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The Benghazi Scandal Grows (Long article)
TWS ^ | May 20, 2013 | Stephen Hayes

Posted on 05/10/2013 6:01:13 AM PDT by Kaslin

CIA director David Petraeus was surprised when he read the freshly rewritten talking points an aide had emailed him in the early afternoon of Saturday, September 15. One day earlier, analysts with the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis had drafted a set of unclassified talking points policymakers could use to discuss the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. But this new version​—​produced with input from senior Obama administration policymakers​—​was a shadow of the original.

The original CIA talking points had been blunt: The assault on U.S. facilities in Benghazi was a terrorist attack conducted by a large group of Islamic extremists, including some with ties to al Qaeda.

These were strong claims. The CIA usually qualifies its assessments, providing policymakers a sense of whether the conclusions of its analysis are offered with “high confidence,” “moderate confidence,” or “low confidence.” That first draft signaled confidence, even certainty: “We do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack.”

There was good reason for this conviction. Within 24 hours of the attack, the U.S. government had intercepted communications between two al Qaeda-linked terrorists discussing the attacks in Benghazi. One of the jihadists, a member of Ansar al Sharia, reported to the other that he had participated in the assault on the U.S. diplomatic post. Solid evidence. And there was more. Later that same day, the CIA station chief in Libya had sent a memo back to Washington, reporting that eyewitnesses to the attack said the participants were known jihadists, with ties to al Qaeda.

Before circulating the talking points to administration policymakers in the early evening of Friday, September 14, CIA officials changed “Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda” to simply “Islamic extremists.” But elsewhere, they added new contextual references to radical Islamists. They noted that initial press reports pointed to Ansar al Sharia involvement and added a bullet point highlighting the fact that the agency had warned about another potential attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in the region. “On 10 September we warned of social media reports calling for a demonstration in front of the [Cairo] Embassy and that jihadists were threatening to break into the Embassy.” All told, the draft of the CIA talking points that was sent to top Obama administration officials that Friday evening included more than a half-dozen references to the enemy​—​al Qaeda, Ansar al Sharia, jihadists, Islamic extremists, and so on.

The version Petraeus received in his inbox Saturday, however, had none. The only remaining allusion to the bad guys noted that “extremists” might have participated in “violent demonstrations.”

In an email at 2:44 p.m. to Chip Walter, head of the CIA’s legislative affairs office, Petraeus expressed frustration at the new, scrubbed talking points, noting that they had been stripped of much of the content his agency had provided. Petraeus noted with evident disappointment that the policymakers had even taken out the line about the CIA’s warning on Cairo. The CIA director, long regarded as a team player, declined to pick a fight with the White House and seemed resigned to the propagation of the administration’s preferred narrative. The final decisions about what to tell the American people rest with the national security staff, he reminded Walter, and not with the CIA.

This candid, real-time assessment from then-CIA director Petraeus offers a glimpse of what many intelligence officials were saying privately as top Obama officials set aside the truth about Benghazi and spun a fanciful tale about a movie that never mattered and a demonstration that never happened.

“The YouTube video was a nonevent in Libya,” said Gregory Hicks, a 22-year veteran diplomat and deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli at the time of the attacks, in testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on May 8. “The only report that our mission made through every channel was that there had been an attack on a consulate . . . no protest.”

So how did Jay Carney, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and others come to sell the country a spurious narrative about a movie and a protest?

There are still more questions than answers. But one previously opaque aspect of the Obama administration’s efforts is becoming somewhat clearer. An email sent to Susan Rice following a key White House meeting where officials coordinated their public story lays out what happened in that meeting and offers more clues about who might have rewritten the talking points.

The CIA’s talking points, the ones that went out that Friday evening, were distributed via email to a group of top Obama administration officials. Forty-five minutes after receiving them, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed concerns about their contents, particularly the likelihood that members of Congress would criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.” CIA officials responded with a new draft, stripped of all references to Ansar al Sharia.

