CNN is reporting that a well-placed source has indicated that CIA Chief David Petraeus will ‘amend’ his previous testimony, telling Congress that he knew the attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans was terrorism, and that he knew this “almost immediately”.
Just a few minutes ago on CNN, Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr reported that a high-placed source informed her that former CIA Chief David Petraeus will use his upcoming testimony to amend his previous testimony. According to this source, Petraeus will tell the closed door congressional hearing that he knew “almost immediately” that the September 11 anniversary attack on our Libyan consulate was a terrorist attack committed by the al-Qaeda-linked militia Ansar Al Sharia.
Frances Townsend, a former Homeland Security advisor to George W. Bush, who is now a CNN analyst, tweeted this out:
Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.
The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.
The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.
By ultimately, they mean several weeks later. This is definitive proof that Obama’s White House was not getting bad reports and bad intelligence from the State Department or the intelligence community, and simply relaying mis-information that a video had sparked the attack.
They knew. They knew, and they lied.
Which is precisely why GOP lawmakers have a hard time considering Susan Rice competent when she subsequently went on a whirlwind media tour five days later claiming that the attacks were a spontaneous response to an anti-Mohammad video.
Petraeus, in addition to his ‘amended’ testimony, also informed CNN’s source that “he believed the CIA talking points given to Susan Rice came from within the White House or Administration.”
Politico is also reporting on these statements from Sen. Saxby Chambliss:
Sen. Saxby Chambliss on Friday stopped short of charging that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s explanation of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi was a lie but said it was crafted to provide White House political talking points.
“Susan Rice was sent to give a White House message,” said Chambliss, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It was not an intelligence community message, and there’s a very clear distinction in that.”
“I do think that there were some politics involved in the message that the White House wanted to send,” he added.
Upon hearing President Obama’s touchy defense of Rice a couple of days ago, Charles Karuthammer had this to say:
You called at it a show of passion, I would say it was his usual show of indignation, which is his default response whenever he feels defensive or backed into a corner. ‘How dare you attack my U.N. ambassador?’ And then he gives the strangest defense by saying she didn’t have anything to do with the Benghazi [attack]. Then why the hell are you sending her out there? Why didn’t you send out the Secretary of State, or the CIA Director, or [Secretary of Defense] Panetta or somebody, who did know?
The question is rhetorical. We know that the White House, the State Department, and the CIA Director were informed that this was a terror attack almost immediately. The White House then gave Rice her talking points for the American public five days later which denied terrorism was a factor by shifting blame to a video.
Rice had one job and one job only – to lie to you, to lie to me, and to lie to the families of those that were killed that night. All because an election was right around the corner.
This is disgraceful.
Clinton Getting More Security For a Wine-Tasting Event Than the Navy SEALs Who Were Killed in Benghazi
Seems Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can’t find the time to testify at the closed Benghazi hearings due to a ‘scheduling conflict’. This despite the fact that the Obama administration owes America answers as to what happened in Benghazi, and Clinton is certainly a prime player as to how events went down that night.
Nevermind America, she owes the families of the victims answers. Instead, she has a very critical meeting to attend in place of the hearings.
The scheduling conflict? A wine-tasting event with friends.
And she’s bringing along a security entourage that I’m sure the Navy SEAL’s who were told to stand down before they were killed would have greatly appreciated.
Here is her conflicting schedule via the Herald Sun:
Few details of Ms Clinton’s visit on Wednesday and Thursday have been revealed, but it is understood she will visit close friends, one whom is connected to the Carnegie Mellon University. It also believed that:
THE 150-strong entourage is likely to visit Penfolds’ Magill Estate for either a wine tasting session or private function.
THE entourage has booked more than 100 rooms over several floors at the Intercontinental Hotel on North Tce.
HEAVY traffic restrictions are likely from late Wednesday ahead of her anticipated arrival that night.
HER entourage will leave Adelaide on Friday morning.
While Ms Clinton will be protected at close quarters by her own US Secret Service detail, dozens of AFP protection officers and STAR Group officers will be involved in protecting her motorcade and any venues she visits.
Police are also likely to use helicopter surveillance to monitor her every move.
The operation will be larger than that mounted to protect Prince Charles and his wife Camilla for their five-hour flying visit to Adelaide on Wednesday.
Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler nails it:
Too bad Ambassador Stevens and the three others killed in the Benghazi attack didn’t have a fraction of the security that will protect Clinton in war-torn Australia.
The fact that a Clinton is involved in Benghazi all but assures that the families of the slain and the American people will never get answers and will never see any accountability.
