Sunday, August 4, 2013

Benghazi & CIA


Was Benghazi CIA Annex Running Guns To Syrian Rebels?

The Libyan Lie: Dozens more CIA operatives were on the ground in Benghazi than previously acknowledged. Were they running guns to Syrian rebels? And why are they and their families now being intimidated?

The only thing "phony" about the Benghazi scandal has been the cacophony of falsehoods and obfuscation pouring out of the Obama administration about the night four Americans, including the personal representative of President Obama, Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed.

Up to 35 CIA operatives were working in Benghazi the night of the terrorist attack, dozens more than previously reported, raising questions anew of why they were really there, what they were really doing and why the administration has tried so hard to fudge the facts and hide the truth.

One big unanswered question is why there was a CIA annex near to what was supposed to be a fledgling diplomatic outpost in Benghazi — a soon-to-be, we were told, diplomatic mission envisioned as the first fruits of the now-mythical "Arab Spring."

We may have the hint of an answer in revelations by Jake Tapper of CNN that dozens of previously undisclosed people working for the CIA were there that night, and that the agency is now going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing remains a secret.

CNN reports that some CIA operatives involved in the agency's missions in Libya have been subjected to frequent, even monthly, polygraph examinations, perhaps to confirm that they have not divulged information that the CIA and the Obama administration don't want the American people to know.

"Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that," said former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer. Why the greatly increased post-Benghazi frequency? The degree of fear and intimidation that currently permeates the agency is demonstrated by exclusive communications obtained by CNN in which one insider writes, "You don't jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well."

As Tapper reported earlier, the CIA had two objectives in Libya: countering the terrorist threat that emerged as extremists poured into the unstable country, and helping secure the flood of weapons after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi that could have easily been funneled to terrorists.

"One of the reasons that we and other government agencies were present in Benghazi is exactly that," former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before Congress in January. "We had a concerted effort to try to track down and find and recover as many MANPADS (man-portable air defense systems) and other very dangerous weapons as possible,"

Here's where it gets dicey. Suspicions have lingered, and not dispelled by the new revelations, that a hidden purpose of the CIA mission and its annex was to funnel such captured and recovered weapons to Syrian rebels that we had pledged to assist.

Last October, Business Insider reported a connection between Ambassador Stevens and a reported September shipment of SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles (MANPADS) and rocket-propelled grenades from Benghazi to Syria through southern Turkey.

In March 2011 Stevens became the official U.S. liaison to the al-Qaida-linked Libyan opposition, working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the since-disbanded Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. That 400-ton shipment was organized by Belhadj, by then the newly appointed head of the Tripoli Military Council.
Was Stevens in Benghazi to negotiate a weapons transfer? On the night of Sept. 11, in what would be his last known public appearance, Stevens met with the Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin and escorted him out of the consulate front gate one hour before the assault began. And was the attack itself an attempt to destroy the annex and/or recover stored weapons?

We have had many unanswered questions about Benghazi, and the new CIA revelations have raised more. It may just be time for that Select Committee of Congress to be convened.

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