In an email a short time later, Nuland wrote that the changes did not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership.” She did not specify whom she meant by State Department “building leadership.” Ben Rhodes, a top Obama foreign policy and national security adviser, responded to the group, explaining that Nuland had raised valid concerns and advising that the issues would be resolved at a meeting of the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee the following morning. The Deputies Committee consists of high-ranking officials at the agencies with responsibility for national security​—​including State, Defense, and the CIA​—​as well as senior White House national security staffers.


TOPICS: Front Page News
KEYWORDS: 20120912; 2012election; ansaralsharia; benghazi; benghazicoverup; benghaziemails; benghazigate; benghazipetraeus; benghaziscandal; benghazistanddown; benghaziwbhearing; benghaziwbtranscript; benrhodes; cbs; davidrhodes; foreignaffairs; libya; misleader; petraeus; petraeusbenghazi; scandal; standdown; standdownorders; wbtranscript
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The entire article is in the link
1 posted on 05/10/2013 6:01:13 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

What the Hearings Mean

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/05/what_the_hearings_mean.html


2 posted on 05/10/2013 6:03:48 AM PDT by Hotlanta Mike ("Governing a great natiorn is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it." Lao Tzu)
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Life is Like a Novel and may We Pray as We Stand! ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tneHF7M0TS8


3 posted on 05/10/2013 6:06:00 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Kaslin

This is what good journalism is all about.

These people should rot in hell. The families of the our lost Americans should sue them all...all of them.

Lastly, and maybe the most disappointing for me was the gutless Petreaus. Was he blackmailed to go along with this BS? What kind of “soldier” was this guy? I’ll tell you...Sad Sack.

Do we have anyone...anyone in this God Forsaken government, (and media) of ours who can stand up to these people who are controlling our lives as though we are cattle?

That fact that it doesn’t matter to the majority of Americans makes me sick.

Nixon stepped down from the presidency for far less. Mainly because his own party demanded it of him. Will the democrats sit back...and the media.. and continue to defend these hacks?

I’m sick of it...and I can’t take it any more.


4 posted on 05/10/2013 6:16:29 AM PDT by nikos1121
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To: Hotlanta Mike

Thanks, That AmericanThinker article sure sounds a whole lot different from what I saw reported on cBS news last night.


5 posted on 05/10/2013 6:19:27 AM PDT by MulberryDraw (That which cannot be paid, won't be paid.)
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To: nikos1121

Patreuas was run out of town (resigned) less than 2 months after the attack. Draw your own conclusions after reading Steven Hayes’ most recent article.


6 posted on 05/10/2013 6:20:02 AM PDT by nesnah
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To: no-to-illegals

Why are you shrugging this off. Is your real name Jay Carney?


7 posted on 05/10/2013 6:24:15 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

BFLR


8 posted on 05/10/2013 6:25:05 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Proud contributer to the Free Republic Q-2 Freepathon.)
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To: nesnah

My conclusion is that he had an opportunity to stand up and courageously do what was right. It would have changed the whole complexion of the election...probably would have resulted in Obama and company getting run out of town.

Instead this gutless wonder..said nothing...because he was probably told that if he told the truth he’d be exposed...

Well guess what, dumb @ss, you didn’t tell the truth...and you got run out of Washington...and what’s worse? You still haven’t come clean.

He should be brought up to congress and asked to explain why he was complicit with these people...

Every aspect of thie administration...every aspect...is one of incompetency and politics. Take your pick.


9 posted on 05/10/2013 6:30:49 AM PDT by nikos1121
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To: Kaslin

Strange, Kaslin ... you must not read me. Moving on.


10 posted on 05/10/2013 6:32:16 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: no-to-illegals

You post a YouTube video by Rascal Flatts that has nothing to do with the article


11 posted on 05/10/2013 6:43:22 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

“The final decisions about what to tell the American people rest with the national security staff, he reminded Walter, and not with the CIA.”

Not when you are called to testify before Congress, General Petraeus. You should have come clean then, instead of folding to these scumbags.


12 posted on 05/10/2013 6:44:30 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Kaslin
You didn't read the lyrics, I guess. I'm at piece with myself Kaslin. Moving On.
13 posted on 05/10/2013 6:45:15 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Kaslin

Peace


14 posted on 05/10/2013 6:47:35 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Kaslin
Rep. Issa will call on all those named in this article to testify and that will be fun.

