What Really Happened in Benghazi?
Americans (at least the ones who know where Libya is) are understandably confused and angry about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack that killed US ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi.
If they are looking to the current congressional hearings to clarify what really happened, they will be greatly disappointed.
Despite accusations by Republican leaders that Obama committed has treason and is trying to cover it up, they have no more interest than Democrats in bringing out the truth.
No one wants the dirty little secret coming out that Stevens was involved in a covert CIA operation to funnel Libyan weapons and jihadists to Syria to fight the Assad regime.
The funding, arming and training of Al Qaeda terrorists for geopolitical ends is a well-established pillar of US foreign policy. (National Counterterrorism Center Report on Terrorism 2011). This isn’t a partisan issue, as CIA support for jihad has received equal levels of support from both Obama and his predecessor George W Bush.
The Road to Damascus Starts in Benghazi
The May 9th Washington’s Blog provides a comprehensive summary of the factual details about September 2012 that have come out over the past eight months. Numerous official and mainstream sources confirm that Benghazi is a long time stronghold of Al Qaeda terrorists, who transferred their focus to Syria and the Assad regime after Gaddafi was overthrown.
For example (specific sources shown in parentheses):
- The US-supported opposition which overthrew Libyan president Muammar Gadaffi was largely comprised of Al Qaeda terrorists (Telegraph interview with Libyan rebel commander).
- According to a 2007 report by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s center, the Libyan city of Benghazi was one of Al Qaeda’s main headquarters and sent Al Qaeda fighters into Iraq prior to Gaddafi’s overthrow (West Point military academy).
- Al Qaeda is now largely in control of Libya, and the Libyan Provisional Government immediately ran up Al Qaeda flags at the Benghazi courthouse (the seat of their new government) after Gaddafi was overthrown (Daily Mail).
- Gaddafi, who always maintained Benghazi was an Al Qaeda stronghold, was on the verge of invading the city in 2011. However NATO planes stopped him, and protected Benghazi (Telegraph correspondent in Benghazi).
- CNN, the Telegraph, the Washington Times and many other mainstream sources confirm that since Gaddafi’s overthrow, Al Qaeda terrorists from Libya have been flooding into Syria to fight the Assad regime.
- Mainstream sources, such as the New York Times also confirm the Syrian opposition is largely comprised of Al Qaeda terrorists.
- Despite claims to the contrary, The U.S. has been arming the Syrian opposition since 2006. (Reuters, New York Times, Washington Post, CBC News).
- The post-Gaddafi Libyan government is also a top funder and arms supplier of the Syrian opposition. (Washington Post, Telegraph correspondent in Istanbul).
Was Stevens Running the Operation?
Mounting evidence suggests Stevens was assigned to run the covert CIA operation to funnel Libyan arms and jihadists to Syria via Turkey:
- In 2011, Stevens was appointed to be the Obama administration’s liaison with the “budding Libyan opposition” (ABC News).
- Stevens and the State Department worked directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, who has direct connections with Al Qaeda (Russia Today).
- The Wall Street Journal, Telegraph and other sources confirm that the US consulate (which wasn’t really a consulate but a “State Department Special Mission Compound”) in Benghazi was mainly being used for a secret CIA operation.
- Retired Lt. General William Boykin, former US Special Forces Commander and deputy defense undersecretary for intelligence (who worked with the CIA in the 1990s), stated in a January interview that it’s a “reasonable supposition” that Stevens was in Benghazi as part of an effort to arm the Syrian opposition. He draws this conclusion based on 1) the directive Stevens was given to support the Syrian rebels, 2) the logical assumption the Special Mission Compound would be the hub of that activity and 3) the absence lack of any other logical explanation for Stevens’ sudden reappearance in Benghazi on September 10, 2012 after a year’s absence. (CNS News)
- Egyptian security officials and US intelligence sources have confirmed Boykin’s hypothesis (WND Politics, CNBC)
Why Was Stevens Murdered?
I have yet to see a plausible explanation anywhere for the terrorist attack on the Special Mission Compound or Stevens’ murder. Perhaps a genuine congressional investigation – in place of the soap operate we saw last week – could come up with some genuine leads. However so long as Congress refuses to examine the covert operation angle, they are unlikely to add much to what we already know.
I agree with Boykin that the Obama administration and Congress need to come clean, without necessarily revealing details, that Stevens was involved in a covert operation. The main problem (besides being illegal and morally bankrupt and undermining US standing internationally) with the existing US policy of covertly funding and arming jihadists is that it isn’t secret any more.
This continuing duplicity on the part of the Obama administration and Congress only further undermines Americans’ confidence in government, as well as the major respect the United States used to enjoy abroad.
Dr. Bramhall is a retired American child and adolescent psychiatrist, activist and political refugee in New Zealand.
Her first book The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee describes the circumstances that led her to leave the US in 2002. She has also published two young adult novels about political activism: The Battle for Tomorrow: A Fable
She is involved in the national leadership of the New Zealand Green Party and has a political blog at StuartJeanneBramhall.com