Benghazi attacks suspect pleads not guilty in US court
By Olivia Hampton
Justice Department could bring additional charges
Abu Khatallah charged over deadly attack on American mission in Benghazi pleads not guilty during a brief appearance in US federal court.
The Libyan militia leader ****(we have said it over a thousand times he is not a militia leader he is the idiot of the village the real leader of the Militia who coordinated together with Morsi of Egypt and Obama of the U.S.A. his name is: Ismael Sallabithe most feared person in Libya) charged over a deadly attack on the American mission in Benghazi pleaded not guilty during a brief appearance in US federal court Saturday.
A federal grand jury indicted Ahmed Abu Khatallah during the rare Saturday session on a single charge of conspiracy to provide material support and resources****(he CANNOT TIE HIS SHOE LACES AND HE PROVIDED ALL THAT? PLEASE! We know how theFEDERAL GRAND JURY WORKS….they fabricate everything just to COVER-UP THIS MINOR MISHAP WHICH ITS TAKING GREAT LENGTHS IN BRINGING AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT TO BE IMPEACHED AS THE SAME GOES FOR HILLARY CLINTON) to terrorists for the attacks that killed US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans two years ago.
He was ****(KIDNAPPED from Libya and then taken to the American ship where he was tortured and then he was flown)flown to Washington by helicopter shortly after sunrise from a US Navy warship where he had been held and interrogated since his high-profile capture two weeks ago, a law enforcement official said.
The suspect, believed to be 43 and also known as Ahmed Mukatallah, listened to the court proceedings through an interpreter and raised his right hand before public defender Shelli Peterson entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
Wearing a dark tracksuit, Abu Khatallah had a long, dark gray beard and mustache with curly hair, court sketches showed. He was not handcuffed.
The case’s lead prosecutor warned that the Justice Department could bring additionalcharges against Abu Khatallah during the ongoing investigation about the assault that saw gunmen storm the US mission in Benghazi and set it on fire.
“Right now, the right move was to not show all your cards at once,“ ****(what he means is that they are going to fabricate more lies to cover Hillary Clinton the arms dealer and Obama the coordinator)a senior law enforcement official explained.
A CIA annex was also targeted in the attacks that shocked Washington, quickly growing into a highly charged political issue. ****(of course it caused a highly charged political issue as the CIA ANNEX is to interrogate all kidnapped people from all over the world in a non-American soil! This for the American people does not exist and with the killing of the 4 Americans it came to light.)
Abu Khatallah is due back in court, located just a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the White House, on Wednesday for a detention hearing, and again on July 8 for a status hearing.
The US State Department has identified Khatallah as a senior leader of Ansar al-Sharia ***(again they got it wrong the man may belong to the group of Ansar al Sharia but is not responsible for the attack, the one responsible isIsmael Sallabi ), a Libyan group responsible for a spate of attacks and assassinations.
US commandos captured Khatallah — who could face the death penalty — two weeks ago in a covert raid on Libyan soil.
Libya accused Washington of violating its sovereignty,****(it’s not the first time the Americans have done that, lets not forget Anas al Liby he was also kidnapped) though it had failed to fulfill an outstanding arrest warrant against Abu Khatallah because of the tense security situation in the flashpoint eastern city of Benghazi.
The raid represents a victory for President Barack Obama, who has faced intense criticism over his administration’s handling of the Benghazi assault and its aftermath.
Some Republicans have criticized the administration’s decision to try Khatallah in civilian court rather than through the Guantanamo Bay special military tribunals.
Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte expressed “serious concerns that conducting a rushed interrogation onboard a ship and then turning Khattalah over to our civilian courts risks losing critical intelligence that could lead usto other terrorists or prevent future attacks.” ****(No need just ask Obama and he will tell you when the next terrorist act will take place)
The case relies heavily on accounts from Libyan officials ****(who have dual citizenship Libya/American) and witnesses who have singled out Khatallah as taking part in the assault that day.