Seems Obama issued the 'stand down' directive if not direct order & Hillary ran the cover-up.

As Issa gets the facts and testimony on both, the MSM will have to pick sides.

Who will they seek to protect and who will they have to throw under the bus.

15 posted on 05/10/2013 6:48:23 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: TigersEye; penelopesire; ConservativeMan55; AllAmericanGirl44; Nachum; Jet Jaguar; RummyChick

ping


16 posted on 05/10/2013 6:50:18 AM PDT by crosslink (Moderates should play in the middle of a busy street)
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To: nikos1121
We do not yet know enough to separate the sheep from the goats, in other words, who among these were merely careerists going along to get along and who were elitists possessed of a sense of entitlement who identified their ideology with the good of the nation irrespective of morality.

The latter group is far more dangerous and I suspect the higher one gets along the food chain the more carnivorous the ideologues. These people were put in place by Obama and by Hillary for their usefulness and for their commitment to the cause. The cause is roughly that America is the last great obstacle to the nirvana of world government and the nationstate as such is really not worth defending, indeed, it is to be done away with, especially in the one nation state which stands athwart the March of Socialism screaming, "stop!"

It is striking how many people colluded in a cover-up to protect the institution, the presidential candidate, and the secretary of state, without considering the good of the country. What kind of culture exists in the upper reaches of this administration?


17 posted on 05/10/2013 6:50:34 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: nikos1121
Will the democrats sit back...and the media.. and continue to defend these hacks?

I believe that most of them will, because they have the same agenda. They hate America because they never understood her or, for some strange reason, despised what she represented.

18 posted on 05/10/2013 6:52:48 AM PDT by stayathomemom (Beware of kittens modifying your posts.)
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To: Kaslin

Winston Smith surely was working overtime that day!!!


19 posted on 05/10/2013 6:53:59 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: stayathomemom

In spite of those who hate America ... I know ... We Shall Win. I believe this with all my heart and soul. My Faith is Not Shattered and on Pieces on the Ground. Our Heads Must Be Up and Standing for Justice. This Forum Does Just That!


20 posted on 05/10/2013 6:59:26 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Kaslin
"It Was The Video!"


21 posted on 05/10/2013 7:00:30 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: Boogieman

I recall thinking that Petraeus was the one who would step up and tell the truth when this whole thing was happening.But unfortunately for us,he was having an affair and was totally compromised.And then exposed anyway.


22 posted on 05/10/2013 7:03:50 AM PDT by georgia peach (georgia peach)
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To: Kaslin; All

From that article.

Fourth, there was indeed a “stand down” order preventing U.S. special forces from defending the Consulate, Hicks confirmed. Special forces at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were ordered to “stand down” by General Carter F. Ham, Commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

Lt. Col. Gibson was a commander assigned to the embassy in Tripoli from Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA). Gibson and the special forces team were “furious” at being ordered not to help the diplomats in Benghazi, Hicks testified. Hicks quoted Gibson as saying, “This is the first time in my career that a diplomat has more balls than somebody in the military.”

Hicks had arranged from Libya’s government a C-130 aircraft owned by Libya to fly to Benghazi to evacuate the Consulate. Col. Gibson and Hicks agreed that the special forces team would fly on the C-130 to Benghazi to protect the diplomats being evacuated. But over the summer, authority over the special forces contingent in Libya had been transferred from the embassy to AFRICOM. Gen. Ham ordered the special forces team to stay in Tripoli.

These were highly-trained individuals with specialized skills who would have played crucial roles in Benghazi. They were also fresh troops to relieve the exhausted team in Benghazi after fighting all night.
***************************************

WHAT THE ...????


23 posted on 05/10/2013 7:07:10 AM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to thoe tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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BENGHAZI

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24 posted on 05/10/2013 7:08:24 AM PDT by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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Dear zer0 crowd, Americans are Learning ... America IS .. A Little Bit Stronger Today ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m8GSnIkxPM


25 posted on 05/10/2013 7:14:33 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Nailbiter

bflr


26 posted on 05/10/2013 7:17:38 AM PDT by Nailbiter
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We Are Americans ... If It Is Broke We Fix It!


