The CIA’s role in the Benghazi facility’s security was part of an arrangement with the State Department, according to a November 1 Wall Street Journal story that first disclosed several details about the true nature of the U.S. mission in Benghazi. That piece also said 23 of the 30 people evacuated from the Benghazi compound on the evening of the attack were CIA officers using State Department cover. Other U.S. officials confirmed this to The Daily Beast. “The Benghazi compound was a U.S. intelligence station with State Department cover,” one U.S. official said.
Blog Rule #1: It would be irresponsible not to speculate.
What was Chris Stevens doing in Benghazi on September 11th of last year? He was the ambassador to Libya, and the capitol of Libya is Tripoli where our embassy is located. He must have had some specific reason to be in Benghazi that night.
Is it just me or does it seem like the Obama administration isn’t really concerned with bringing any Benghazi terrorists to justice? They don’t even seem interested in finding out who they were. It’s as if they already know who did it but don’t care.
One of the major foreign policy initiatives during Obama’s first term was the so-called “Arab Spring” where we encouraged the overthrow of certain Middle Eastern dictators. The theory was if we could get rid of the existing authoritarian leaders that democracy would bloom across the deserts.
Among the nations targeted were Libya, Egypt and Syria (but not Saudi Arabia). As of last summer two were down and one was left to go. (Well, the dictators were gone, but democracy still hasn’t bloomed yet.)
In Egypt the transition was initially peaceful as Hosni Mubarak stepped down. We were able to intervene in Libya because Muammar Gaddafi was an international pariah and we didn’t have to send in ground troops, just air support for the rebels.
But Syria is a tougher nut to crack. They have lots of support from Russia and Iran as well as a fairly formidable army. They are no match for us or the Israelis, but against lightly armed rebels their tanks and planes give a decisive advantage.
More than once we have covertly armed rebels in various parts of the world. (We have overtly armed friendly dictators too, our policy on supplying arms is very flexible.) But quite often the arms we supplied came back to shoot us in the ass.
2012 was an election year. There was no way that Congress would agree to a direct military aid to either side in Syria. Even proposing it would be politically risky for Obama – the left and right would both oppose it. There was no way to give US arms to the Syrian rebels without Congress finding out.
On the other hand there were too many left over weapons in Libya. Many of them came directly from us. These weren’t just rifles and bullets, they were things like Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank weapons. Things that could be used by terrorists to shoot down 747 jet lines or take out armored limos. We were trying to recover those weapons, usually by buying them back from the militias that had them.
Then somebody had a bright idea. What if we gathered up those left-over weapons in Libya and then somehow they got stolen and moved to Syria? Benghazi is a port city on the Mediterranean Sea, a short boat ride from Syria. It wasn’t under the control of the central government in Tripoli but was instead controlled by various militias.
Is the picture starting to come into focus?
What if the plan was for a raid to be staged at some poorly defended warehouses at the Benghazi “diplomatic facility” and the arms stolen? Nobody was supposed to get hurt, but the raiders got carried away and torched a few buildings. Unexpectedly, Ambassador Stevens and another man (Sean Smith) took refuge in the main building’s safe room. They would have been safe if the building was not set on fire.
Both men died of smoke inhalation. The official story is that Stevens’ body was recovered by Benghazi residents who rushed him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Is it possible that these “residents” were actually part of the terrorist group and they genuinely tried to rescue Stevens once they realized he was in the building?
If this was a planned covert operation then we wouldn’t want a military rescue team to come in and start shooting up the place. The “terrorists” might think they had been double-crossed, and the arms might get blown up.
Ever since the Office of Strategic Services (OSS – the forerunner of the CIA) was formed we have been involved in covert operations around the world. Although both organizations are supposed to be engaged in “espionage” the temptation to engage in assassination, sabotage and subversion is apparently just too great to resist.
I’m just speculating here, but it does fit the facts.
BTW – If you watched Wednesday’s Oversight Committee hearing you may recall Chairman Issa start to ask a question concerning the CIA annex and then an aide stepped up and whispered in his ear. He changed the subject.
Libyan arms captured in Syria
Filed under: Benghazi | Tagged: Benghazi | 63 Comments »