Indeed, a 150-person entourage may have come in handy the night of the attack at the compound and annex, especially when the SEALs were calling Hillary and the White House begging for reinforcements.
The story of four Americans killed in Benghazi grows more horrifying each and every day. This should be considered perhaps the biggest scandal in Presidential history.
Does it feel like it’s brig reported as such?
Via Fox News:
Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by officials in the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were part of a small team who were at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When they heard the shots fired, they radioed to inform their higher-ups to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. An hour later, they called again to headquarters and were again told to “stand down.”
Woods, Doherty and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the Consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The quick reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.
At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.
Three separate requests for help.
Three separate denials.
They were told to stand down. They were left to die.
Watch the report below…
Earlier we reported on several Republican Senators who ripped the President for his recent comments on the Middle East, explaining that these events aren’t ‘bumps in the road’ but rather, a failure of leadership.
Maybe the President will ignore their statements.
But maybe he’ll listen to a former Navy Seal who took exception to the comments as well.
Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL and current Montana state Senator has issued the following statement:
The President refuses to admit that his policy of appeasement and apology has failed. The murder of our Ambassador and two former Navy SEALs is more than a “bump in the road,” it is a global catastrophe where America is seen as being weak and vulnerable by our enemies. This President has failed to establish a red line for Iran’s nuclear ambitions and has failed to recognize the scale and implications of the attacks against us. Reagan had it right: don’t negotiate with terrorists and recognize the clear and present danger of not being willing to act or lead from the front.
The President’s foreign policy hasn’t simply been a failure of leadership, it has been a wide-ranged failure of the American people – including diplomats and Navy SEALs – in general.
That letter to families of our fallen soldiers? You didn’t write that. Somebody else did that for you.
And then signed it with an electric pen.
On August 6, 2011, 30 US service members were killed when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter they were being transported in crashed in Wardak province, Afghanistan. It was the deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the decade-long war in Afghanistan. 17 members of the elite Navy SEALs were killed in the crash.
Yesterday, Karen and Billy Vaughn, parents of Aaron Carson Vaughn, spoke at the Defending the Defenders forum sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots outside the RNC Convention in Tampa. Karen brought a copy of the form letter they were sent following their son’s death.
It’s a form letter.
(Photo: Gateway Pundit)
Something a touch more personal would be nice, considering these were members of the Navy SEALs who gave their lives at the direction of the Commander-in-Chief.
Well, at least the signature on those letters was a nice personal touch.
That’s not all.
Karen Vaughn reached out to the parents of the other SEALs killed in that crash. Their letters were all the same.
Form letters – signed by an electric pen.
It must be standard practice, right? Surely the cold-hearted former President Bush only sent form letters to the families of our fallen soldiers.
From the Washington Times (2008):
For much of the past seven years, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have waged a clandestine operation inside the White House. It has involved thousands of military personnel, private presidential letters and meetings that were kept off their public calendars or sometimes left the news media in the dark.
Their mission: to comfort the families of soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to lift the spirits of those wounded in the service of their country.
But the size and scope of Mr. Bush’s and Mr. Cheney’s private endeavors to meet with wounded soliders and families of the fallen far exceed anything that has been witnessed publicly, according to interviews with more than a dozen officials familiar with the effort.
“People say, ‘Why would you do that?’” the president said in an Oval Office interview with The Washington Times on Friday. “And the answer is: This is my duty. The president is commander in chief, but the president is often comforter in chief, as well. It is my duty to be – to try to comfort as best as I humanly can a loved one who is in anguish.”
I don’t get it. For eight straight years, we were told that George W. Bush was eeee-vil, while President Obama was the compassionate savior.
No matter, bottom line is that more American troops were killed in Afghanistan under Bush’s watch than Mr. Nobel Peace Prize.
Although President Obama has only served 39 months in office, 69 percent of the U.S. military fatalities in the more than 10-year-old war in Afghanistan have occurred on his watch.
Through April 30, the Defense Department had reported that 1,844 U.S. military personnel have been killed in and around Afghanistan while deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom, which was launched in October 2001 after al Qaeda terrorists attacked the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon.
According to CNSNews.com’s comprehensive database on Afghan war casualties, at least 1,275 of the 1,844 U.S. troops killed in the Afghanistan conflict have been killed since Jan. 20, 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated as president.
Could it be that the media has lied to us? That the portrayals of these two men have been wrong?
President Obama wants you to believe he’s tough on terror by exploiting Osama Bin Laden’s death. The administration wants you to believe Obama made a ‘gutsy call’ that only he in all his courageous glory could have made. But the facts simply don’t support this.
