Report: Benghazi Presence Was a CIA Operation

If you read one story today, let it be the game-changing article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

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If you read one paragraph today, let it be this, from the game-changing article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal:

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.

Several things follow from that. First, it recasts the questions about security at the compound, which have focused on the State Department and the White House. Those questions include not only whether there was adequate American-led security at the consulate building but also who was responsible for local security and the extent of knowledge of the threat (a primary mission of the agency). In short, it casts the entire episode as a CIA problem rather than a State or White House problem. Says the Journal:

At one point during the consulate siege, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned the CIA director directly to seek assistance. Real-time intelligence from the field was scarce and some officials at State and the Pentagon were largely in the dark about the CIA’s role.

[Source-envy side note: for this nugget alone, the Journal reporters deserve respect. The hardworking Eli Lake has senior U.S. officials’ rebuttal here].

Second, it opens a window onto the politics of Benghazi. It is now clear that the White House had reasons for playing the fallout as mutely as it did. Having previously been accused of leaking classified information about the killing of Osama bin Laden for political purposes, it saw that exposing the covert side of the Benghazi operation to protect itself weeks before the election would be fraught with political risks.

Also, if there is one man in Washington the White House does not want to make an enemy of in the run-up to the election, it is retired General David Petraeus, now the head of the CIA. He is in a tricky spot at the agency: his predecessor, Leon Panetta, was an unlikely success, a former Hill overseer who boosted morale and persuaded the President to risk going after Osama bin Laden based on the agency’s hard work. By contrast, Petraeus has had a shaky start. (It doesn’t help that he is a former top-ranking Army military officer, as the agency has always deeply distrusted brasspace General Hayden, but the Air Force via the NSA doesn’t really count.)

Now some in the intelligence community are beginning to talk about the role their officers played in the chaos. Says a senior U.S. intelligence official:

The officers on the ground in Benghazi responded to the situation on the night of 11 and 12 September as quickly and as effectively as possible. The security officers in particular were genuine heroes.

And the official provides the following timeline:

–Around 9:40pm (local) the first call comes in to the Annex that the Mission is coming under attack.

–Fewer than 25 minutes later, a security team left the Annex for the Mission.

–Over the next 25 minutes, team members approach the compound, attempt to secure heavy weapons, and make their way onto the compound itself in the face of enemy fire.

–At 11:11pm, the requested ISR arrives over the Mission compound.

–By 11:30pm, all US personnel, except for the missing US Ambassador, depart the Mission. The exiting vehicles come under fire.

–Over the next roughly 90 minutes, the Annex receives sporadic small arms fire and RPG rounds; the security team returns fire, and the attackers disperse (approx 1am).

–At about the same time, a team of additional security personnel lands at the Benghazi airport, negotiates for transport into town, and upon learning the Ambassador was missing and that the situation at the Annex had calmed, focused on locating the Ambassador, and trying to secure information on the security situation at the hospital.

–Still pre-dawn timeframe, that team at the airport finally manages to secure transportation and armed escort and — having learned that the Ambassador was almost certainly dead and that the security situation at the hospital was uncertain — heads to the Annex to assist with the evacuation.

–They arrive with Libyan support at the Annex at 5:15am, just before the mortar rounds begin to hit the Annex. The two security officers were killed when they took direct mortar fire as they engaged the enemy. That attack lasted only 11 minutes then also dissipated.

–Less than an hour later, a heavily armed Libyan military unit arrived to help evacuate the compound of all US personnel.

The timeline is a useful reminder of how hairy things were on the ground in Benghazi and how hazardous it is for anyone to be assigning blame before all the facts come out. One wonders whether John McCain would like to take back his assertion on Face the Nation last Sunday that Obama’s handling of Benghazi was “the worst cover-up or incompetence I have ever observed in my life.”

A last observation on Petraeus. It is telling that the opening section of the Journal story, before it jumps to the history and details of the CIA operation in Benghazi, ends with the following:

Mr. Petraeus didn’t attend funerals held later for the two CIA contractors, irking some administration officials and CIA veterans.

After an attack in 2009 on a CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan, one of the deadliest suffered by the agency, then-Director Leon Panetta immediately lifted the cover of the seven CIA officers and contractors killed, publicly acknowledged the agency’s loss and attended several of the funerals.

All in all, it is a tough day on the seventh floor of the agency. With four days until the election, all eyes will be on potential blowback against the White House, State or the Pentagon. For now, to the agency’s credit, the senior U.S. intelligence official is playing it very straight:

At every level in the chain of command, from the senior officers in Libya to the most senior officials in Washington, everyone was fully engaged in trying to provide whatever help they could.  There was no second guessing those decisions being made on the ground, by people at every US organization that could play a role in assisting those in danger.  There were no orders to anybody to stand down in providing support.

