LAROUCHE AT NATIONAL PRESS CLUB
Obama's Impeachable Crimes
Nov. 2—Lyndon LaRouche today returned to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., for the first time since 1986, to deliver a powerful repudiation of both of the two major party Presidential candidates, and warn that the world is facing the gravest crisis in modern times, centered on the immediate danger of thermonuclear war and a trans-Atlantic hyperinflationary breakdown. LaRouche was joined in the press conference by EIR Counterintelligence Editor Jeffrey Steinberg.
The conference was attended by diplomats from Western Europe and Africa and by media from the United States, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and South America. The entire event was recorded by three TV networks, including LaRouche PAC-TV, which has posted the full video of LaRouche's presentation, Steinberg's presentation, and the extended question-and-answer session.
Lyndon LaRouche: Well, I am Lyndon LaRouche, opening this event, and probably the major part of the presentation and discussion today will be devoted to a report from Jeff Steinberg, who is outside in the corridor right now, but will be here in due course. He knows already pretty much what I'm about to say.
My subject here is going to be the question of the election and its implications, and Mr. Steinberg will be going on some of the complications which will become crucial once the election has occurred—if it ever has been actually settled.
So, from my standpoint: We are in the worst crisis that the United States and other nations related to it, have ever experienced. And the election itself, or the results of the nominal election, if it can actually be settled, is really of secondary importance. The real news, apart from what Mr. Steinberg will present today, which is some real news of relevance, the real news otherwise, is going to be evident after the election proceedings have nominally closed. That's when the fun will occur. Not now, before the election, but once the election day has been completed, all hell will bust loose internationally.
Exactly what the form of hell will be, we don't necessarily know. I've been forecasting for many years, for many decades, actually, and I've never made a mistake, but I've made few definite forecasts. Because a few forecasts do map out pretty much what the history of mankind has been, in any case.
Now, the question that would be posed normally, by, I think, most citizens and other observers today, would be, "Well, how is the election going to work out?" Well, the election is a mess, because we have two candidates who are the chosen leading candidates, both of whom are utterly incompetent to become President of the United States. One has been the incompetent President of the United States for some time. So the question is not, what is going to happen as a result of a choice of the election candidate, even if we can get a clear choice. And because of the massive amount of vote fraud, which is almost incalculable, as in the case of Ohio, that we cannot determine, even on Election Day, who actually won. It would be miracle if we could say who actually won this election.
So, that's part of the situation.
But the other part is that the world is going through a global crisis, especially in the trans-Atlantic region, where we're most aware of it—i.e., in Europe, especially in western and central Europe, and in the United States—that is the crucial point, which everything is determining.
The crucial issue, the most crucial issue, is the threat of thermonuclear war. That is the pregnant issue going on here.
Now, the incumbent President is for a military confrontation, which, in fact, if it's executed, will be thermonuclear war. And as most of you who are experienced know, thermonuclear war would begin, perhaps, launched by Mr. Obama, on behalf of the United States, and within minutes after Mr. Obama had launched World War III, or V, or VI, or whatever it's going to be, you would have then a reaction from certain European nations, which would be called into play under their agreements. You will have Russia, China, and probably India as the principal leaders of the opposite side.
If thermonuclear war were to occur, under expected terms today, it would be completed, essentially, within the range of an hour and a half. Because that's thermonuclear war. And when you measure thermonuclear war against the capacity of the submarine fleet of the United States, in launching these kinds of weapons, after an hour and a half of warfare among these contenders, and those associated with these contenders, there won't be much left on the planet.
You can go back to the time that Khrushchov exploded a big bomb in Asia, as a demonstration. It was a demonstration bomb; it had elements of thermonuclear war in it. It was essentially a nuclear bomb, but with these complications. Since that time, the capacity for conducting thermonuclear warfare has been perfected to the point that you can fight the war, but you can't outlive it. Or nearly so.
And this is the big issue, if you take what the work of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States is, what they're concerned about, what they're fighting to try to avoid, is a thermonuclear war. There are attempts at negotiation: the Russian policy, Russian relationships with the Joint Chiefs' attitudes; what India's concerned about, and China's involvement, and others: All of these things are there. If we do not prevent the launching of a war, by, in this case, the United States—because only the United States has the capability and weapons systems to present a confrontation of a type that will trigger a grand thermonuclear war, where everybody has to respond, simply because it's the last thing they will be able to do.