FBI investigators were only able to visit the crime scenes to collect evidence several weeks after the assault due to high security concerns.
Nevertheless, the government is “very confident in our ability to bring this case to prosecution and secure a conviction,” a senior law enforcement official said.
“The bottom line is you don’t commit the resources we committed to go to the other side of the world apprehending an individual, bringing him on a ship for prosecution if you are not very confident in your case.” ***(yes you do if you want to cover the ass of Obama and Clinton it’s not the first time and it will not be the last)
FBI Director James Comey hailed Abu Khatallah’s capture as a “major step forward” in the investigation, but stressed that the agency’s work was not yet over.
“This case remains one of our top priorities and we will continue to pursue all others who participated in this brazen attack on our citizens and our country,” he said.
The choice of the US District Court in Washington to try Abu Khatallah was unusual, as most terror suspects tried in the United States since the September 11, 2001 attacks have been tried in federal courts in New York and Alexandria, Virginia.
Khatallah had often been seen in public and defiantly spoke with reporters last year at a luxury hotel in Benghazi.
US officials have dismissed suggestions that the suspect was “hiding in plain sight,”or that the operation to capture him could have been conducted much sooner. ****(He was not hiding, he was actually interviewed by CNN, FOX and other channels so the US officials are lying through their teeth.)
The Benghazi attack raised questions about security at US diplomatic facilities worldwide and the accuracy of US intelligence on militant threats.
Republicans charged that the White House failed to respond decisively and then tried to hide some facts in the grisly episode.
The Obama administration, in turn, has accused critics of politicizing a tragic event.
We publish the full map to free the Egyptian army camps in Libya .. Takfirists Libyans have 40 million pieces of weapons .. and factories Libyan connection with the production of uniforms of our armed forces .. and plan to include fighters from Mali and Algeria and Yemen
Sources sovereign reliable, that the so-called“Egyptian army free” includes more than 800 members trained exercises high, they received in the camp of Sirte, led by jihadists gunmen, affiliated to the leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar, which showed that he was killed but did he didn’t die, and he is now in Libya, to run this camp, which distributes the fighters on the fronts, which is battling al-Qaeda.
The sources added that Abdul Baset Azzouz is the envoy by Ayman al-Zawahiri to create squares for training terrorist elements, including the movement of Ansar al-Sharia, a regional traffic found in northern Mali and Tunisia, Libya, Egypt.
Explained that the movement was led by terrorist Ahmed Ashoush before he was arrested in Kafr El Dawar, one of the most dangerous armed movements, as well as processing and provide them with the movements of the Egyptian armed with all sorts of weapons accumulated to have, especially in Benghazi and Misurata, where the geographical area of the spread of weapons of Libyan arrived from Matrouh Even to North Sinai.
She emphasized that the leader of the jihadist Sharif Radwan is one of the leaders of «Supporters of House of Sharia» The commander «Egyptian army free», a former detainee, arrested, and went after the January revolution, to Syria, and from there to Libya, to lead the Egyptian army free, on our western borders, after he succeeded in kidnapping the Egyptian security Tharwat Salah Shehata, from Ajdabiya, Libya, and the media portray it as he was arrested in Tenth of Ramadan. Pointed out that the most dangerous elements in Libya is Salaabi Ismail, who coordinates associated with the Doharelationship of friendship with the country’s intelligence chief Ghanem al-Qubaisi. They pointed to the role of Kami Summer, and Abu Ubaidah al-Libi, their contacts in a cow Zadeh officials of international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, to discuss the inclusion of new elements from Mali, Algeria and Yemen to form the first «Islamic army» to confront the Egyptian army.
For his part, Major General Sameh Seif Yazal, that Iran is supplying so-called Egyptian army free the necessary information, to reach the best points that can be transmitted to 700 elements of the army to the Egyptian border, and that the reasons for calling the charge d’affaires of Iran days years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In turn, according to the American Jewish Yousef Bodansky, former director of the Congressional Working Group on terrorism and unconventional warfare in a press report that the struggle over Egypt on the verge of a major escalation with the insistence of the main sponsors of the terrorists in Syria to launch a similar campaign against it.