The US military’s support was essential and much appreciated — it provided overhead ISR, tactical support sent to the scene from Tripoli, and MEDEVAC.

299 comments
mydawgbilly
mydawgbilly

Who does the CIA report to?  Prez Choom, case closed.   

EdPiedra
EdPiedra

ARE WE A NATION OF MORONS?
Obama counts on that !

UNION MEMBERS AND ALL VOTERS:IT is about the Economy, Truth and your Money in the Bank,,,,,,,, Stupid !Obamacare = Government WILL have Direct access to your Money in the Bank WHY OBAMA DOES NOT DISCLOSE THIS ?? He is so MUM about the above ! ONLY the Union bosses know this and they WILL BE EXEMPT !

http://tinyurl.com/nweao6 ----


PLEASE E-MAIL TO ALL YOUR CONTACTS- TIME IS VERY SHORT !DID HE DISCLOSE THAT VIA OBAMACARE THE GOV WILL HAVE DIRECT ACCES TO YOUR BANK ACOUNT ? Of course not, it is buried and Obama is mummmm !

EdPiedra
EdPiedra

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=374339219308210&set=a.349349441807188.80610.339902456085220&type=1&theaterPRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA =ObamaNixon succumbed to Watergate, Obama will to Benghazigate --In the Watergate nobody DIED. 4 americans were killed in Benghazi after --immediate help was denied , 3 TIMES. TO THEM by Obama and his administration. --THIS IS A PROVEN FACT ! ---Breaking news: There was a live feed into the White House during the hours-long siege of theEmbassy, murder of the Ambassador and mortar attack on the SEALs.This Administration opted to do nothing: No air support, no reinforcement of the embassy, no plan toprotect the SEALs who had the targets in their sites, nothing.They sat there and refused to lift a finger as these brave souls were murdered. ---The people asking for Obama's impeachment are in the right track. THERE IS 
IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE and Obama has been FOUND OUT ! ---He and his administration are lying criminals ! -- Traitors and cover-uppers !
People supporting his reelection are his accomplices ! -- No place to hide !

JorgeJohnson
JorgeJohnson

The Republicans have no shame. That's been clear for a while.

The most damning thing about this report is that Mitt Romney was aware of the truth. We know that he's been briefed on national security issues as the nominee of the GOP.

So he's known this and he continued to put doubts not just in the minds of the American electorate, but in the hearts of the families whose heroic sons were lost.

I'd say, "For shame," but as I said, the Republicans have no shame.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Its amazing and disgusting how the message from Fox News has changedsince the original 9/11. When 3000 Civilians died on American soil,anyone who wanted to find out why Bush ignored the CIA warnings, wasbeing disloyal, divisive and attempting to politicize a tragedy. And yetnow when 4 Non-Civilians die in a combat zone, it is a coverup and wemust get to the bottom of it right away. Wonder what the differencebetween the two tragedies is?

looneytoonsindville
looneytoonsindville

In America, the mainstream media have been obfuscating the coverup of Benghazi. The President himself has stonewalled the few media attempts to obtain facts about the scenario. During the second presidential debate, the "independent" moderator, Candy Crowley, colluded with President Obama to lie to some 65 million Americans about his failure to identify the attack on the US Diplomatic Mission at Benghazi as a TERRORIST ATTACK. The failures and cover up just go on and on, the BS gets deeper and deeper. Today, we learn that 23 of the 30 Americans in Benghazi were CIA operatives. What does that tell you about why the US military didn't respond to attempt a defense of the Americans present? Was General Carter Ham of Africom ordered not to mount a defense? Was Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette, the commander of the USS John C. Stennis strike group, removed from command for the same reason? There are MANY MANY questions but very few answers.

ahandout
ahandout

How did the Turkish consul general get away from the Benghazi compound when witnesses say that the streets were blocked by armed men in trucks at least 30 minutes before he left?  And, why has it been reported by the CIA and our government that "all was quite" when the Turkish ambassador left?  That not true either.  The security forces are telling reportersthat they seen the trucks setting up blockades three hours before that attack.What do we get?  More lies from Obama willingly repeated by the MSM lapdogs. Finally, you have to be a complete idiot, or a rabid Obama supporter to accept anything from this administration that suggests that they didn't know, are not responsible, or point the finger at someone else.

http://counterpsyops.com/2012/11/03/did-turkey-play-a-role-in-benghazi-attack/Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2012/11/02/report-benghazi-presence-was-a-cia-operation/#ixzz2BFGdB9ib

ahandout
ahandout

Continueing...Eyewitnesses refute the CIA timeline ordered up by the Obama administration to try and further their cover up.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/03/exclusive-security-officials-on-ground-in-libya-challenge-cia-account/