And therefore, the key issue here is not the election. The key issue here is: Will this crisis, this economic crisis—which is worldwide, with hyperinflation accelerating every hour in Europe; with hyperinflation coming in the United States. Look at the situation in the Manhattan/New York area, New Jersey, and so forth. And look at the budgets coming up. You're already seeing—in Staten Island and elsewhere, and in the Manhattan region, the New Jersey region—you're already seeing a horror show.
Because neither of the leading candidates in contention now, will actually create a budget which allows for the recovery of that area of the United States. The funds will not exist under Obama, or under his opponent, to meet the needs of people who are dying in the island of Manhattan, and Staten Island, and elsewhere in that vicinity. They are starving. They have no means of sustenance. Nothing is provided for them. They're dying. They're dying in places that used to be the housing of the citizens of the United States in that area.
And nothing will be done. The budgetary provisions which have been made, don't exist for the needs of the people.
And this is only the beginning of it.
So, we have the two issues: You have the threat of thermonuclear war, and you have also this crisis which has hit the New York City area, around there. These are exemplars and warnings of what's in store for us now, after the election date is finished.
So the real history of what's happening now, will become manifest to people more generally, and globally, after Election Day, not before. There are limitations on what you can precisely forecast, because it depends on how people react to these conditions.
Neither of these candidates for President, the leading candidates, is fit to become President of the United States. You see what happened with the Florida debate between the two candidates: It was a piece of junk. There was nothing serious in that debate, absolutely nothing of any importance in it. They were acting out something.
They didn't even discuss the key issue. The key issue on the election plate has been, what? It's been the fraud, the fraud of Benghazi, and you will hear more about that from Jeff Steinberg, who will give you the details on it.
But we have the evidence, and it's the evidence from U.S. official sources at the highest rank, the evidence of the exact chain of circumstances which led into the killing on 9/11—that is, on Sept. 11 of this year. The conclusive evidence is provided by the relevant voices, documents, of leading people in the U.S. government service. But the official voice has put a lid on the discussion of this issue. And so that's what we face today.
Now, the other aspect is background. What's wrong with these two candidates? Well, Obama—there's nothing right about him. That's a fact, that's not an opinion. There's nothing good there. The other candidate, the Republican, if he had any competence at all, lost it, in a debate between himself and Obama in Florida. He covered up the main story, which is what you will now hear from Mr. Jeff Steinberg.
What Did the President Know?
Jeffrey Steinberg: We are now in the eighth week since the attack on the consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11 of this year, and in that eight-week period, we are yet to get any kind of a coherent accounting from the President of the United States with respect to what he knew beforehand, what his activities were on the day that the attack occurred, and how he responded after the fact. And these are absolutely pivotal issues, when you consider that, just a few days from now, he's standing for re-election as President of the United States, and he already swore an oath to not only uphold the Constitution, but to protect and defend the lives of American diplomats and others around the world.
And I can say with reasonable confidence, that the President will do everything in his power, to remain absolutely dead silent on this issue, until after the election next Tuesday, and however long it takes afterwards, to determine what the actual outcome of the election is.
So, what I want to go through here today, is certain things that have come out as the result of pressure from Congressional committees, as the result of a certain limited amount of disclosure that has come out of the State Department, and I want to restrict my remarks exclusively to those things that have been placed in the public record, by way of government documents. I'm not going to comment on any speculation, or rumors, or theories that have been put out in the press. I just want to stick simply with those things that are absolutely indisputable, so that there's a frame of reference to judge the behavior of the President and other leading figures in his administration.
Now, the first question that has come up, and is a perfectly legitimate question, is: Why, on the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001—when there were clearly threats being made from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the nominal head of al-Qaeda—why is it that in the period leading up to Sept. 11, there was no effort in advance to beef up security in Benghazi and in Tripoli?
Now, after the fact, the New York Times reported that there is a capability that has been established, under the Marine Corps, called the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Teams (FAST). Those teams are prepositioned in places like Rota, in Spain; in Bahrain; and they've also got a team in Japan. The idea is that these teams exist to be sent into situations prior to potential attacks, so that there is beefed-up security available in advance. None of those things were done, and we are yet to hear at what level the President was briefed and informed on any of this.
Here's some things that we do know:
The year date is mistaken on this document (Figure 1), it's actually March 1, 2012. This is a State Department document, that was made available through the House Government Reform Committee. I've selected a few documents from a total of 122 pages of material, that are declassified, or unclassified, documents that were presented to the Committee by the State Department, and are available publicly on the Committee's website. So anybody who wants to go in and read through all 122 pages, I can tell you that the documents that I've selected here are representative of the file as a whole, and are not cherry-picked to make a political point.