Continued Bodansky, director of research at the Association of Strategic and International Studies, he is being handed groups intern, which includes terrorists experienced from Sudan and others who fought in Syria and elsewhere, along with the Egyptians, weapons, vehicles and other equipment that they have storedin «Burqa »Libya waiting to be sent to Egypt.
Pointed out that «Sheriff Radwan», which took part in the fighting in Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Pakistan, is the commander or the commander of the army in the Ismail Salaabi in coordination with the sponsors of foreign intelligence agencies supervising, and plays a leadership Libyan Abu Ubaida liaison with Qatar.
Bodansky also confirmed that military intelligence officials and the country living in Libyan territorymet Abu Ubaida several times to get reports on the training of those terrorists, and in parallel with the construction of the FSA, is being supported Ansar Jerusalem in Sinai.
According to the same report, the Libyan factories are now in the process of the production of uniforms worn by the Egyptian army, as these clothes are being distributed on the militants, in preparation for infiltration into Egypt and implementation of terrorist plot. Owns Takfirists Libyans, Egyptians led several camps, carrying 40 million pieces of weapons, in the absence of the state and central government.
Distributed Takfirists on our borders in several camps, including: Camp Zintan, and is subject to the Department of Ansar al-Sharia in Libya and their leader Joseph Jahani, has exited from the group carried out a facility named Omnas oil in southern Algeria near the border with Libya, and the camp of Abu Salim and supervised by Abu Dujana currently located in northwest Syria, a specialist in the preparation of suicide bombers.
Also there Takfirists Butkna Green Mountain within the military command center of the Libyan Fighting Group, which is next to the city of Derna camp most sophisticated and equipped and running sessions according to the foundations of the Academy, and the respect of the manufacture, installation and dismantling explosives, toxic substances in addition to training on the various types of weapons. Camp Brotherhood, as well as “Muslim” and is based in Benghazi Bofajr area and it came out Vanguards operations room Libya rebels hijacked by the Prime Minister Zaidane because of his refusal to condemn the overthrow of Marsa Ayat and his visit to Egypt.
There is a camp for Salafi jihadist, housed in an area Liethy Benghazi and supervised by Abdul Baset Azzouz adviser to al-Zawahiri, as there is a camp city of Sirte, specifically in the area back away from the city center a distance of 15 kilometers, which is the latest of these camps and has great importance because of the quality of reinforcing the expertise of trainers of different nationalities, and witness the movement of the task and dense, and this camp is the main link between the various jihadist camps in Libya.
There are other camps on the Tunisian border, such as: a camp at the base of Wattayah weather in the west of Libya, near the cities of Nice and the department in Al Ojailat bordering Tunisia, where trains Abu Ayaz Tunisian personnel to him, in addition to the camp of Abu Muhajir Libi, who has a direct relationship to what is happening in Egypt because its relatively far from the eyes of the intelligence services.
At the camp pheasant Toho exist thousands of ” extremist groups “ of countries of the Maghreb and the countries of the Sahara and even from Senegal and Nigeria , has contributed to direct fighters to the front of the victory in Syria , such as Abu Ishaq Alsartaoa and Abualosud Aldrnawi , in addition to preparing fighters Front advocacy and standardization and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb the group ” undersigned blood ” uses where the international airport , which is run by Turkish companies and Lebanese after the agreement with the international Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood , which put Egypt on top of the list and then Syria and Tunisia.
Can Washington Overthrow Three Governments at the Same Time?
By Thierry Meyssan
The power of a state is measured by its ability to defend itself and to attack on one or more fronts. In this context, Washington is trying for the first time to show it can overthrow three governments simultaneously: Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela. If it succeeds, no government would be henceforth able to resist it.
