Recently declassified transcripts from previously top secret hearings conducted by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees reveal that not only did President Obama lie to the American public about the events of September 11th, 2012 but that our military was caught entirely unprepared for such an attack.
For those who don’t remember or are unfamiliar on September 11th, 2012 a US Consulate office in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by armed insurgents resulting in the deaths of four Americans including our Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. In the weeks following the attack the White House persistently pushed the idea that the attack was not terrorism related and was instead an angry response to an anti-Muslim video posted on the internet. Official statements from the State Department and the White House both reiterated this message several times; including statements made by President Obama and Secretary Clinton. On the Sunday following the attack Susan Rice, then US Ambassador to the UN, made the rounds on the Sunday talk show circuit repeating the message that there was no evidence of terrorism and that it was simply a protest that had gotten out of control. An investigation, on-going since shortly after the attack, conducted by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees has been slowly piecing together a different picture of what transpired. With the recent declassification of previously classified testimony America now knows the truth that the White House lied.
According to the transcripts General Carter Ham, AFRICOM commander at the time, said that he learned of the attack within fifteen minutes of its beginning and that he immediately went to brief General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. From there the two Generals went to see then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. General Ham told House committee members that the discussion he had with Panetta and Dempsey did not include anything about a protest or demonstration and that they had considered this to be a terrorist attack from the beginning. At the time of General Ham’s briefing Panetta and Dempsey were already heading to the White House for a meeting with President Obama. Leon Panetta testified that it was he who briefed the President on the attack in Benghazi. During questioning by the Senate Armed Services Committee Panetta was asked by Senator Jim Inhofe, “Secretary Panetta, do you believe that unequivocally at that time we knew that this was a terrorist attack?” To which he replied, “There was no question in my mind that this was a terrorist attack.”
In addition to Ham, Dempsey and Panetta, Marine Corp Colonel George Bristol, commander of AFRICOM’s Joint Special Operations Task Force, was also questioned by Congress. During his hearing Representative Brad Wenstrup posed to Bristol, “So no one from the military was ever advising, that you are aware of, that this was a demonstration gone out of control, it was always considered an attack…” To which Bristol replied, “Yes, Sir.”
In addition to testimony from senior defense and Military leaders, it seems several senior officers within the State Department knew immediately of the terrorist nature of the attack as well. Two of then-Secretary of State Clinton’s aides were asked by a reporter on October 9th, “What in all of these events that you’ve described led officials to believe for the first several days that this was prompted by protests against the video?” One of the officials responded, “That is a question that you would have to ask others. That was not our conclusion.”
The investigation has also revealed that our forces were caught entirely off guard by this attack which seems peculiar considering it occurred on September 11th, a day which is usually marked by a heightened state of alert. Among the findings of the investigation are that no attack aircraft were placed on emergency alert and that the closest attack aircraft to the AFRICOM Theater were located in Aviano, Italy and were left unarmed. There were also no AC-130 Spectre gunships anywhere within 10 hours flight time of Libya. And that AFRICOM was, at the time, the only one of the six major geographical Military commands that did not have its own commander’s in-extremis force (CIF). A CIF is a unit of Special Forces operators that can employed at the discretion of the commander. The AFRICOM CIF was not stood up until October 1st, 2012.
The Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Martha Roby, concluded:
“It does not appear that U.S. military forces, units, aircrafts, drones, or specific personnel that could have been readily deployed in the course of the attack in Benghazi were unduly held back, or told to stand down, or refused permission to enter the fight. Rather, we were so badly postured, they could not have made a difference or we were desperately needed elsewhere.”
The day before the attack the White House released a statement assuring the public that every possible precaution was being taken in preparation for a possible attack. The White House stated that Counter-terrorism Advisor John Brennan had personally conducted several weeks’ worth of meetings with top defense and Military officials leading up to September 11th to ensure that our Military would be ready for anything. General Carter Ham refutes this claim. During testimony before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Martha Roby asked Ham, “So did anyone in DOD, the White House or national security staff, including Mr. Brennan, review the force posture with you?” Ham responded, “Not personally with me. I did have a discussion with General Dempsey. … I did not have a personal discussion with anyone at the national security staff.” Despite the fact that Ham was the commanding General of AFRICOM, one of the most hotly contested and tumultuous command regions in the world, no one from the President’s National Security team spoke to him about force readiness.
So far the investigation has revealed that not only did the White House lie about the nature of the attack in the days and weeks following but it also seems to have lied about our level of readiness leading up to the attack. The one thing the investigation has not discovered is the motive for lying; however, this seems fairly obvious. The attack occurred less than eight weeks before the 2012 Presidential election, an election that was already looking like it would be hard fought. President Obama, as part of his campaign rhetoric, had been telling America that he had destroyed al Qaeda; that they were on the run around the world. Susan Rice reiterated this sentiment following the Benghazi attack during her Sunday talk show tour when she claimed, “we have decimated al Qaeda.” Reports from the CIA and even from the new Libyan government indicated that this attack was carried out by AQ affiliated groups (al Qaeda in Iraq and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb). Having to admit that an AQ linked terrorist attack had occurred on September 11th resulting in the death of an American ambassador would not have looked good for Obama. Having to further explain that the attack was aided by our extreme state of unpreparedness would look even worse. It seems fairly obvious that for the sake of his reelection bid President Obama decided to lie to the American people about what happened and why.
Whatever side of the political fence you happen to reside, whatever you happen to believe about his motivations for doing so, one thing is certain. President Obama and his administration lied to the American people about what happened in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012. You also won’t find a single mention of this on CNN, CBS News, NBC News, ABC News or MSNBC; this incredible story is being covered exclusively by Fox News.