27 posted on 05/10/2013 7:22:33 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: no-to-illegals

Stop posting music video’s to threads - it just eats up bandwidth and storage.


28 posted on 05/10/2013 7:23:01 AM PDT by BallandPowder
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To: BallandPowder

As you wish. Made my point anyways! Bye.


29 posted on 05/10/2013 7:23:58 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Hotlanta Mike
What is stunning and infuriating to me is the silence/cover-up by the MSM.

We all know the how the MSM would respond if this happened under Bush.

The constrast is stark and clear.

The MSM will turn their back to any transgression by Dems regardless how depraved. While seizing on the slightest faux-pas from the right.

As I watch the media define an investigation into the muders of our Lybian Diplomats by terrorists as a purely politicol exercise, I am sick to my stomach and disgusted with these Jounalista traitors and cowards who cloak themselves in the false hood of objectivity.

We are surrounded and the greatest enemy of all is our fellow Americans who call themselves DEMOCRATS!

30 posted on 05/10/2013 7:25:58 AM PDT by Awgie (truth is always stranger than fiction)
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To: Kaslin

Call me cynical but this won’t go anywhere if the media is in defense mode and all Dems circle the wagons. In Watergate, there was media interest and a handful of Repubs who also wanted to get to the truth. Both of those factors missing here.


31 posted on 05/10/2013 7:27:57 AM PDT by tips up (Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.)
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To: Kaslin

Bad faith and Benghazi

Jonah Goldberg Tribune Media Services

4:30 a.m. CDT, May 10, 2013

“But we do know they deceived the public. Which brings us back to the lies over the video. In the wake of Benghazi, the country endured an intense debate over how much free speech we could afford because of the savage intolerance of rioters half a world away. Obama and Clinton fueled this debate by incessantly blaming the video — as if the First Amendment was the problem.

Clinton and Obama both swore oaths to support and defend the Constitution. But after failing to support and defend Americans left to die, they blamed the Constitution for their failure. That’s what difference it makes.”

Read at:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/sns-201305091700—tms—jgoldbrgctnjg-a20130510-20130510,0,5411225.column


32 posted on 05/10/2013 7:30:32 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: TexasCajun
Thank for the idea!

Stop these sociopaths!


FR is funded solely by the freedom loving folks
who love and use it.

WE are Free Republic!!!
Please Contribute Today!

33 posted on 05/10/2013 7:31:44 AM PDT by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: nikos1121

Any ‘soldier’ who gets as high as Petraeus did is a politician more than he is a soldier.


34 posted on 05/10/2013 7:36:46 AM PDT by expat2
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To: RedMDer

looking good.


35 posted on 05/10/2013 7:46:54 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: nikos1121

It does seem as tho’ an awful lot of people are collecting paychecks for not doing their jobs. With the disclosure yesterday of the lack of coordination between the FBI and the Boston Police Department, a good house cleaning is in order in this administration.


36 posted on 05/10/2013 7:47:08 AM PDT by Thank You Rush
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To: BallandPowder; no-to-illegals
Stop posting music video’s to threads - it just eats up bandwidth and storage.

You make it apparent that you have no clue how HTML LINKS work.

Posting a link to a video takes up no more 'bandwidth' or 'storage' than the comment you just made.

37 posted on 05/10/2013 7:47:24 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (The monsters are due on Maple Street)
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To: TexasCajun

"Your turn.
The money is in your account."

38 posted on 05/10/2013 7:53:25 AM PDT by Diogenesis (De Oppresso Liber)
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To: Kaslin

the abc online blog about the scrubbed talking points is so behind,,it is getting hit hard! People are responding,,thankfully!


39 posted on 05/10/2013 7:59:44 AM PDT by austinaero
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To: Don Corleone

Hey Don Corleone!!


40 posted on 05/10/2013 8:24:39 AM PDT by Hyman Roth
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To: Kaslin; autumnraine
"Hicks confirmed. Special forces at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were ordered to “stand down” by General Carter F. Ham, Commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)."

Above is from the article. I do not recall this statement from Hicks.

