Thursday, 20 December 2012

Benghazi “Whitewash” Report Still Damaging to Obama

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While the so-called “investigation” into the deadly attack on a U.S. government compound in Benghazi has been widely blasted and ridiculed as a “whitewash” and a “cover up” for failing to even raise serious questions about the “Benghazigate” scandal, the report still exposes a series of the Obama administration’s lies. It also highlights the absolute disaster left in the wake of Obama’s unconstitutional war on Libya — chaos and carnage that have largely been ignored by the establishment press even after the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and other Americans.

Unsurprisingly, no top officials were held responsible yet for the American deaths or the lies as a result of the inquiry. The investigation did, however, confirm that the U.S. government-supported “revolution” in Libya was led by known jihadists who fought American troops in Iraq. Additionally, the report helped put the spotlight on the tragedy wrought by NATO forces and their Islamist proxies on the ground as part of Obama’s unconstitutional United Nations-“approved” war to topple dictator Moammar Gadhafi. 

One of the key points buried in the 39-page report, for example, confirms that many of the “rebel” leaders unconstitutionally supported by the Obama administration with arms, money, air power, and more were well-known Islamic terrorists who had previously battled American troops in other nations. “Jihadis from Benghazi engaged in Afghanistan against the Soviets and took up arms against U.S. forces in the post-2003 Iraq insurgency,” the report explains. “Many of them reemerged in 2011 as leaders of anti-Qaddafi militias in eastern Libya.”   

The report also documents some of the facts regarding the Obama administration’s lawless support for the “rebels,” though it barely scratches the surface in terms of the true extent of that backing. “Stevens’ presence in the [rebel-held] city [of Benghazi] was seen as a significant sign of U.S. support for the TNC [Transitional National Council] and a recognition of the resurgence of eastern Libya’s political influence,” the report explains, omitting any mention of the weapons and air support offered to the Western-backed revolutionaries. “Stevens’ mission was to serve as the liaison with the TNC in preparation for a post-Qaddafi democratic government in Libya.”

The true purpose of the U.S. government compound that came under attack, according to security officials quoted in news reports and by numerous analysts, was originally to help the “rebels” overthrow the existing government. When the first phase of “regime change” was completed with the torture and execution of former U.S. government ally Gadhafi at rebel hands after his convoy was hit by NATO missiles, the compound's mission shifted to accomplishing the same goal in Syria: the overthrow of the existing dictator to be replaced by a coalition of Islamic extremists and proxies of the Western establishment. The report, of course, does not mention that. 

However, there were also some interesting facts about the compound and the attack presented in the inquiry. It confirmed, for example, that the U.S. government mission in Benghazi was “never a consulate,” contrary to the incessant claims made in the establishment press. “The unique circumstances surrounding the creation of the mission in Benghazi as a temporary mission outside the realm of permanent diplomatic posts resulted in significant disconnects and support gaps,” the report explains, pointing out that the new Libyan regime was not even officially notified about the existence of the compound. 

Another key point in the report once again exposed the administration’s falsehoods about an alleged “protest” outside the compound that became violent — claims parroted by disgraced U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and other officials on numerous occasions, well after they were shown to be false. “The Board concluded that there was no protest prior to the attacks, which were unanticipated in their scale and intensity,” the investigation confirmed, echoing findings that were already well-known for months among analysts and observers following the scandal.

Also documented in the investigation was the total chaos and lawlessness left in Libya following the administration’s war, which Obama purported to “authorize” based on a UN “writ of the international community” without ever consulting Congress, much less obtaining a declaration of war as required by the Constitution. In fact, the establishment press and the Obama administration have both been busy trying to paint the bloody war as some sort of “success” to be emulated. The report, however, offers another picture of the aftermath.

“Throughout Libya, the security vacuum left by Qaddafi’s departure, the continued presence of pro-Qaddafi supporters, the prevalence of and easy access to weapons, the inability of the interim government to reestablish a strong security apparatus, and the resulting weakness of those security forces that remained led to a volatile situation in which militias previously united in opposition to Qaddafi were now jockeying for position in the new Libya,” it explains.

Violence, meanwhile, was widespread as Islamic extremists whom the U.S. government once helped Gadhafi suppress continued their meteoric rise to power with Obama’s assistance. “Frequent clashes, including assassinations, took place between contesting militias,” the report notes. “Fundamentalist influence with Salafi and al Qaeda connections was also growing, including notably in the eastern region.”

