Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
One key member of the House Intelligence Committee today said the testimony from former CIA Director David Petraeus was a fine introduction to the Obama administration scandal that developed in Benghazi, Libya, but more testimony is going to be needed by Congress.
A lot more.
And from people like Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta and Robert Mueller.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said today after her committee had heard a few details about the Benghazi calamity that included the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others that the “various committees with proper oversight of these matters in Congress have yet to hear from the principal decision makers who responded to what occurred September 11 and 12 when American lives were placed in peril.”
“National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and their subordinates in their respective chains of command who carried out their directives all should testify before Congress so the American people get the answers they deserve,” Bachmann said.
“While DNI Chief Clapper and General Petraeus came before our committee, their respective remarks are only an introduction – certainly not rising to a full investigation – regarding the attacks that transpired in Benghazi.”
Bachmann said the closed-door hearing today with Petraeus “underscores the need for a thorough investigation of what happened during the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. From beginning to end, the American people are still without knowledge of what happened on that tragic day. The hearings that we have held to this point have not produced answers to the questions that the victims’ families and the American people deserve to have answered.”
Bachmann said there are three key areas where questions need to be answered.
“The first is the lack of security at the Benghazi mission prior to the September 11 attack. We now know there were numerous reports of a deteriorating situation with security in eastern Libya prior to the attack. With that knowledge, why were the repeated requests for additional security by the State Department employees at the Benghazi mission reportedly denied, leaving the protection of Ambassador Stevens placed primarily in the hands of local Libyan militia?” she said.
“We also need to address why U.N. Ambassador Rice was sent on Sunday television shows after the attack and stated that there was a ‘substantial security presence’ with Ambassador Stevens when that was clearly not the case,” Bachmann said.
“The second line of investigation needs to be regarding the calls for security assistance from the American personnel in Libya to the Obama administration. Reports state that key decision makers knew almost immediately from cables, emails, and phone calls that Ambassador Stevens and other Americans were in peril at the Benghazi mission. Americans deserve to know why did it take 20 hours for the U.S. military to land at the Sigonella Air Base in Italy, and at what point was there a military presence on site securing the American mission and annex in Benghazi? The question needs to be answered why did it take the FBI until October 4 to get on the ground to secure the sovereign soil of the American compound. And why the delay in U.S. access to the site of the deadly attacks, both at the mission and the annex, so much so that reports stated that CNN was able to secure Ambassador Steven’s personal diary. If CNN was able to obtain such a private document, what other sensitive documents went missing?” Bachmann continued.
“Third, why did the White House consistently embrace the false narrative that the deadly attacks were a spontaneous event motivated by an anti-Islamic video? President Obama in his remarks before the United Nations on September 25 stated six times that the anti-Islamic video was the motivating factor behind the attack. Why did the president continue to give this false narrative on September 25 – two weeks after the attack – when our government clearly knew that the video was not the primary motivation for the attacks? Today, the Obama administration is trying to change their narrative and have it both ways on their story regarding the terrorist attack in Benghazi.”
The congresswoman said, “These important questions and many additional ones have yet to be answered. Ultimately, President Obama is responsible for the actions of his national security team and it is incomprehensible that we have yet to hear what the president knew, when he knew it, and the specific orders he gave his team. ”
She said the Obama administration was able to release specific details, “including some classified information,” almost as soon as Osama bin Laden was dead.
“By contrast, two months after the terrorist attacks in Benghazi with an ambassador and three other Americans dead, we have little knowledge of what the president knew and what his actions were,” she said.
The hearing was one of several this week.
According to a Fox News report, the House majority Republicans contend Obama administration officials misled the public because they wanted to present in the run-up to the election an al-Qaida on the run, as Obama stated repeatedly.
An organized terror attack on the U.S. on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks would leave the impression that al-Qaida is anything but “on the run.”
WND has reported that a sub-plot to the entire issue is that the CIA, under Petraeus, purportedly was using the Benghazi mission to coordinate U.S. aid to Syrian opposition groups.
WND reported that the U.S. facility in Benghazi was not a consulate and at no point functioned as one, according to informed Middle East security officials.
Instead, the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi served as a meeting place to coordinate aid for the rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East, the security officials said.
Among the tasks performed inside the building was collaborating with Arab countries on the recruitment of fighters – including jihadists – to target Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.
Furthering the story, WND reported on claims that Paula Broadwell, the alleged mistress of Petraeus, revealed a secret CIA detention center in Benghazi during a public speech she gave just weeks ago.
Broadwell, a former counter-terrorism operative, co-authored a bestselling biography of Petraeus titled “All In.” She discussed the book during a keynote speech on Oct. 26 at a University of Denver alumni symposium. The speech is available in full on YouTube.
During a question-and-answer session, Broadwell was asked about this year’s Sept. 11 attacks against the U.S. mission in Benghazi.
She stated: “Now I don’t know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually had taken a couple of Libya militia members prisoner. And they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. So that’s still being vetted.”
An extensive WND search of news media coverage of the Benghazi attacks could find no mention of prisoners being held at the CIA annex.
WND also reported that Obama’s lead investigator into the Benghazi attack, former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, previously held clandestine meetings with Hamas aimed at opening U.S. dialogue with the terrorist group, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.
Sources within Hamas previously disclosed to WND the June 2009 meeting. The gathering allegedly took place in Geneva with two Hamas leaders, Bassem Naim and Mahmoud al-Zahar. Naim is Hamas’ health minister, while al-Zahar is one of the main Hamas leaders in Gaza.
Pickering is further tied to the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa through his role as a member of the small board of the International Crisis Group, or ICG, one of the main proponents of the international “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine.
The doctrine is the very military protocol used to justify the NATO bombing campaign that brought down Moammar Ghadafi’s regime in Libya.