As I remember it, Hicks said the stand-down order came from either AFRICOM or SOCAfrica. I also think he suggested asking Lt. Col. Gibson---that he would know.

Does anyone else recall Hick's testimony?

41 posted on 05/10/2013 8:26:13 AM PDT by thouworm (DEMOGOGUE: leader who makes use of prejudices, false claims and promises to gain power.)
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To: MestaMachine

ping

From the article:

“The CIA director, long regarded as a team player, declined to pick a fight with the White House and seemed resigned to the propagation of the administration’s preferred narrative.

The final decisions about what to tell the American people rest with the national security staff, he reminded Walter, and not with the CIA.”


42 posted on 05/10/2013 8:27:35 AM PDT by thouworm (DEMOGOGUE: leader who makes use of prejudices, false claims and promises to gain power.)
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To: Kaslin

Chris Stevens was unavailable for comment.


43 posted on 05/10/2013 8:28:49 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: BallandPowder; no-to-illegals
It 'eats' nothing .. it's only a link .. all content is hosted off-site .. your post 'ate' more bandwidth .. mine too


/public service announcement

44 posted on 05/10/2013 8:31:00 AM PDT by tomkat ( yo! > tyrannis delenda est !)
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To: UCANSEE2
GMTA .. but I'm (prolly) older, so am allowed to be slower
45 posted on 05/10/2013 8:33:04 AM PDT by tomkat ( yo! > tyrannis delenda est !)
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To: tips up

Stop being so pessimistic it makes you a loser. I am not willing to give up


46 posted on 05/10/2013 8:34:12 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

bttt


47 posted on 05/10/2013 8:38:56 AM PDT by advertising guy (clearly, semi automatic high capacity pressure cookers should be banned)
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To: Hyman Roth

How were things in Cuba and Miami?/snicker


48 posted on 05/10/2013 8:45:58 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: thouworm; All
Here is the transcript by Gregory Hicks

Transcript: Whistle-blower's account of Sept. 11 Libya terror attack

Published May 08, 2013 | FoxNews.com

The following is the transcript of Gregory Hicks' testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the events of Sept. 11, 2012, in Libya.

GREGORY HICKS, FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION IN LIBYA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As -- as I remember September 11, 2012, it was a routine day at our embassy, and until we saw the news about Cairo - and I remember sending a text message to Ambassador Stevens saying, ``Chris, are you aware of what's going on in Cairo?'' And he said no. So I told him that the embassy -- in another text - that the embassy had been stormed, and they were trying to tear down our flag. And he said, ``Thanks very much.'' And, you know, then I went on with -- with -- with business.

Closed -- closed the day, and I went back to my villa and was relaxing, watching a television show that I particularly like, and at 9:45 p.m. -- and all times will be Libyan times, a six-hour time difference -- the RSO John Martinec ran into my villa yelling, ``Greg! Greg! The consulate's under attack.'' And I stood up and reached for my phone because I had an inkling or thought that perhaps the ambassador had tried to call me to relay the same message. And I found two missed calls on the phone, one from the ambassador's phone and one from a phone number I didn't recognize.

And I punched the phone number I didn't recognize, and I got the ambassador on the other end. And he said, ``Greg, we're under attack.'' And I was walking out of the villa, on my way to the Tactical Operations Center, because I knew we would all have to gather there to mobilize or try to mobilize a response. And it was also a -- a bad cell phone night in Tripoli. Connections were weak. And I said, ``OK,'' and the line cut.

As I walked to the Tactical Operations Center, I tried to reach back on both of the numbers, the unknown number and the ambassador's personal number and got no response. When I got to the Tactical Operations Center, I told people that the ambassador -- that I had just talked to the ambassador and what he said. At the time, John Martinec was on the phone with Alec Henderson in Benghazi, the RSO there, and I asked one of our D.S. agents who -- what number did I reach Ambassador Stevens on.

And he said, ``Oh, that's Scott Wickland's telephone. Scott Wickland was Ambassador Steven's agent in charge, his personal escort for that night, and was with him in the villa during the attack. So I asked -- when John Martinec got off the telephone, I asked him what was going on. And he said that the consulate had been breached, and there were at least 20 hostile individuals armed in the -- in the compound at the time. So I next called the annex chief to ask him if he was in touch with the Benghazi annex to activate our emergency response plan.