Washington, which failed in 2011 to bomb Libya and Syria simultaneously, is now engaged in a new demonstration of its strength: organizing regime change in three states at the same time, in different regions of the world: Syria (CentCom), Ukraine (EuCom) and Venezuela (SouthCom).
To do this, President Obama has mobilized almost the entireNational Security Council team.
First, Advisor Susan Rice and Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power. These two women are champions of “democratic” talk. They have for many years specialized in advocating interference in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of preventing genocide. But behind this generous rhetoric, they couldn’t care less about non-US lives as shown by Ms. Power during the chemical weapons crisis in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. The ambassador, who was aware of the innocence of the Syrian authorities, had gone to Europe with her husband to attend a film festival dedicated to Charlie Chaplin, while her government denounced a crime against humanity, the responsibility for which was placed upon President al Assad.
Then, the three regional co-ordinators:Philip Gordon ( Middle East and North Africa ), Karen Donfried (Europe and Eurasia ) and Ricardo Zuñiga ( Latin America).
• Phil Gordon (personal friend and translator of Nicolas Sarkozy) organized the sabotage of the Geneva 2 Peace Conference as long as the Palestinian issue is not settled to the U.S. liking. During the second session of the conference, while John Kerry spoke of peace, Gordon met with the heads of Jordanian, Qatari , Saudi and Turkish intelligence services in Washington to prepare for yet another attack. The plotters have gathered an army of 13,000 men, of whom only 1,000 were given brief military training, to drive tanks and take Damascus. The problem is that the column may be destroyed by the Syrian Army before arriving in the capital. But they fail to agree on how to defend it without distributing anti-aircraft weapons that could later be used against Israel.
• Karen Donfried is the former national intelligence officer for Europe. She has long led the German Marshall Fund in Berlin. Today, she manipulates the European Union to hide Washington interventionism in Ukraine.Despite the leak of a phone conversation involving Ambassador Victoria Nuland, she succeeded in convincing Europeans that the opposition in Kiev wanted to join them and was fighting for democracy. Nonetheless, more than half of the Maidan rioters are members of the Nazi party and brandish portraits of collaborator Stepan Bandera.
• Finally, Ricardo Zuñiga is the grandson of the namesake President of the National Party of Honduras who organized the coups of 1963 and 1972 in favor of General López Arellano. He directed the CIA station in Havana where he recruited and financed agents to form opposition to Fidel Castro.He mobilized the extreme Trotskyist Venezuelan left to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, accused of being a Stalinist.
The whole process is hyped under the leadership of one Dan Rhodes. This propaganda specialist has already written the official version of September 11, 2001, drafting the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry. He managed to remove all traces of the military coup (power was removed from the hands of George W. Bush at about 10am and it was returned that evening; all the members of his cabinet and those of Congress were placed in secure bunkers “to ensure their safety”) so that we remember only the attacks.
In all three cases, the U.S. narrative is based on the same principles: accuse governments of killing their own citizens, qualify opponents as ’democratic’; impose sanctions against the “murderers” and ultimately operate coups.
Each time, the movement begins with a demonstration during which peaceful opponents are killed, and where both sides accuse each other of violence. In fact U.S. or NATO special forces placed on rooftops shoot at both the crowd and the police. This was the case in Daraa (Syria) ***( in Benghazi (Libya)) in 2011, Kiev (Ukraine) and Caracas (Venezuela) this week. Alas for bad luck:autopsies in Venezuela show that two victims, one opponent and one pro-government, were killed by the same weapon.
Qualifying opponents as democratic activists is a simple game of rhetoric. In Syria, they are Takfirists supported by the worst dictatorship in the world, Saudi Arabia. In Ukraine, a few sincere pro-Europeans surrounded by many Nazis. In Venezuela, young Trotskyists from good families surrounded by goon squads. Everywhere the false U.S. opponent, John McCain, brings his support to true and false on site opponents.