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/03/exclusive-security-officials-on-ground-in-libya-challenge-cia-account/http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/03/exclusive-security-officials-on-ground-in-libya-challenge-cia-account/http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/03/exclusive-security-officials-on-ground-in-libya-challenge-cia-account/

ahandout
ahandout

The MSM are such fools.  Slobbering and fawning over the administration; never questioning.  Time is just a joke.  It is right up there with MSNBC.  This report from eyew

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

The thing about lies is, once  you start it all out with a lie you can't keep the original lie straight especially when days and weeks go by.  

The truth of the matter is this Administration led by Barack Obama attempted to cover-up a complete failure on their part.  FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES so this President would not look bad in the weeks before an election.  That is what we are seeing here.  

The "video" which a citizen is STILL in jail had absolutely nothing to do with the Benghazi attack.  That lie is very clear, but what we were told from the very beginning and for weeks the Obama Administration and Obama himself kept that lie alive.  

Then we were told they didn't have "optimal" in-tell on the ground despite at least 2 drones and tons of people on the ground at the time.  So now we are to believe the CIA was there all along?  That their personnel were at the ready and they were given the go-ahead?  Nothing but more bullcrap cover-up.  

What does make total sense based upon Obama's previous actions is that an order went out to "stand down".  To not do anything that would result in Libyan or Muslim lives being lost.  That's most likely what happened.  If you have an Administration which is on record calling an attack on our military as "workplace violence" instead of a terrorist attack, that same Administration would do anything to prevent or to not look like they were on the defense or offense against a bunch of Jihadis in Libya.  

Tell the truth for once.  Make the CIA give documented proof of what went down.  It's documented, and we all know it.  But printing the lies now being told is not going to cut it for most of us.  We just want the truth, not excuses.  

rad
rad

Even if the timeline is accurate as written, it does not exonerate the PResident and his staff from purposely misleading the public about the "you tube" video riot that had gone amouk.  The leaders were willing to let a private citizen take the blame and fall for causing this heinous act.  Not only that, they let him be paraded in front of TV news camera while handcuffed.  I can be persuaded that the tohers facts are as you state.  But the reinvention of the timeline to mislead is inexcusable.  Where is that accused man now?  Probably in jail and will be discreetly and quietly released after the election I'll wager.

JorgeJohnson
JorgeJohnson

@EdPiedra Learn to read. There are programs that can help, but you have to act fast. If Romney wins you'll be kept in ignorance for the rest of your life.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@EdPiedra You disgusting ghoulish troll. Even Paul Wolfwicz who is a Neo Con and no friend of Obama says flat out that everything that could have been done was done and no stand down order was issued. The initial attack was over in minutes. The attack on the second outpost came a few hours later and consisted primarily of a number of mortar shells. But by all means please provide links to your IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE. But I know you have none, just moronic graphics created by idiots for idiots.

JorgeJohnson
JorgeJohnson

@looneytoonsindville Learn to read instead of mouthing off and you'll have your answers.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@looneytoonsindville There are many questions from the propaganda network that is Fox and yet none of them are based in reality. Find some other tragedy to attempt and politicize you ghoulish trolls.

StephenHaley
StephenHaley

@ahandout Where do ppl like you come from. You support the study that demonstrated low IQ correlates with conservative ideology

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout And why do you get you sources from websites that don't even exist? The Fox lie has been exposed for the vicious, cynical smear job that it was get over it.

JAG
JAG

@ahandout 

and yet here are 3 different interviews from people that actually know what they are talking about..... 

Former Ambassador Nicholas Burns

http://video.msnbc.msn.com/mitchell-reports/49480372

General Jack Keane says Obama response was appropriate, quick…. and effective for this type of attack…. this is a FOX News Interview.... 

http://mediamatters.org/video/2012/10/25/fox-military-analyst-counters-rest-of-network-d/190932#disqus_thread

Condi debunks critics and says wait for investigation…..

http://video.foxnews.com/v/1922827219001/condi-rice-on-benghazi-2012-race/

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout Sorry Troll. Fox News has no credibility after their barrage of lies on this issue. None whatsoever. Find something else to lie about.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout No Troll you are a joke. You talk about things you know nothing about using sources who's only agenda is to smear the president.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@LiberalLies2012 Who's truth is that Rusty. The only lie was the one made by Fox News and the rest of you lying Right Wingers and this is the lie the CIA went out of their way to slap down yesterday. There was no order to stand down. Find another lie to try and perpetrate on this forum.