REP. DARRELL ISSA: "Please explain the annex chief so that people that don't know as much would understand that. No, go ahead, please."

HICKS: "OK, thank you. And he said that he had been in touch with the annex in Benghazi, and they said they were mobilizing a response team there to go to the -- to our facility and provide reinforcements and to repel the attack.

With that knowledge, I called the operations center at the State Department, approximately 10 p.m. to report the attack and what we were doing to respond to it. The next thing I did was to begin calling the senior officials in the government of Libya that I knew at the time. And so, I dialed first the President Magariaf's chief of staff and reported the attack and asked for immediate assistance from the government of Libya to assist our folks in Benghazi.

I followed that up with a call to the prime minister's chief of staff to make the same request and then to the MFA, America's director. MFA is Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The defense attache was, at the same time, calling the leadership of Libya's military with the same purpose, to ask them for assistance.

Once that was done, I called again to Washington to report that these -- actions had been commenced. Over the night we -- over that night, that is basically how our team operated. I was talking to the government of -- of Libya, reporting to the State -- State Department through the operations center, and also staying in touch with the annex chief about what was going on.

Let me step back one minute, if I could, and say that I also discussed with the annex chief about mobilizing a Tripoli response team, and we agreed that we would move forward with a -- chartering a plane from Tripoli to fly a response team to Benghazi to provide additional reinforcements. The defense attache was also reporting through his chain of command, back to AFRICOM and to the joint staff here in Washington about what was going on in the country. David McFarland, our political section chief, had just returned from Benghazi, where he had been our principle officer for the previous 10 days. And so, he jumped into this picture by reaching out to his contacts in - in Benghazi and trying to get them, at the local level there, to respond to the attack. And he also was in touch with our local employee there, as well -- excuse me if I check my notes here.

This is a long -- the attack unfolded in four phases or the night unfolded in four phases. The first phase was the attack on our consulate. This story is well known, I think.

The Benghazi response -- the consulate was invaded, the -- Villa C where the ambassador and Sean Smith and Scott Wickland were hiding in the safe area was set on fire. The attackers also went into another building. They were unable to enter the tactical operations center in Benghazi, because of improvements to that facility that had been made.

They -- Scott attempted to lead the ambassador and Sean Smith out of the burning building. He managed to make it out. He tried repeatedly to go back in to try to rescue Sean and the ambassador but had to stop due to exposure to smoke.

The response team from from the annex in Benghazi, six individuals, drove the attackers out of our compound, and secured it temporarily. There have been estimates as high as 60 attackers were in the compound at one particular time. There were repeated attempts by all of the RSOs and by the response team from the annex to go into the burning building and recover -- try to save Sean and the ambassador. They found Sean's body and pulled it out but he was no longer responsive.

They did not find the ambassador.

I spoke with a medical officer, one of our medical officers after the attack and the heroism of these individuals in repeatedly going into a petroleum based fire cannot be understated. Petroleum -- according to this -- to our regional medical officer, petroleum based fires emit enormous amounts of Cyanide gas. They told me one full breath of that would incapacitate and kill a person if exposed to it.

A second -- it was noticed that a second wave of attackers was coming to attack the facility. And our teams evacuated, five RSOs and Sean Smith in one vehicle that suffered heavy fire, but they managed to break through and get to the annex, and in -- the annex team also withdrew from the facility and the second wave of attackers took it over.

After the second phase of the evening occurs, the timing is about 11:30 or so. The second phase commences after the teams have returned to the annex, and they suffer for about an hour and a half probing attacks from terrorists. They are able to repulse them and then they desist at about 1:30 in the morning.

The Tripoli response team departs at about midnight and arrives at about 1:15 in Benghazi. If I may step back again to Tripoli and what's going on there at this point. At about 10:45 or 11:00 we confer, and I asked the defense attache who had been talking about AFRICOM and with the joint staff, ''Is anything coming? Will they be sending us any help? Is there something out there?`` And he answered that, the nearest help was in Aviano, the nearest -- where there were fighter planes. He said that it would take two to three hours for them to get onsite, but that there also were no tankers available for them to refuel. And I said, ''Thank you very much,`` and we went on with our work.

