Outrage and demands for answers about the attack on an American diplomatic compound in Libya intensified last week after Joe DiGenova, a former U.S. attorney currently representing a key Benghazi whistleblower, said in a radio interview that around 400 surface-to-air missiles presumably meant for Syrian rebels were stolen by some “very ugly people.” As fears grew that the advanced weapons could be used by terrorists to bring down airliners, calls for impeaching Obama over a wide range of Benghazigate-related crimes escalated, too.
Even before the latest news, numerous major controversies were swirling around the administration over the deadly attacks — the brazen lies that followed the assault, the conditions that allowed the killings to happen in the first place, the alleged unlawful transfer of U.S. weapons to terrorist groups in Syria, and more. In terms of trafficking weapons to Syrian “rebels,” even the establishment press has finally come to the conclusion that the U.S. government was indeed running guns from Benghazi. The New American has been reporting those allegations since shortly after the attack.
Now, however, the existing scandals are expanding, even as fresh ones are added to the list. Among the most serious: Explosive public statements made by the lawyer representing key Benghazi whistleblower Mark Thompson, the deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism who testified about the attack before Congress earlier this year. Speaking to WMAL Mornings on the Mall in Washington, D.C., last Monday, DiGenova, the prominent attorney, offered a series of accusations and claims that made headlines around the world.
"We have learned that one of the reasons the administration is so deeply concerned, we have been told that there were 400 surface-to-air missiles stolen," DiGenova said about the attack, citing intelligence sources that have come forward to share information since DiGenova and his attorney wife started representing Benghazi whistleblowers. "The biggest fear of the intelligence community is that one of these missiles will be used to shoot down an airliner."
According to DiGenova, the information was provided by "former intelligence officials who stayed in constant contact with people in the special ops and intelligence community." He added that "it is pretty clear that the biggest concern right now is that 400 missiles, which have been diverted in Libya and have gotten into the hands of some very ugly people. And they are worried, specifically according to these sources, about an attempt to shoot down an airliner."
The administration also shut down more than a dozen U.S. embassies in the Middle East and Africa recently because “they were afraid there was going to be a missile attack on one of the embassies,” DiGenova continued. The reason they have “lied repeatedly about what happened in Benghazi,” he added, is that “they are now responsible for all of the step-children of violence that happen as a result of this.”
In response to questions about whether the weapons were being funneled to Syrian “rebels” and why U.S. authorities were stockpiling thousands of missiles in Libya to begin with, DiGenova said he did not have an answer. The attorney also told the radio interviewer that he did not know if the stolen weapons were in the CIA’s Benghazi “annex” either. “But it is clear that the annex was somehow involved in the process of the distribution of those missiles,” he added.
According to DiGenova’s sources, the military weaponry might now be in the control of al-Qaeda operatives. More than a few al-Qaeda terrorists are helping to lead the rebellion against the Assad regime in Syria, so it was not clear why the terror group, leaders of which the U.S. government supported during the Libyan “revolution” as well, would want to steal weapons that may have been sent to establishment-backed Islamist “rebels” in Syria anyway.
As for why the FBI’s entry to the site in Benghazi was delayed — especially considering the extraordinary circumstances — DiGenova said, “the reason is very simple: because it happened before an election, the 2012 election.” In another explosive statement made during the interview, the attorney also implied that the administration has deliberately failed to apprehend the culprits. "We do know where the perpetrators of Benghazi are, and we have known since within 48 hours of the assault," he said.
Another major, related scandal emerged during an August 9 press conference on government spying. After being asked about his previous vow to bring the Benghazi-attack perpetrators to justice, the president violated a fundamental legal rule and revealed the existence of a sealed indictment in the case. “We have informed, I think, the public that there’s a sealed indictment,” he told reporters. “It’s sealed for a reason. But we are intent on capturing those who carried out this attack, and we’re going to stay on it until we get them.”
