CNN’s twin scoop — that the CIA is using polygraphs to muzzle Benghazi survivors, and that there were 56 CIA personnel in Benghazi during the attack on Septmber 11, 2012 — should re-open the so-called “phony scandal” to renewed investigation. The State Department’s global travel warning and widespread embassy shuttering today should also renew interest in the current strength of al Qaeda and its allies.
While Congress and the media examine the Benghazi attack, they should take a look at a brief post published here at the Tatler on the afternoon of September 10, 2012. Here it is in full, translated by Raymond Ibrahim. We published it at 4:20 pm Pacific time, September 10, 2012.
Jihadi groups in Egypt, including Islamic Jihad, the Sunni Group, and Al Gamaa Al Islamiyya have issued a statement threatening to burn the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to the ground.
According to El Fagr, they are calling for the immediate release of the Islamic jihadis who are imprisoned and in detention centers in the U.S. including Guantanamo Bay: “The group, which consists of many members from al-Qaeda, called [especially] for the quick release of the jihadi [mujahid] sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman [the ‘Blind Sheikh’], whom they described as a scholar and jihadi who sacrificed his life for the Egyptian Umma, who was ignored by the Mubarak regime, and [President] Morsi is refusing to intervene on his behalf and release him, despite promising that he would. The Islamic Group has threatened to burn the U.S. Embassy in Cairo with those in it, and taking hostage those who remain [alive], unless the Blind Sheikh is immediately released.”
The following day, jihadists made good on the threat. They attacked the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt. While they failed to burn the embassy to the ground as promised and did not secure the release of the blind sheik as they intended, they did scale the walls and they did replace the American flag with the black flag of Islam.
During that foreshadowed attack, the U.S. embassy in Cairo engaged in a tweet war. Its Twitter feed was among the first to blame the attack on an obscure amateur movie.
Aside: Does the U.S. embassy in Cairo condemn Richard Dawkins?
The question, then and now, is why did the U.S. embassy in Cairo blame a movie in the first place, and then delete its controversial tweets? The movie, Innocence of Muslims, had been in the news, but nowhere in the September 10 warning is it mentioned. Few in the Middle East had seen it. Few anywhere had seen it.
According to the September 10 warning, the attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo was never about a movie. It was about obtaining the release of imprisoned terrorists on the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. The jihadist groups in Cairo used the movie to generate outrage and bring people out into the streets. The movie was a pretext, not a cause.
As the Cairo attack was never about a movie, the likelihood that Benghazi was ever about a movie drops dramatically. Cairo’s uprising supposedly inspired the Benghazi demonstration that morphed into the attack. That was the Obama administration’s official story in the weeks following Benghazi. It unraveled in short order: There was no demonstration, and the attack was military-style and well-planned.
Now we know, based on CNN’s blockbuster, that there were 56 CIA personnel in Benghazi that night. Several of them were wounded, some seriously, but the American people have not been allowed to hear from any of them. CNN reports that the CIA is threatening them into silence. It has forced many of them to sign non-disclosure agreements, threatening their careers if they do talk to Congress or the media. CNN also reports that it has interviewed the lead suspect behind the attack, while the Federal Bureau of Investigations has not. The FBI failed to even investigate the site at all for weeks after the attack. Now it evidently isn’t even pursuing a basic investigation at all.
We don’t know precisely why so many CIA personnel were operating in Benghazi, but speculation is that they were running an arms operation from Libya to Syria via Turkey. Specifically, they were rounding up dangerous surface-to-air missiles capable of shooting down military aircraft (and civilian airliners) from Libya’s chaos and transferring them to the Syrian rebellion, which is powered in large part by al-Qaeda. Such a policy obviously exposes Europe and the U.S. to jihadist missile attacks. There is no way to guarantee that once those missiles got to Syria, al-Qaeda could not covertly ship them elsewhere to use against civilians.
Whether the missile-running story turns out to be true or not, the CIA now stands credibly accused by CNN of engaging in a massive, ongoing cover-up to keep the truth from Congress and from the media, and ultimately from the American people.
The cover-up goes well beyond the CIA. The State Department surely had the same September 10 warning that we published here. It therefore knew or should have known that the attack on the embassy in Cairo was a true terrorist attack, not a reaction to a movie or any other “religious incitement.” Benghazi was likewise a true terrorist attack. Nearly a year later, we’re only starting to understand how large and significant that attack truly was. The FBI’s lack of interest plus the State Department’s quick leap to blame the Cairo attack on a movie plus the CIA’s actions revealed by CNN suggest that the cover-up goes well beyond the CIA, into the Justice Department and State Department, and higher up in the executive branch.