First, the ‘gutsy call’ had a fallback plan if it backfired. The gutsy call was actually made by an Admiral McRaven, the true hero in greenlighting this operation, and the blame, if necessary, would be shouldered by him as well – not the President.
… Time magazine got hold of a memo written by then-CIA head Leon Panetta after he received orders from Barack Obama’s team to greenlight the bin Laden mission…
… Only the memo doesn’t show a gutsy call. It doesn’t show a president willing to take the blame for a mission gone wrong. It shows a CYA maneuver by the White House.
The memo puts all control in the hands of Admiral McRaven – the “timing, operational decision making and control” are all up to McRaven. So the notion that Obama and his team were walking through every stage of the operation is incorrect. The hero here was McRaven, not Obama. And had the mission gone wrong, McRaven surely would have been thrown under the bus.
The memo is crystal clear on that point.
And now, several members of the elite Navy SEALs have taken umbrage to the President’s attempts to take credit for the kill.
Via the Daily Mail:
Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.
The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.
In it President Bill Clinton is featured saying that Mr Obama took ‘the harder and the more honourable path’ in ordering that bin Laden be killed. The words ‘Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?’ are then displayed.
Here is a sampling of what the SEALs had to say regarding Obama’s role:
Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.“
A serving SEAL Team member said: ‘Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun. As president, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because his speechwriters are smart.”
And then there is this…
Chris Kyle, a former SEAL sniper with 160 confirmed and another 95 unconfirmed kills to his credit, said: ‘The operation itself was great and the nation felt immense pride. It was great that we did it.’
‘But bin Laden was just a figurehead. The war on terror continues. Taking him out didn’t really change anything as far as the war on terror is concerned and using it as a political attack is a cheap shot.‘
‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his secret is safe.’
It is clear that the man who once refused to ‘spike the football’ on the bin Laden killing, is now doing an endzone celebration in an attempt to divert America’s eyes away from the economy, away from the debt, and away from his failures as a President.
Worse, Obama is taking an event that should galvanize the nation in their pride, that demonstrates our military’s strength and resolve in avenging the tragedy of 9/11, and making it all about him.
But that’s what narcissists do.
Real leaders? This is what a real leader does…
Credit Ace of Spades:
Here is a summary of Obama’s speech in announcing the death of bin Laden. See if you can spot a theme…
“Tonight, I can report . . . And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta . . . I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden . . . I met repeatedly with my national security team . . . I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction . . . I’ve made clear . . . Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear . . . Tonight, I called President Zardari . . . and my team has also spoken. . .These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief . . . Finally, let me say to the families . . . I know that it has, at times, frayed. . . .”
By contrast, take a look at the speech given by George W. Bush regarding the capture of Saddam Hussein.
Good afternoon. Yesterday, December the 13th, at around 8:30 p.m. Baghdad time, United States military forces captured Saddam Hussein alive. He was found near a farmhouse outside the city of Tikrit, in a swift raid conducted without casualties. And now the former dictator of Iraq will face the justice he denied to millions.
The capture of this man was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq. It marks the end of the road for him, and for all who bullied and killed in his name. For the Baathist holdouts largely responsible for the current violence, there will be no return to the corrupt power and privilege they once held. For the vast majority of Iraqi citizens who wish to live as free men and women, this event brings further assurance that the torture chambers and the secret police are gone forever.
And this afternoon, I have a message for the Iraqi people: You will not have to fear the rule of Saddam Hussein ever again. All Iraqis who take the side of freedom have taken the winning side. The goals of our coalition are the same as your goals — sovereignty for your country, dignity for your great culture, and for every Iraqi citizen, the opportunity for a better life.
In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived. All Iraqis can now come together and reject violence and build a new Iraq.
The success of yesterday’s mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq. The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator’s footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people. Their work continues, and so do the risks. Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate ’em.
I also have a message for all Americans: The capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the end of violence in Iraq. We still face terrorists who would rather go on killing the innocent than accept the rise of liberty in the heart of the Middle East. Such men are a direct threat to the American people, and they will be defeated.
We’ve come to this moment through patience and resolve and focused action. And that is our strategy moving forward. The war on terror is a different kind of war, waged capture by capture, cell by cell, and victory by victory. Our security is assured by our perseverance and by our sure belief in the success of liberty. And the United States of America will not relent until this war is won.
May God bless the people of Iraq, and may God bless America.
A speech about Iraq and America, but not about him.
Perhaps it’s these character issues which make the military respect Bush infinitely more than they respect Obama.