Phase III begins with news that the ambassador - the ambassador's body has been recovered, and David McFarland, if I recall correctly, is the individual who began to receive that news from his contacts in Benghazi. We began to hear also that the ambassador has been taken to a hospital. We don't know initially which hospital it is, but we -- through David's reports we learned that it is in a hospital which is controlled by Ansar Sharia, the group that Twitter feeds had identified as leading the attack on the consulate.

We're getting this information as the Tripoli response team arrives in Benghazi at the airport. Both our annex chief and the annex chief in Benghazi and our defense attache are on the phone during this period trying to get the Libyan government to send vehicles and military -- and-or security assets to the airport to assist our response team.

At this point, this response team looks like it may be a hostage rescue team, that they're going to -- we're going to need to send them to try to save the ambassador who is in a hospital that is, as far as we know, under enemy control.

Our contacts with the government in Tripoli are telling us that the ambassador is in a safe place, but they imply that he is with us in the annex in Benghazi, and we keep telling them no, the -- he is not with us. We do not have his -- we do not have him.

About 12:30 at the same time that we see the Twitter feeds that are asserting that Ansar Sharia is responsible for the attack, we also see a call for an attack on the embassy in Tripoli. And so we begin to - we -- we had always thought that we were in -- under threat, that we now have to take care of ourselves and we began planning to evacuate our facility.

When I say our facility, I mean the State Department residential compound in Tripoli, and to consolidate all of our personnel in -- at the annex in Tripoli.

We have about 55 diplomatic personnel in the two annexes.
On that night if I may go back, I would just like to point out that with Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith in Benghazi there are five diplomatic security agents -- assistant regional security officers. With us in -- in our residential compound in Tripoli, we have the RSO John Martinek, three assistant regional security officers protecting 28 diplomatic personnel. In addition, we also have four special forces personnel who are part of the training mission.

During the night, I am in touch with Washington keeping them posted of what's happening in Tripoli and to the best of my knowledge what I am being told in Benghazi. I think at about 2 p.m. the -- 2 a.m., sorry, the Secretary of State Clinton called me along with her senior staff were all on the phone, and she asked me what was going on. And, I briefed her on developments.

Most of the conversation was about the search for Ambassador Stevens. It was also about what we were going to do with our personnel in Benghazi, and I told her that we would need to evacuate, and that was -- she said that was the right thing to do.

At about 3 a.m. I received a call from the prime minister of Libya. I think it is the saddest phone call I have ever had in my life. He told me that Ambassador Stevens had passed away. I immediately telephoned Washington that news afterwards, and began accelerating our effort to withdraw from the Villas compound and move to the annex.

The -- excuse me.

Our team responded with amazing discipline and courage in Tripoli in organizing withdrawal. I have vivid memories of that. I think the most telling, though, was of our communications staff dismantling our communications equipment to take with us to the annex and destroying the classified communications capability.

Our office manager, Amber Pickens, was everywhere that night just throwing herself into some task that had to be done. First she was taking a log of what we were doing. Then she was loading magazines, carrying ammunition to the -- carrying our ammunition supply to the -- our vehicles, and then she was smashing hard drives with an axe.

Allen Greenfield, our management officer, was a whirlwind of activity organizing the vehicles to -- lining them up, finding the drivers, making sure everybody was getting the things that they would need for the coming days.

John Martinek was a mountain of moral support, particularly to the guys who were in Benghazi, just on the phone talking them through the whole ordeal.

David McFarland on the phone constantly all the time talking to his contacts in Benghazi urging -- urging them to help.
Lieutenant Colonel Phillips and Lieutenant Colonel Arnt and Lieutenant Colonel Gibson mountains of strength. I'm still in awe of them. They asked me, in one of the phone calls, when were you going to move to the annex, and I said, ''We'll move at dawn,`` because none of our people had great experience driving the armored suburbans that we were going to have to use.

