White House Was Told Benghazi was a Terrorist Attack Two Hours Into the Battle
The president. Barack Obama knew as the battle was progressing that rebranded al-Qaeda was involved. But he blamed a film and jailed the filmmaker here in the United States.
Piecing a few loose things together, Barack Obama had not been attending his Presidential Daily Briefings in the months leading up to the attack. He had spent his party convention selling America the story that "Osama bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is on the run." The first part of that was true, but the second part?
Benghazi proved it wrong. He had that email from the consulate sent during the attack, and would soon learn of the intercept in which al-Qaeda said that it would proceed with the attack, using the unrest in Cairo as cover.
His convention story about al-Qaeda had fallen apart, so he tried selling us another story: That a movie led directly to the murder of four Americans.
He built one lie on top of another, and both have collapsed of their own weight.
Benghazi was a cover-up, and it probably began that night in the White House as the battle transpired and Ambassador Stevens remained missing. Americans deserve to know who was involved in making the decision to engage in the cover-up. Who knew what, and when did they know it, and how did they respond to what they knew? Were senior administration officials involved, or did the campaign drive the decision, or was it a mix of both?
It's important that we get answers. No matter what happens on Nov. 6, many of the potential instigators will remain in political life. Anyone involved in the decision to instigate this cover-up should have that future taken away from them.
More: Gretawire has the actual emails.
More: It's not just that the White House Situation Room received these emails. The military or the CIA deployed a drone to monitor the battle from above, and the evidence strongly suggests that Obama himself and probably the vice president and some of his top intel lieutenants were watching that feed. Eli Lake reported that the drone monitored at least the last hour of the battle.
So Obama was in the Situation Room, with those emails on his screen, and that video feed on the monitor. The ambassador was missing. This was the heaviest night of Obama's presidency since the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, but with the added twist of the missing Americans and the huge known known -- we had no military on the ground or on the way to help them.
And Obama went to bed to get some shut-eye. Then the next day, he learned that Stevens and three others had been killed. He may have seen one or more of the defenders die. But that next day he blamed a movie for what he had seen the night before.
And then he skipped his intelligence briefing, again, and went to Vegas.
More: The NY Post reported on Oct 21 that the drone that monitored the final hour of the Benghazi battle was a Predator. So it's very likely that that drone was armed, as the US used armed Predators during the Libyan revolution and uses them to dispatch terrorists as the opportunity arises. But there is no reporting that the drone fired any of its Hellfire missiles during the battle. It was relaying video back the United States where--
“They stood, and they watched, and our people died,” former CIA commander Gary Berntsen told CBS News.
The Post also reported:
Fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships — which could have been used to help disperse the bloodthirsty mob — were also stationed at three nearby bases, sources told the network.
More: "The video (from the drone) is damning."
More: Was the Benghazi compound a hub in the known US effort running guns to jihadists in Syria? The evidence is scant and circumstantial but interesting. Stevens met with a "Turkish diplomat" on the night of the attack. According to the New York Times, the Obama administration has been engaged in an effort to broker arms to the Syrian rebels, and most of those arms are ending up in the hands of jihadists. Like the rebels in Libya, many of the Syrian rebels have what might charitably be called al Qaeda ties and influences. We're arming them as they fight Assad, a secular tyrant who also acts as the Iranian mullahs' stooge. The Times reports that the gun pipeline is mainly linked to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but where did CIA chief Petraeus travel last month to personally work on the effort? Turkey. So obviously there's a Turkish connection to this effort. Libyan jihadists fighters have started turning up all over the place after the revolution, including the Palestinian territories. Libya is some distance from Syrian by land, but a direct boat ride across the Med is doable. Benghazi is up on the coast. It's an interesting possibility.