Support for opponents rests with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). This agency of the U.S. government falsely presents itself as an NGO funded by Congress. But it was created byPresident Ronald Reagan, in association with Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. It is headed by the neoconservative Carl Gershman and the daughter of General Alexander Haig (former Supreme Commander of NATO, then Secretary of State ), Barbara Haig. This is the NED (actually the State Department), which employs the “opposition” senator John McCain.
To this operating group, you must add the Albert Einstein Institute, an “NGO” funded by NATO. Created by Gene Sharp, it trained professional agitators from two bases: Serbia (Canvas) and Qatar (Academy of currency).
In all cases, Susan Rice and Samantha Power take on airs of outrage before imposing penalties, soon echoed by the European Union, while they are in fact the sponsors of the violence.
It remains to be seen whether the coups will be successful. Which is far from being certain.
Washington is thus attempting to show the world it is still the master. To be more sure of itself, it launched the Ukrainian and Venezuelan operations during the Olympic Games in Sochi. It was certain that Russia would not move for fear of having its party upset by Islamist attacks. But Sochi ended this weekend. Now it’s Moscow’s turn to play.
An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire at the US facility in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012 (Getty Images)
The September 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead has been the source of much controversy and speculation. Many critics have gone so far as to characterize the Obama administration’s response to the attack as worse than Watergate or Iran-Contra. And some have even called for the commencement of impeachment proceedings.The truth is that attacks on U.S. diplomats and diplomatic missions are an unfortunate reality that have occurred with frightening regularity over the years, but, in fact, have been on the decline since the mid-’90s. During the George W. Bush years, there were 13 attacks on embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions around the world, killing around 100 people. And throughout the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s, attacks were even worse.
An official investigation into the Benghazi attack by the State Department’s Accountability Review Board released a report, concluding, “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.” While there is no doubt that much criticism is deserved surrounding this tragic incident, many of the popular claims about the attack range from inaccurate hyperbole to outright falsities.
The Obama administration, as well as most of the media and punditry, have consistently referred to the facility that was attacked in Benghazi as a “consulate” housing a U.S. diplomatic mission. But you’ll notice here on the State Department’s website that, while there is an American embassy in Tripoli, Benghazi is not listed as one of the U.S. embassies, consulates, or diplomatic missions around the world.
The reality is that the facility was a U.S. intelligence outpost operating under State Department cover and that most of the 30-plus people working there were employed by the CIA.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal back in November of last year, “The U.S. effort in Benghazi was at its heart a CIA operation, according to officials briefed on the intelligence. Of the more than 30 American officials evacuated from Benghazi following the deadly assault, only seven worked for the State Department. Nearly all the rest worked for the CIA, under diplomatic cover, which was a principal purpose of the consulate, these officials said.”Gregory Hicks, who was deputy chief of mission in Tripoli and the so-called whistleblower who spoke before Congress recently, testified that the reason Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi, as opposed to Tripoli, was because he was hoping the State Department would soon announce a permanent diplomatic mission there. But it is still unclear what exactly the CIA was up to there.
Myth No. 2: The Attack Had Nothing to do With the anti-Islam Video
Protesters rip apart the US flag during a protest against the anti-Islam film, “Innocence of Muslims,” in front of the U.S. embassy in Malaysia, part of the protests that occurred in dozens of countries against the film. (Getty Images)
While it has since proven true that there was not a protest outside the facility precipitating the attack, the notion that the attack had absolutely nothing to do with the YouTube video (a clip showing an excerpt from the anti-Islam film “The Innocence of Muslims” that sparked protests and riots in dozens of countries, many of which outside U.S. diplomatic missions) is simply not supported by the facts. In reality, many witnesses who were interviewed shortly after the attack said that the militants from the Ansar al-Sharia brigade were chanting about the video during the assault on the facility.
As reported in the L.A. Times, “Witnesses said members of the group that raided the U.S. mission specifically mentioned the video, which denigrated the prophet Muhammad.”
