I knew there was something missing from the Benghazi story, something fundamental that had thus far escaped my attention. Not that the questions being asked by the hundreds of Special Forces guys aren’t important. I, too, want to know why–if this is accurate–we didn’t have military forces ready to move in. I, too, want to know why the top political figures–the president and the secretaries of state and defense (Obama, Hillary and Panetta)–were so clearly disinclined to take action. That whole phony charade about the “video” bespeaks an effort to get the world to focus on the wrong thing. The blatant, almost compulsive lack of a sense of urgency upsets me no end. OK. But I was still trying to understand what had happened, and I wasn’t making great progress. I needed help. And so, as I often do in such circumstances, I dragged out the ouija board, checked the wiring and the batteries, and switched it on. Amazingly, it worked immediately, and I was once again talking to the lively spirit of James Jesus Angleton, who once upon a time headed up CIA counterintelligence.
ML: “Wow, it worked first time.”
JJA: “Lucky me. I was napping.” (Sound of Zippo lighter clicking shut).
ML: “I’m sorry! What time is it there?”
JJA: “We don’t have time here, it’s eternal, you know.”
I tried to think of something witty to say, but it didn’t work.
JJA: “That whole night and day thing, it doesn’t apply. Darkness and light were separated on earth, after all…”
ML: “Right. Part of creation.”
JJA: “Exactly. So what’s on your mind?”
ML: “Benghazi. It doesn’t parse, somehow.”
JJA: “What’s the problem? Just begin at the beginning, you’ll get it…”
ML: “What’s the beginning? When the attack starts? When Ambassador Stevens asks for better security? With one of the intelligence reports or warnings? When?”
JJA: “That’s all scene-setting. It begins with Stevens going to Benghazi.”
ML: “Okay, he goes to Benghazi, where he’d been many times before.”
JJA: .”..many times before. Why?”
ML: “Well there’s a widely repeated theory that he was organizing clandestine arms shipments from Libya to the Syrian opposition forces, but I don’t believe it.”
JJA: “No, no, go back further. Before they made him ambassador. The whole Libya thing, the overthrow of Qaddafi. The Libyan opposition was based in Benghazi, right? We intervened to save the people in Benghazi, right?”
ML: “Yeah, so what?”
JJA: “Stevens was a key intermediary during that period, wasn’t he? He sneaked into Benghazi on a Greek cargo ship and established contact with the anti-Qaddafi forces.”
ML: “He was a hero to the post-Qadaffi rulers. They loved him in Benghazi.”
JJA: “Well said!”
ML: “What did I say?”
JJA: “You said they loved him.”
ML: “Did I say the magic word? Is Groucho going to give me a hundred dollars?”
JJA: “I didn’t realize you were that old” (coughs, chuckles, coughs again). “Yes, the magic word is ‘love’ and according to my sources, it’s the key to the operation.”
ML: “Okay, I want to hear more about that, obviously, but first tell me about your sources.”
JJA: “We’ve had quite a number of Special Forces personnel arrive here recently, and they have a theory that sounds plausible to me.”
ML: “Which is?”
JJA: “That Stevens was lured to Benghazi by his lover, or one of his lovers, with whom he’d first been involved back in 2011.”
ML: “Hah! I’ve always wondered about his apparent rush to get to Benghazi. I think he flew to Tripoli from Europe, and then went straight through to Benghazi, didn’t he? I had thought that showed he was working on some urgent project.”
JJA: “I agree with you about his mission. He, and that whole team at what is often called a CIA facility, were trying to get control of weapons that had been under Qaddafi’s control, and were moving all over the region. They were trying to stop this movement of very dangerous weapons, including MANPADS. We didn’t want terrorists with accurate anti-aircraft missiles, or, for that matter, guns and ammunition. And by the way, that ‘facility’ wasn’t just for the Agency, it included people from Special Forces, NSA, the whole crowd…”
ML: “Yeah, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t involved in smuggling weapons to the anti-Assad crowd in Syria.” I’m also very sure that he was a terrific ambassador, one of our very best, and that his assassination was a terrible loss.
JJA: “We agree. All the more reason to look carefully at his murder. But go back to the beginning. If a lover convinced Stevens to rush to Benghazi, then it might have been a set-up, what we used to call a honey pot trap.”
ML: “Wow. If the lover was in cahoots with the killers…”
JJA: “There you go. If so, they knew when he was coming, and could organize the assault with confidence.”
ML: “Wow again. I’ve never seen anything like that in print.”
JJA: “Of course not. The journalists were busily echoing that nonsense about some video, remember?”
ML: “Do I ever. Hillary even told Stevens’ parents that the USG would make sure the poor slob who made the video would be punished.”
JJA: “Last time I looked, he was still in prison in California.”
ML: “Wait a minute. The video story had a certain plausibility, there were riots in other places, like Cairo, right? So the tumult in Benghazi ‘fit’ in that context.”
JJA: “Indeed. If you organize an assassination you want to deceive your enemies, you don’t want them looking too carefully at your question–why did Stevens go to Benghazi?–and so you provide them with a very different kind of explanation, namely that it was just one of several ‘spontaneous protests’ by the Arab Street.”
All of a sudden there was a very loud crackling sound coming from the ouija board.
ML: “Wait another minute.” More static. Very loud. A wisp of smoke from the ouija board. “You’re saying that this thing was bigger than just a hostile operation in Benghazi, you’re saying…”
JJA: “I’m just giving you things to think about. It’s possible to look at this as if it were a very slick, highly professional operation, beginning to end. Our enemies always want to strike at us, and Stevens was so effective, and so widely admired in Libya, that they might have worked very hard to organize an attack against him.”
I was worried about the connection now..
“The honey pot trap, the big-time deception…(sounded like lightning or something) professional intelligence service might be capable…”
And he was gone; the damn ouija board was snafu. So it’s gonna be a while til I get it up and running again.
Also read: Too Weird To Be True: ‘Green Sex’