Confused About Benghazi?

Jeffrey Kibler is a new contributor to The Brenner Brief. His columns will appear weekly on Tuesdays.

Jeffrey Kibler is a new contributor to The Brenner Brief. His columns will appear weekly on Mondays.

If you are confused about what has actually transpired in the Benghazi situation, let’s peel back the layers on the events since September 11, 2012.

The U.S. experienced a terrorist attack this year in Benghazi, Libya on the anniversary of 9/11. There have been conflicting storylines from the White House and Obama administration and minimal analysis and reporting from the mainstream media prior to the November 6 election. Hopefully, with Senate hearings scheduled for next week, this is about to change.

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya actually consisted of coordinated and strategic style military assaults on two separate U.S. diplomatic compounds. The first assault occurred at the main compound, which served as a U.S. Consulate, at about 9:40 pm local time. The second assault took place at the nearby CIA annex at about 4 am the following morning. These terrorist attacks killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, and the White House has experienced intense criticism over handling of security for the Benghazi consulate before, during, and after this attack.

Libyan security officials claim American diplomats were warned of possible violent unrest in Benghazi three days before the killings of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three members of his team. The claim came as the country’s interim President, Mohammed el-Megarif, said his government had information that the attack on the US consulate had been planned by an Islamist group with links to Al-Qaeda and with foreigners taking part.

The Senate intelligence committee, which is a Democrat-controlled panel, held hearings in November on security and intelligence issues raised by the September 11 attacks on American facilities in Libya. The closed oversight hearing on November 15 seemed to raise additional concerns and questions rather than providing answers. Additional hearings are likely to follow. Congress has also been frustrated by their inability to get access to key documents from the State department and intelligence community. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) of the subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operations have also requested documents from Sate and the intelligence community.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Oversight Committee in the House are entitled to full access to these documents.  The State Department answers to Congress, and will not be able to withhold documents and testimony relevant to an investigation for much longer.  The State Department has set their own independent review board to investigate the background and response to the Benghazi attacks but it will probably take subpoenas for any significant access, and that means that the only meaningful investigation will take place in the House.

In addition to this lack of cooperation from the administration, these investigations may also be hampered by the resignation of  CIA Director David Petraeus who resigned as head of the intelligence agency, saying he “showed extremely poor judgment” by engaging in an extramarital affair, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

There are many ambiguities to be cleared up and many questions to be answered.  Among some of the most pressing are:

  • definition of more than a dozen attacks and events in the 6 months prior to the September 11th attack;
  • why administration officials publicly played up intelligence suggesting that the Benghazi attacks grew from spontaneous demonstrations launched by militants against a short film lampooning the Prophet Mohammed;
  • why the administration mentioned, but played down, intelligence suggesting the involvement of militants with suspected connections to Al-Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers;
  • justification for increased security for U.S. personnel and facilities in Benghazi seemed to be present but was denied, repeatedly;
  • why CIA operatives were ordered to stand down and who gave the order; and
  • whether U.S. intelligence agencies are well-enough funded and staffed with people with appropriate skills to properly operate in the Middle East and North Africa.

Hopefully the process of peeling this onion will be advanced in the coming weeks and Americans will learn the truth about how and why four Americans died on September 11. To date, many theories exist, and the administration has provided multiple explanations, or excuses, for their response, or lack of response, to this attack.

Comments

  1. I truly hope that answers are forthcoming Jeff but I have to be honest, I think you are being optimistic. Nothing this POTUS has done to date gives me any confidence that he is now going to open the books on these investigations, in fact I expect quite the opposite. He no longer has to run for election so consequences are not a concern to him. I fully expect more half answers, incomplete documents and who knows, maybe even another executive privilege !

    • I have to remain optimistic – that’s all I have left. I think real answers will come if/when a Congressional (not Senate) committee subpoenas people in an investigation. Otherwise, sadly, you will be correct.

  2. I don’t think we’ll ever know the truth. Did we ever find out what really happened to Vince Foster? Those close to him said he wouldn’t have committed suicide. He had to have been murdered, but we’ll never know for sure, as witnesses and others have disappeared. Human life means nothing to these Marxists. What’s 4 Americans murdered mean to them but a “bump in the road”? “not optimal”

    • You may be right although my hope is a Congressional (not Senate) committee subpoenas people and gets to the truth. We’ll see…

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  1. […] Confused About Benghazi? (thebrennerbrief.com) […]

  2. […] been a sure thing. That is, until she chose to lie on behalf of the Obama administration over the Benghazi disaster on the Sunday morning talk show circuit. This move was so egregious even the RINO Senator from […]

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