The Associated Press reported, “There was no sign of a spontaneous protest against an American-made movie denigrating Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. But a lawyer passing by the scene said he saw the militants gathering around 20 youths from nearby to chant against the film. Within an hour or so, the assault began, guns blazing as the militants blasted into the compound.”
The New York Times reported the month after the attack: “To Libyans who witnessed the assault and know the attackers, there is little doubt what occurred: a well-known group of local Islamist militants struck the United States Mission without any warning or protest, and they did it in retaliation for the video. That is what the fighters said at the time, speaking emotionally of their anger at the video without mentioning Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or the terrorist strikes of 11 years earlier.”
This doesn’t mean that the video served as the only reason for the attack. There is some evidence to suggest that perhaps the attack also served as retaliation for the death of Libyan militant and al-Qaeda associate Abu Yahya al-Libi who was killed in a U.S. drone strike three month earlier. But the claims that the attack had nothing whatsoever to do with the video do not comport with the evidence.
Myth No. 3: The Attack Was Pre-Planned and Not Spontaneous
A picture shows the interior of the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi (Getty Images)
A reporter from Foreign Policy arrived in Benghazi on Sept. 13, spoke with locals, surveyed the facility site and concluded that the “attack was haphazard, poorly planned, and badly executed,” and points out that most of the Americans were able to get away by simply using an armored jeep to escape through the front gate and take off down the road which was not blocked—not exactly the hallmarks of a carefully planned assault.
Bloomberg reported that “accounts from U.S. intelligence officials and Benghazi residents, along with evidence in the burned-out American diplomatic compound, point to a hasty and poorly organized act by men with basic military training and access to weapons widely available in Libya.”
And the Washington Post quoted an intelligence source, saying, “There isn’t any intelligence that the attackers pre-planned their assault days or weeks in advance,” adding, “The bulk of available information supports the early assessment that the attackers launched their assault opportunistically after they learned about the violence at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.”
In fact, the official position of the U.S. intelligence community today is still that the attack wasn’t pre-planned. As State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell recently said of UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s much-maligned comments after the attack that she was simply giving the “best assessment that there was not any evidence of months-long pre-planning or pre-meditation, which remains their assessment.”
Myth No. 4: Changing the Talking Points Amounts to a ‘Coverup’
The administration recently released a trove of more than 100 pages of emails showing internal discussion of the talking points concerning the attack going through a dozen different revisions by the State Department and CIA. These are not the emails that were doctored by Republicans and leaked to ABC News, but the actual emails.
In the emails it is clear that the CIA insisted the attack be referred to as spontaneously inspired by the protests in Cairo and following a protest outside the facility. The State Department wanted references to “Al Qaeda” and “Ansar al Sharia” removed. However, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland explained the reason for this in the emails, stating, “Why do we want [Congress] to be fingering Ansar al-Sharia, when we aren’t doing that ourselves until we have investigation results?”
Ben Rhodes, who was then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications, also stated in the emails, “We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.”
While there certainly may have been some politics at play here, all of the evidence in the emails suggest that this was the best assessment of the intelligence available at the time and that the State Department and White House were concerned about saying too much before the facts of the investigation were available, while also expressing some concern over Republicans in Congress making political hay out of the attack. All of this is totally not indicative of a cover-up, but simply politics as usual.
In fact, when Rice spoke on the Sunday shows, she prefaced her comments with the statement, “First of all, it’s important to know that there’s an FBI investigation that has begun and will take some time to be completed. That will tell us with certainty what transpired.”
And, “So we’ll want to see the results of that investigation to draw any definitive conclusions.”
So, in hindsight, perhaps it would have been prudent had Rice not said anything at all, but her comments are not indicative of a cover-up. And it now seems the only thing Rice stated that was incorrect concerned the notion that a protest precipitated the attack. Everything else she said, from the attack being inspired by the video to the attack being spontaneous and not pre-planned, is still supported by the evidence.