The report also documents a long list of alarming attacks aimed at mostly Western targets in the area prior to the attack. “At the time of the September attacks, Benghazi remained a lawless town nominally controlled by the Supreme Security Council (SSC) — a coalition of militia elements loosely cobbled into a single force to provide interim security — but in reality run by a diverse group of local Islamist militias, each of whose strength ebbed and flowed depending on the ever-shifting alliances and loyalties of various members,” it explains.

However, despite grains of truth, the unclassified version of the Benghazi report offers a shockingly inaccurate picture of the events leading up to the so-called “revolution,” portraying it as merely a spontaneous popular uprising against despot Gadhafi. In reality, as The New American documented extensively, much of the campaign was orchestrated by foreign powers using deception and Islamist groups officially designated as terrorists, some of which, such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, were openly affiliated with al-Qaeda (LIFG).

Consider that among the first tasks undertaken by the “rebels” was the creation of a new central bank to displace the regime’s unique state-owned monetary authority, which was planning to create a gold-backed currency to displace the U.S. dollar. Before going on a murderous rampage and exterminating dark-skinned Libyans in what human rights groups called “ethnic cleansing,” the Western-funded and -armed “revolutionaries” also made sure to set up a controversial new oil company, too.

In terms of blame for the attack in Benghazi, the report concluded that the only real responsibility for the death of four U.S. government personnel lay with the unidentified terrorists who staged the attack. “Identification of the perpetrators and their motivations are the subject of an ongoing FBI criminal investigation,” the report explains. However, the board did say there were “lessons to be learned” from the ordeal; namely, that taxpayers should give the State Department more of their money.

“Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place,” the investigation found in one of the most widely cited conclusions, as if that were the real scandal or problem.

The report noted that even though U.S. diplomatic personnel in Libya repeatedly requested more security assistance, the amount of security personnel at the compound was “inadequate.” Reliance on local Libyan “militias” for protection, some of which the report said were known to be Islamist and extremist, was also a bad idea, the investigation concluded.

“Over the course of its inquiry, the Board also learned of troubling indicators of February 17’s [the umbrella group for militias that was supposedly helping protect the compound] loyalties and its readiness to assist U.S. personnel,” the report states. “Board members found that there was little understanding of militias in Benghazi and the threat they posed to U.S. interests.”

Finally, the new regime installed by NATO powers and Islamist proxies on the ground failed miserably in terms of protecting American staff, “reflecting both weak capacity and near absence of central government influence and control in Benghazi,” the investigation noted. That was hardly surprising: The new rulers — mostly a coalition of Islamic extremists, former Gadhafi officials, militia chiefs, and NATO-backed figures — are still fighting off forces loyal to the late dictator and cannot even maintain security in the capital city of Tripoli, much less the vast countryside. 

The supposed “inquiry” relied on interviews with over 100 people, a review of documents, and video surveillance, the report states. Among the recommendations offered in the report was increased security for American personnel in high-risk areas and, of course, ever greater sums of taxpayer money for the Obama administration’s foreign policy operations around the world.

“At the same time, it is imperative for the State Department to be mission-driven, rather than resource-constrained — particularly when being present in increasingly risky areas of the world is integral to U.S. national security,” the report states, essentially saying that taxpayer funds should not be a limiting factor as the Obama administration engages in its largely unconstitutional “foreign policy” activities. “One overall conclusion in this report is that Congress must do its part to meet this challenge and provide necessary resources to the State Department to address security risks and meet mission imperatives.”

Notably absent from the recommendations was any suggestion that the U.S. government should stop arming, funding, and training self-styled al-Qaeda leaders. Another glaring omission on the list: a recommendation that the president discontinue his lawless so-called “foreign policy” of variously coddling and backing brutal dictators before waging unconstitutional wars on them, which countless experts, officials, and lawmakers have identified as extremely dangerous to Americans and national security overall.  

In the wake of the report, at least four State Department officials have announced their resignations, which analysts say was an effort to protect higher ups from responsibility. The unconstitutional wars, lawless foreign intervention, and support for violent jihadists that happen to be fighting against dictators currently out of favor with the U.S. government, however, will undoubtedly continue unabated — at least until the money runs out.

Analysts say that as long as the Obama administration refuses to rein in its lawless wars and meddling in foreign nations, the blowback resulting from such behavior will continue to claim American lives and haunt both the nation and the world. Critics of interventionism and unconstitutional UN-ordered military scheming, however, know that no amount of increased security or taxpayer funding will be able to stop the consequences and blowback associated with such out-of-control policies.

Photo: AP Images

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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