Rear Adm. Brian L. Losey, former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command in Africa, conceded in congressional testimony that prior to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, he was not aware of the existence of the U.S. special mission in Benghazi or the nearby CIA annex.
Losey was commander of SOCAFRICA during the attack. His position put him in charge of helping U.S. diplomatic facilities in Africa build an operational security plan and strengthen regional security. His unit is supposed to work closely with U.S. Embassy country teams.
His shock testimony of being unaware of the U.S. facilities in Benghazi was largely unreported and was included in a recently unclassified version of his March 14 statements to several security subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The staggering detail raises the question of what was transpiring at the fated annex and nearby U.S. special mission and why key members of the Defense Department, including those responsible for responding to emergency situations, were not aware of it.
Losey was asked whether or not he was aware of the CIA annex in Benghazi before the attack.
“No,” he responded.
“When did you become aware of that facility?” Losey was asked.
“The night of the attacks,” he replied.
In further testimony, Losey said he was not even aware of the State Department’s Benghazi mission, or who was in charge of U.S. activities transpiring in Benghazi.
He was asked: “And prior to the attacks, were you aware of the State Department temporary mission facility that was initially located in Benghazi? Prior to the attacks, were you aware of that facility?”
“Not specifically, no,” he replied.
Losey said the “assumption that there was some activity that our government had there was not lost on me.”
“Exactly who owned it and what it was comprised of was not apparent to me,” he said.
The questioner, whose name was redacted from the unclassified version, then asked for clarification that Losey was indeed not aware of the existence of the two separate facilities – the Benghazi mission and the secretive CIA annex.
Stated the questioner: “So two separate – so your testimony, just to be clear, is you were not aware of either of those facilities prior to the night of the attack?”
“No,” Losey replied.
Losey is not the only senior Pentagon official to testify of a lack of knowledge of the existence of U.S. facilities in Benghazi.
As WND was first to report in January, the extensive Senate report of that month on the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack dropped a major, unreported bombshell: The commander of U.S. forces in Africa was not aware of the existence of the besieged CIA annex.
Page 28 of the 85-page report states:
“With respect to the role of DoD and AFRICOM in emergency evacuations and rescue operations in Benghazi, the Committee received conflicting information on the extent of the awareness within DoD of the Benghazi Annex. According to U.S. AFRICOM, neither the command nor its Commander were aware of an annex in Benghazi, Libya.
“However, it is the Committee’s understanding that other DoD personnel were aware of the Benghazi Annex.”
Page 77 of the report further divulges that Gen. Carter Ham, then-commander of U.S. Africa Command, “was not even aware there was a CIA annex in Benghazi at the time of the attacks.”
Continued the Senate report: “We are puzzled as to how the military leadership expected to effectively respond and rescue Americans in the event of an emergency when it did not even know of the existence of one of the U.S. facilities.”
On the night of the attack, Ham was placed in charge of the C-110, a 40-man Special Ops force maintained for rapid response to emergencies. The force was trained for deployment for events like the Benghazi attack. Command was transferred from the military’s European command to Ham in the middle of the attack.
Ultimately, the C-110, which had reportedly been training in Croatia during the attack, was not deployed to respond in Benghazi. Instead it was ordered to return to its forward operating base in Italy.
With additional research by Joshua Klein.