What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 20, 2014

On Benghazi: The Senate Report

Let's start with some of the bigger myths of the Benghazi attacks and then see where they lead us locally.

The "Stand Down" order.

From the report (page 5) we read:
The Committee explored claims that there was a "stand down" order given to the security team at the Annex. Although some members of the security team expressed frustration that they were unable to respond more quickly to the Mission compound, the Committee found no evidence of intentional delay or obstruction by the Chief of Base or any other party.
And yet back in May, the P-G's Jack Kelly wrote:
Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission in Libya, testified that a small Special Forces team was set to go to the rescue of the consulate, but was ordered twice to "stand down." This contradicts the assertion by the Pentagon no "stand down" orders were issued. Who issued the stand-down order? Why?

Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, now part of a CIA security team, were in Tripoli when the attack began. They told their superiors they were going to help, were ordered to stand down, but went anyway, according to "sources who were on the ground," reported Jennifer Griffin of Fox News. Who ordered them to stand down? Why?
Has Jack Kelly corrected himself on the record?  Will he if he has not?

On the "story concocted for political cover"

Meanwhile over at the Tribune-Review, Scaife's editorial board wrote this:
Newly declassified testimony obtained by Fox News makes it clear that top military officials considered the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, assault on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, a terrorist attack. From its outset. And just why the Obama administration publicly insisted for weeks that the attack was a protest over an obscure, U.S.-made anti-Muslim video no longer is murky.
And:
Clearly, the false “protest” story was concocted for political cover during the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign. And with Ham's testimony yet to be contradicted by Panetta or others, the lie of Benghazi has been laid bare:

The Obama White House put politics first and truth last.
And then there's this from Jack:
Gregory Hicks, then the deputy chief of mission in Libya, told the House Oversight Committee that he'd told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the attack that it was being carried out by terrorists, so his "jaw dropped" when he heard U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on TV blaming protests against a YouTube video that offended Muslims.
So...what does the Senate report say about this?

Well there's this (page 33):
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the [Intelligence Community] received numerous reports, both classified and unclassified, which provided contradictory accounts that there were demonstrations at the Temporary Mission Facility. In some cases, these intelligence reports-which were disseminated widely in the Intelligence Community--contained references to press reports on protests that were simply copied into intelligence products.
And (page 33):
The IC also had information that there were no protests outside the Temporary Mission Facility prior to the attacks, but did not incorporate that information into its widely circulated assessments in a timely manner.
And (page 34):
A dearth of clear and definitive HUMINT or eyewitness reporting led IC analysts to rely on open press reports and limited SIGINT reporting that incorrectly attributed the origins of the Benghazi attacks to "protests," over first-hand accounts from U.S. officials on the ground.
So, if what Ambassador Rice was saying came, as the Senate report makes clear, from the Intelligence Community and not from the White House, then will Jack Kelly and the Trib be correcting themselves on the record any time soon?

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