A report today contends that Ambassador Christopher Stevens inexplicably twice rejected offers for security upgrades at the U.S. operation in Benghazi, Libya, in just the few weeks before he died there in a terror attack from al-Qaida-linked operatives – even as more and more members of the legacy media jump aboard a growing call for the Obama administration to come clean on the operation.
McClatchy Foreign Staff writer Nancy Youssef wrote from Cairo that “two government officials” said that Stevens, who had raised concerns over security at Benghazi in writing, turned down two verbal offers of additional security from Army Gen. Carter Ham, now retired but then head of the U.S. Africa Command.
“He didn’t say why. He just turned it down,” the news organization said a “defense official who asked not to be identified” confirmed
Such refusals previously have not been reported in the growing scandal over how there was a known danger to Americans in that location, but the federal government did little to help, and then nothing at all when the al-Qaida-linked terrorists attacked on Sept. 11, 2012.
Four Americans, including Stevens, died in the attack that had been sought by al-Qaida leaders in retaliation for the drone death of another al-Qaida operative there.
But the report noted “one person familiar with the events” suggested a rejection from Stevens would have been following “an understanding within the State Department that officials in Libya ought not to request more security, in part because of concerns about the political fallout of seeking a larger military presence in a country that was still being touted as a foreign policy success.”
That would align with arguments from critics who claim the Obama campaign did nothing to help the Americans there, and later manufactured talking points about the attack being sparked by outrage over an obscure online video, because Obama was in the middle of a heated political race that was premised on victory in the war on terror.
Obama’s critics say if word had gotten out about a strategic, successful, violent and deadly al-Qaida-linked attack on U.S. assets on the significant anniversary date of 9/11, Obama’s rhetoric about terrorists being on the run would have been undermined.
Meanwhile, a number of members of the legacy media have started joining independent and online media members who are calling for the White House simply to release all of the emails concerning the talking points used by Ambassador Susan Rice to appear on a multitude of television programs and state that the violence was from Muslims upset over that obscure video.
Even President Obama, up to two weeks after the attack, was repeating the same claim that has since been shown to be a fabrication.
A report at Big Journalism said NBC’s senior White House correspondent, Chuck Todd, has joined the chorus of those asking for a complete confession from the Obama administration about the emails that argued for censoring the original explanation of the attack.
Wrote John Nolte, “An act that was obviously meant to pour water on the Benghazi fire started by an ABC News report has only ended up being gasoline. Now both CNN and ABC [and NBC] have joined conservative media in calling for the White House to release all the emails surrounding the editing of the CIA talking points.”
The Teflon coating enjoyed by the White House over a multitude of controversies over the past term also seems to be chipping away.
Nolte reported that “for months, conservative media has been howling over the falsehood that the Accountability Review Board (ARB) offered a thorough investigation into the September 11 terror attack… The most frustrating part is that in order to ignore the legions of unanswered questions surrounding Libya, Obama and his media … have hid behind the ARB’s report as thought it were definitive. On Monday, President Obama tired this ruse again.
“But now that the media has finally woken up from a five-year infatuation, he isn’t getting away with it. PolitiFact has labeled as ‘mostly false,’ Obama’s claim [that Benghazi was investigated.]
Fox News also reported that reporters now instead of accepting White House explanations, are “hounding” the administration for full release of any exchange regarding how the situation in Benghazi was to be edited so that it would protect the interests of individuals with authority over the location.
The ARB, under Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in December, blamed the attack mostly on the State Department for not answering repeated calls for more security in Benghazi.
WND has reported that an Islamic extremist, Wesam Bin Hameed, still has the personal belongings of the murdered Stevens – including his camera, cell phone, identification papers and various private documents.
He has been identified as an Islamic extremist in Benghazi who allegedly participated in the terrorist attack Sept. 12, 2012, attack in Benghazi that led to Stevens’ death.
But no U.S. authorities, including the FBI, have questioned Bin Hameed regarding the Benghazi attack. At present, according to sources, he is roaming freely in Benghazi, where he continues to threaten to shoot any Libyans who dare protest against the various Islamic terror gangs and militia that currently exert unofficial authority in the streets of Tripoli and Benghazi.
Libyan newspapers have identified Bin Hameed as the chairman of the Supreme Revolutionaries Committee comprising 280 members of Islamic militia all over Libya.
During the civil war that ousted Moammar Gadhafi and led to his murder, Bin Hameed was cited by international news sources as brigade commander of the Martyrs of Free Libya Brigade.
Bin Hameed does not appear to be among the three Libyans the FBI currently wants for questioning in the on-going Benghazi investigation.
On Dec. 19, 2012, WND published a 19-second video obtained from the same Libyan expatriate sources that apparently shows the body of Stevens in a morgue in Benghazi.
WARNING: Video contains graphic images
Amateur video shows Stevens, apparently alive and still breathing, being pulled out of a room by Libyans apparently participating in the terrorist attack.
Various amateur videos still posted on YouTube also show Stevens being found by Libyans in the U.S. compound at Benghazi.
The videos and the report Bin Hameed currently has custody of Stevens' personal effects confirm testimony Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission to Libya, gave to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Washington last week. Hicks said U.S. authorities lost track of Stevens' body during the Benghazi attack.
WND was first to report the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi served as a meeting place to coordinate aid for rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East, according to Middle Eastern security officials.
WND also reported Stevens played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria, according to Egyptian sources.
In November 2012, Middle Eastern security sources confirmed the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi served as the main intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels that was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.