JAG
JAG

@rad   

What do eyewitnesses say about the events in Benghazi? Were they related to the insulting video, or is that a red herring? And was the assault planned for the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, or was it spontaneous?

According to reporting by David D. Kirkpatrick and Suliman Ali Zway of The New York Times, eyewitnesses have said there was no peaceful demonstration against the video outside the compound before the attack, though a crowd of Benghazi residents soon gathered, and some later looted the compound. 

But the attackers, recognized as members of a local militant group called Ansar al-Shariah, did tell bystanders that they were attacking the compound because they were angry about the video. They did not mention the Sept. 11 anniversary. Intelligence officials believe that planning for the attack probably began only a few hours before it took place.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/us/politics/questions-and-answers-on-the-benghazi-attack.html?ref=politics

outsider
outsider

@rad  

I"m so going to enjoy how upset you guys are going to be on Wed. 

It's all you deserve, after trying to screw over your own gov't. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@rad That accusses man was a convicted felon that was jailed for violating his parole. Don't even try and connect the two. And the president gave us the best intel available at the time, unlike past Republican presidents that have yet to come clean on things like Iran/Contra, 9/11 and the real reason we invaded Iraq.

outsider
outsider

@ahandout  

 Obama should have been destroyed by now. That was the plan.He was going to be “Swift Boated” in this election, just like John Kerry was in 2004.Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83236.html#ixzz2BB9Ulp4h

It would be about Benghazi, where on Sept. 11 of thisyear, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans werekilled. This would be the spear point that would fatally wound theObama campaign.

It would be a classic smear: The Obama administration had delivered a“stand down” order to potential rescuers, and so the four Americans haddied.

Why would any agency or anybody in the administration do such athing? It didn’t matter. Wingnuts can always find motives. There arestill people who say Bill Clinton murdered Vince Foster. Whole bookshave been written about that one.

There are legitimate questions to be answered about what happened atBenghazi. There always are questions after such tragedies. Warnings wereignored by the George W. Bush administration before the attacks ofSept. 11, 2001, after all. Were warnings ignored in Libya? Hindsightwill probably find some.

But Ambassador Stevens would hardly have ventured to Benghazi withinadequate protection if he thought there were legitimate warnings notto do so.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83236.html#ixzz2BB9bD8Ra

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 @EdPiedra  MD, I guess I will have to recommend that you be flagged for name calling.  That's all you have; that and your lies.

The attack on the annex went on for at least 90 minutes and some reports say hours.  Then it died down before the mortar attack.  And the car that carried the people from the consulate to the annex came under heavy fire and grenade attacks. Stop spinning for the liar in chief. 

JAG
JAG

@mantisdragon91 @looneytoonsindville  mantisdragon..... BRAVO!!! Very well said... I am so sick of these right wing trolls going off on what is rooted VERY little in reality..... 

ahandout
ahandout

My GPA  is double yours.

erichwwk
erichwwk

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout Actually, if you bother to read foreign accounts (or Associated Press) you'll realize that the blockade was pretty much in place by 8:00 PM,  that the Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin left at 8:30 AFTER the blockade of ~150 armed and well marked militia were in place.  "ahandout" is correct in this widely reported information, and that this "Benghazi Consulate/embassy" was a coverup for a CIA arms smuggling operation.

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout  The only lies have come from Obama.  Show me the evidence that there was a demonstration, a crowd that got out of control.  

Show me where all the information that has been released to the public by Obama.  That was a whopper.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout Its always amusing how Fox news always mentions these mysterious sources and yet none of the prove to be true. Here is a hint for you Troll. Their sources are Karl Rove, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes.

StephenHaley
StephenHaley

@outsider2011 @ahandout Fox and the GOP are filled with treasonous people who want to carry guns at home but would never carry a gun to defend this country They place our national security in jeopardy always  Your comments concerning Bush-Cheney and 9-11 are on the money!!!!

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout @mantisdragon91 @EdPiedra The attack on the annex was over in minutes.The mortar attack came hours later at a different location.  Don't believe me read what Paul Wolfwictz a Neo Con member of Bush's administration and no friend of Obama had to say on the matter.

Its amazing that former Bush administration members Collin Powell, Condi Ric and Paul Wolfwicz have all come out exonerating the president and yet you, Fox News and other mentally unstable individuals have continued to attempt and push this lie on the American people.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout @mantisdragon91 Yes and of those two Congressional investigations  one has already committed treason by posting sensitive State Documents online. And yet they have found nothing to help them in their attempts to smear the President.

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout Every news investigation into something like this has anonymous sources.  There are two Congressional investigations on Benghazi, and those people are in danger of being killed by all sides.