Also, it was the administration itself that called for the FBI investigation into the attack and released the complete unclassified findings of the Accountability Review Board’s critical report — not exactly the actions of people wanting to engage in a coverup.
Myth No. 5: There Were Military Response Teams That Could Have Reached Benghazi in Time to Save Those Who Were Killed
Transfer cases are carried into a hangar during the Transfer of Remains Ceremony for the return of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three Americans at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, after they were killed in the attack on the Benghazi facility. (Photo by Molly Riley-Pool/Getty Images)
Some have claimed that a response team was at the-the-ready to respond to the Benghazi attack while Americans were being killed but were told to stand down, implying that perhaps the stand-down order was politically motivated—though to what end is unclear.
Gregory Hicks testified that a four-person team was ready to fly to Benghazi but was unable to get the proper clearance for the mission. However, even Hicks acknowledges that the team would not have reached the attack site in time, and Stevens and the other three Americans were already dead at that point.
In fact, according to the ARB report, the U.S. embassy in Tripoli immediately began to mobilize a response once they received word of the attack and did send a seven-person team to Benghazi. Unfortunately the team arrived just as the second attack began at the nearby CIA annex, as mortar rounds struck the roof and killed Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
The four-person team to which Hicks was referring was a second team that would have arrived hours after the first, at a time when the four Americans had already been killed. Hicks believes the second team could have helped with the wounded and prevent any further attacks, which is perhaps true.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates under both Presidents George W. Bush and Obama also recently admitted that, had he been in charge at the time, the response would have been the same, saying, “Frankly, had I been in the job at the time I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were. We don’t have a ready force standing by in the Middle East.
“Despite all the turmoil that’s going on, with planes on strip alert, troops ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. And so getting somebody there in a timely way – would have been very difficult, if not impossible … The one thing that our forces are noted for is planning and preparation before we send people in harm’s way. And there just wasn’t time to do that.”
The administration may deserve criticism for the inefficient response, but the notion that the second team could have saved the Americans who died or were told to stand down for political reasons is not supported by the evidence.
Bonus Myth: The Attack Was Carried Out by al-Qaeda
Armed masked men stand guard as Osama bin-Laden (center) and Ayman Al-Zawahiri (left) address a news conference in Afghanistan in 1998. (Photo by Getty Images)
The reporting on this issue is varied, but most agree that the attack was carried out primarily by members of the Ansar al-Sharia militant group, which is a Libyan organization made up of former anti-Gaddafi rebels with limited, tangential connections to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Part of the confusion here perhaps stems from the fact that there are two organizations that go by the name “Ansar al-Sharia”, and the other one operates out of Yemen and has direct connections to AQAP.
CNN reported that at least 3 attackers of the 150 men who stormed the facility were AQAP members, though how exactly they were involved has not been determined. The article reads, “Another source briefed on the Benghazi investigation said Western intelligence services suspect the men may have been sent by the group specifically to carry out the attack.But it’s not been ruled out that they were already in the city and participated as the opportunity arose.”
Another CNN report provides vague details of a phone call placed shortly after the attack from the area near the facility to members of AQIM offering congratulations. Although, the article concedes, “There is no proof that the call was specifically about the attack.”
However, it is not true to say that al-Qaeda carried out the attack. Al-Qaeda, the group responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks, is now an organization operating out of Pakistan and led by Ayman al-Zawahiri. There is zero evidence whatsoever that this organization had anything to do with the Benghazi attack. And even though Ansar al Sharia’s connections to so-called al-Qaeda “franchise” or affiliated organizations, such as AQAP and AQIM, are tenuous, there is little evidence to suggest such “franchise” groups take their marching orders from al-Zawahiri.
As Steve Coll points out in a recent New Yorker piece, “A franchise is a business that typically operates under strict rules laid down by a parent corporation; to apply that label to Al Qaeda’s derivative groups today is false.”