Disclosing a sealed indictment represents a clear violation of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and could result in a contempt-of-court finding, according to analysts. The Justice Department has refused to comment. However, a White House official quoted in media reports claimed that Obama “was simply referencing widely reported information and was not asked about, nor did he comment on any specific indictment.”
For DiGenova and other critics, though, that is simply unacceptable. "We are now getting close to a series of statements by the president that put him on the long road to impeachable offenses," DiGenova said in the interview with WMAL last week. “At that news conference, the president of the United States violated a court order of the United States District Court for either the Eastern district of Virginia or the District of Columbia, where this sealed indictment apparently exists.”
“He’s not allowed to say that,” DiGenova continued. “A president can declassify a document, but he cannot unseal an indictment, only a federal court can do that. Whoever is the chief judge of either one of those districts should issue a show-cause order for the United States Attorney in that district as to why the United States Attorney or the president should not be held in contempt. That was unbelievable — this is from our professor president, the so-called constitutional scholar. There’s just no doubt about it, what he did was illegal.”
DiGenova went on to blast the “stupid” establishment media for failing to notice or discuss the potentially incriminating or even impeachable blunder. “This is a very serious matter,” he said about the entire situation, contradicting the president’s widely ridiculed claims that the myriad controversies plaguing his administration are merely “phony scandals.” “And when you compound it with the flippancy of the president of the United States — who talks about a sealed indictment to cover his fanny, to make it look like he’s doing something when in fact he has done nothing — we have reached a level of cynicism, personally, on the part of this president, that is staggering. He’s not a president anymore; he’s a talk-show host.”
DiGenova and the Benghazi whistleblowers are hardly the only critics of the administration seeking serious action. Late last month, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) introduced a resolution aimed at forcing a House vote on creating a special committee to investigate Benghazigate and the attacks. Support for the measure is continuing to build.
“It has been nearly a year since terrorists killed an American ambassador and three other U.S. citizens in a coordinated attack,” the congressman said. “Yet, not one survivor has been allowed to testify to Congress and repeated requests for information have been blocked. Two different hearings have been canceled after witnesses were confronted and some actually intimidated. If four members of Obama’s personal staff had been killed, there would rightfully have been a full investigation and congressional hearings. But not one perpetrator has been brought to justice and requests for witnesses and information have been blocked.”
Among other groups supporting Stockman’s efforts is the Washington, D.C.-based Special Operations Speaks (SOS), an organization seeking serious answers about what happened in Benghazi. The group is now urging citizens to confront their representatives “paparazzi” style in an effort to force Congress to investigate. “Those activists who are committed to help end the Benghazi cover-up must act now to force every member of Congress to go on record on the Stockman Discharge Petition,” SOS co-founder Col. Dick Brauer said in a statement. “The only path to the truth is through a Watergate-style select committee.”
Others, meanwhile, are calling for impeaching Obama over the Benghazi scandal and other serious abuses. According to a poll released in May, impeachment for Benghazigate alone had the support of more than half of Americans. Now, in the wake of the latest revelations by DiGenova and others, grassroots leaders are turning up the pressure for action and accountability.
Citing the stolen missiles, the lies, and the “CIA-State Department weapons running operation,” conservative activists say it is time for impeachment. “Team Obama simply could not allow the truth of Benghazi to come out just weeks before the election,” noted “Grassfire Nation” chief Steve Elliott, who leads a grassroots network that says it has around a million activists. “So the CIA concocted the story to blame it on ‘terrorism’ but even that was not acceptable to Team Obama. So they pinned the episode on a YouTube video. Benghazi is one of the most blatant examples in modern history of a President lying to the American people for personal political gain.”
Most analysts do not expect to see the Obama administration held accountable for Benghazigate — gun running to Islamic extremists, brazenly lying to the American people, engaging in coverups, and more. However, with pressure on Congress still continuing to grow almost a year after the deadly attacks, a big enough public outcry could certainly force lawmakers to act. If nothing is done, the current administration and future presidents will almost certainly be emboldened to continue engaging in lawless behavior.
Impeachment Support Soars as Voters Say Feds “Out of Control”