Our local staff drove for us as part of our security procedures. They of course were not there that night, and we would have to go through check points, militia check points on the way to the annex to get there, and I didn't want our people to be going through those check points, because I didn't know what to expect from the militias.

And so we moved at dawn. We arrived at the annex, at least my group I think at about 4:45 perhaps, maybe 5 a.m., and a few minutes later came the word of the mortar attack.

If I could return to Benghazi a little bit and talk through Tripoli. I am sorry if I bounce back and forth.

The Tripoli team was -- basically had to stay at the Benghazi airport because they had no transport and no escort from the -- the Libyans. After the announcement of Chris' passing, military escorted vehicles arrived at the airport. So the decision was made for them to go to the annex. One of the -- before I got the call from the prime minister, we'd received several phone calls on the phone that had been with the ambassador saying that we know where the ambassador is, please, you can come get him.

And our local staff engaged on those phone calls admirably, asking very, very good, outstanding, even open ended questions about where was he, trying to discern whether he was alive, whether they even had the ambassador, whether that person was with the ambassador, send a picture, could we talk to the ambassador?

Because we knew separately from David that the ambassador was in a hospital that we believe was under Ansar Sharia's call, we -- we suspected that we were being bated into a trap, and so we did not want to go send our people into an ambush.

And we didn't.

We sent them to the annex. Shortly after we arrived at the annex the mortars came in. The first was long. It landed actually among the Libyans that escorted our people. They took casualties for us that night. The next was short, the next three landed on the roof killing Glen and Tyrone, and severely wounded David.

They didn't know whether any more mortars were going to come in. The accuracy was terribly precise. The call was the next one is coming through the roof, maybe if it hit -- two of the guys from team Tripoli climbed up on the roof and carried Glen's body and Tyrone's body down. One guy, Mark Si, full combat gear, climbed up there strapped David a large man, to his back, carried him down a ladder and saved him.
In Tripoli, we had -- the defense attache had persuaded the Libyans to fly their C-130 to Benghazi and wanted to airlift -- we had -- since we had consolidated at the annex, and the Libyan government had now provided us with external security around our facilities, we wanted to send further reinforcements to Benghazi.

We determined that Lieutenant Gibson and his team of special forces troops should go. The people in Benghazi had been fighting all night. They were tired. They were exhausted.

We wanted to make sure the airport was secure for their withdrawal. As Colonel Gibson and his three personnel were -- were getting in the cars, he stopped. And he called them off and said -- told me that he had not been authorized to go. The vehicles had to go because the flight needed to go to Tripoli -- I mean, to Benghazi. Lieutenant Colonel Gibson was furious. I had told him to go bring our people home. That's what he wanted to do -- paid me a very nice compliment. I won't repeat it here.

So the plane went. I think it landed in Benghazi around 7:30. The other thing that we did was -- and I -- and I want to mention Jackie Lavesk's name in this hearing. She was our nurse. We initially thought that we would -- that she should go to Benghazi. One of the special forces with Lieutenant Colonel Gibson's team was -- was our last military-trained medic available. He had a broken foot in a cast. I still remember him walking -- walking to go and get in the car with his machine gun, carrying a machine gun on his shoulder.

Jackie, I -- I -- I refused to allow her to go to Benghazi, because I knew we had wounded coming back. I knew David was severely wounded. And I knew others were wounded as well. And Jackie had just made terrific contacts with a hospital in town. And so, we sent -- we went her -- I sent her to that hospital to start mobilizing their E.R. teams and their doctors to receive our wounded.

So when the charter flight arrived in Tripoli, we had ambulances at the hospital -- at the -- at the airport waiting. Their doctors were ready and waiting for our wounded to come in, to be brought in to the operating room. And they certainly saved David Oven's leg. And they may have very well have saved his life. And they treated our other wounded as well, as if they were their own.



49 posted on 05/10/2013 8:53:28 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

This is from a usually liberal site:

http://xfinity.comcast.net/video/White-House-Benghazi-Attack-Talking-Points-Edited/29809731952/Comcast/Today_in_Video/?cid=hero_sf_TIV


50 posted on 05/10/2013 9:08:45 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (I'm afraid to go visit any American college because of all the foreign students with bombs.)
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