulate was underway.
On the day after the attack, on 9/12 on his blog, Mittani offers a eulogy of sorts for his friend Sean Smith and relates his conversations with him that evening. Earlier in the day, Sean Smith had intimated that he was worried about what might transpire that day. 12:54:09 PM) vile_rat: assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures When the attack started, Mittani says “He was on jabber when it happened, that’s the most fucked up thing. In Baghdad the same kind of thing happened – incoming sirens, he’d vanish, we’d freak out and he’d come back ok after a bit. This time he said ‘FUCK’ and ‘GUNFIRE’ and then disconnected and never returned.”
From the three sources I was able to locate as of September 14, the day before Susan Rice’s appearances (The Mittani on 9/12, Star Telegram on 9/13 and Boston Globe on 9/14), I was able to find three people who were either at the consulate or communicating with someone at the consulate when the attack started. All three reports, available to anyone who can use Google, are consistent in that they all indicate the attack started suddenly, without warning, and that it involved gunfire.
Today Mike Morrell will explain to Congress and a duplicitous press corps that the anonymous media reports he relied on to alter the talking points held more weight that the CIA station chief in Tripoli, the observations of a guard who was wounded at the consulate the night of the attack, a doctor who was on the phone with Chris Stevens’s attache when the assault started, and most tragically of all, the words of Sean Smith, whose last two words to his friend Mittani were “Fuck” and “Gunfire” as the consulate was overrun by the Al Qaeda affiliated Ansar al Sharia.
I just hope Republicans do a better job of challenging Mr. Morrell about Benghazi than they did in questioning Hillary Clinton about the matter.