With explosive new revelations emerging almost weekly, Obama administration scandals surrounding the deadly September 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya and the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens continue to mount. Most recently, official e-mails showed the White House was informed that it was a potential terrorist strike hours after the assault began, exposing alarming contradictions in the false and evolving narrative peddled by President Obama and multiple top officials for days.
According to documents obtained by multiple news organizations, the State Department issued an alert just hours following the start of the attack noting that an al-Qaeda-linked terror group had claimed responsibility for it. The White House, the FBI, the Pentagon, and other government agencies were all copied on the alerts.
"Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack," read the title of one e-mail sent out as the deadly assault was still underway. "Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli." The Islamist group in question has known ties to al-Qaeda and was deeply involved in the Obama-backed war on Libya.
Two other e-mailed alerts sent out during the siege also suggested that the incident was anything but a protest gone awry. One of the e-mails, headlined "U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack," noted that the American Embassy in Tripoli “reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well." The message also noted that a local militia was providing security support.
"An independent board is conducting a thorough review of the assault on our post in Benghazi," State Department spokesman Mark Toner was quoted as saying in response to the latest revelations. "Once we have the board's comprehensive account of what happened, findings and recommendations, we can fully address these matters."
Separately, the Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Libya reported within 24 hours of the diplomatic attack that evidence pointed to Islamic militants, not protesters, U.S. officials told the Associated Press. The CIA assessment was compiled from statements by eyewitnesses and was sent to Washington, D.C., almost immediately.
Despite all of that, numerous top officials falsely insisted for a week that the deadly attack was simply the result of a protest over a crude YouTube video depicting the Islamic Prophet Mohammed as a murderous pedophile. White House spokesman Jay Carney and the administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, both parroted the false narrative over and over again — at least until the lie was exposed.
Like with the glaring contradictions in the Obama administration’s claims surrounding the assassination of Osama bin Laden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blamed "fog of war" for the wildly inaccurate early statements about the Libya attack. However, the resulting scandal has sparked serious suspicions among lawmakers and analysts, many of whom believe political considerations took precedence over the truth in administration pronouncements about the terror strike.
Last week, two Republican leaders in Congress sent a scathing letter to the president demanding real answers about the tragedy. Among other points, the congressmen suggested that the lax security at the American post might have been a political ploy — essentially, a public-relations gimmick to conceal the fiasco in Libya left in the wake of Obama’s lawless and devastating war, which empowered Islamic extremists while leaving the nation in ruins.
"We have been told repeatedly that the administration did this to effectuate a policy of 'normalization' in Libya after the conclusion of its civil war. These actions not only resulted in extreme vulnerability, but also undermined Ambassador Stevens and the diplomatic mission," Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said in the letter, pointing out that budgetary constraints had nothing to do with the decision. "The normalization process, which began in November 2011, appeared to have been aimed at conveying the impression that the situation in Libya was getting better, not worse."
Other evidence released this month showed that Ambassador Stevens and other U.S. personnel in Libya and even Washington, D.C., were well aware of the dangers. In fact, Stevens was practically begging for more security as he warned the administration that Islamic extremism was exploding in the area as assaults on Western targets became increasingly brazen. With four Americans dead, lawmakers now want answers.
"The American people have a right to know why the administration withdrew security resources over the objections of embassy officials and why their government did not heed the warnings of Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues,” the two congressmen wrote. "Whether based on political concerns or bureaucratic neglect, the actions of this administration contributed to an inadequate and ineffective security posture in Libya as it emerged from civil war."
Before the latest revelations, multiple reports also indicated that the Islamist rebels and al-Qaeda leaders armed and financed by the Obama administration to overthrow the Gadhafi regime might even be implicated in the killing. Some intelligence officials cited in news reports, for example, have pointed the finger at Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu, a former detainee in Guantanamo Bay who was released in Libya and became what analysts described as a U.S. government “ally of sorts” in the bid to overthrow Gadhafi.
Sources cited by WorldNetDaily Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein, meanwhile, said Ambassador Stevens was using the compound in Benghazi to work with assorted Arab dictatorships in an effort to recruit jihadists. The Islamist recruits were supposed to help Western powers and Sunni Muslim dictatorships in the fight against the secular Bashir al Assad dictatorship in Syria — a similar strategy to the scheme used to unseat Gadhafi in Libya.
“Ambassador Stevens was directly involved in arming the rebels,” WND’s Klein reported, citing Egyptian security officials who claimed Stevens played a “central role” in recruiting Islamists to wage “Jihad” in Syria against the ruling despot. According to Klein’s sources, the U.S. ambassador also served as a key contact with the Saudi Arabian regime to coordinate the recruitment of Islamist fighters. The jihadists recruited from Libya and broader North Africa were reportedly sent to Syria through Turkey.
Questions and concerns have also been raised in recent days about how and why the U.S. government could fail so miserably to rescue its personnel during an attack that lasted for at least six hours. According to news reports, an American drone was flying overhead and teams of U.S. military personnel were stationed all over the region — easily within a few hours distance from Benghazi. Nothing was done.
While the political furor continues to grow, Democrats, President Obama, and Ambassador Stevens’ father have all called for an end to the politicization of the tragedy. Critics counter that getting to the truth is not about politics, it is about accountability and preventing similar disasters in the future. For now, however, it seems that the outcry will keep escalating, at least until all of the facts are out. Republicans have already called for the resignations of multiple officials as the fallout intensifies.
What has become clear to analysts as new information emerges is that the administration’s unconstitutional policy on Libya — war, arming terrorists, regime change based on falsehoods, and an astounding lack of security for unknown reasons — has been a terrible failure. Whether anything will be learned from the tragedy remains to be seen. But with a similar course of action currently being pursued in Syria, Obama appears to be asking for more of the same.
Photo: In this Sept. 13, 2012 file photo, a Libyan man investigates the inside of the U.S. Consulate: AP Images
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