So, here we have a report that was issued in early March of 2012, and it's clear. They say, "more than a year has passed since the uprising," "five months since Qaddafi was killed," and the government was removed. And here at the bottom, one of the first things that they say under the section "radical Islamists": "In late December 2011, reports indicated that the al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan had sent experienced jihadists to Libya, to build a new base of operations in the country. Between May and December 2011, one of these jihadists had recruited 200 fighters in the eastern part of the country. Documents seized in Iraq indicate that many foreign fighters who participated in the Iraq insurgency, hailed from eastern Libya. This small batch of fighters would have been dealt with quickly by a central authority, were it in place. Until a stronger national army or guard force is developed, rural Libya will remain fertile territory for terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb."
So, this is March of 2012.
U.S. Mission Targeted
Now, we go to some of the other material. Again, most of this is State Department.
I'm just selecting out two pages from a 49-page grid of security incidents that occurred in Libya, from the time of the overthrow of Qaddafi, up until the end of the Summer—in other words, events leading right into Sept. 11, and the second 9/11 attack in 11 years.
Much of this has also been noted in the press, but just to summarize it: There were a series of attacks that were directed against Western government and relief agency targets, during the Spring. and into the early Summer of 2012, in Benghazi. And just a few examples. Again, this is an official government document grid:
"June 6, 2012, Benghazi. U.S. mission target of IED" (Figure 2a,b). And it goes through the fact that at a certain time of day, the U.S. mission in Benghazi was the target of an IED attack—that's an Improvised Explosive Device, notoriously used, very widespread in Iraq. Many of the American casualties were through IEDs that were planted on roadsides, and so, those same devices were being used here in eastern Libya, in Benghazi.
I won't read through all of it, but it's a detailed attack.
Then, the same day: "Grenade attack on a U.K. vehicle at approximately 23:45. Two handgrenades used by an unknown person, to target a marked U.K. diplomatic vehicles parked outside of a hotel."
Then we go to the next page, and here: "RPG attack on U.K. ambassador's convoy. Two security officers injured." Again, in Benghazi, the result of this incident was that the British consulate in Benghazi was shut down. All diplomats were removed from Benghazi, and to this day, the British have not reopened that facility. Here: "IED explosion at ICRC compound in Misurata." This is the International Committee of the Red Cross.
There was a bombing attack in June on the Red Cross headquarters in Benghazi, as the result of which the Red Cross, which is famous for operating in the most difficult frontline combat situations around the world, they were forced to shut down their entire operation in Benghazi for security reasons.
So, as of Sept. 11 of this year, the only Western flag that was flying in Benghazi, the only active diplomatic presence in the city of any Western country, was the U.S. consulate. Everybody else had pulled out, because clearly the security situation had become completely untenable.
And again, in June, there was a direct attack on the U.S. consular facility that was then targeted for a much bigger attack on Sept. 11.
Now, there are many communiqués that were passed back and forth between the embassy in Tripoli, Libya, and various government offices back in Washington, D.C., including the State Department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI, the CIA; and what we have here, and what was posted by the Committee, and made available by the State Department, are only those documents that were considered to be sensitive, but unclassified. So, I think it's a fair assumption that at some point, we're going to see the release, or partial declassification, of much, much more material. But even just on the basis of the unclassified documents that are available to the general public as a whole, here we have a report, dated June 25, 2012, under the signature of Ambassador Stevens (Figure 3a,b,c).
The reference is: "Libya's fragile security deteriorates as tribal rivalries, power plays, and extremism intensify." And this is a three-page memo that goes through exactly what some of the details are, of the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi, and in other parts of the country. But predominantly, they're talking about Benghazi, and they come to the conclusion, in these memos, that the Libyan government has been unsuccessful in standing up any kind of reliable security. Normally the host government would be responsible for providing security to foreign diplomatic postings, but clearly, no such capability existed, and so, these are documents that were coming back to Washington.
Here is one headline: "Foreigners also are increasingly targeted. From April to June Libya also witnessed an increase of attacks targeting international organizations, and foreign interests. The first incident occurred in April when unknown attackers rolled a grenade under a United Nations vehicle during a visit to Benghazi. In May, the International Committee of the Red Cross buildings in both Benghazi and Misurata were attacked with rockets. And a grenade was thrown at the U.K. embassy vehicle in Seva. Finally, during June, there were three attacks in Benghazi, including an IED at the U.S. mission, an RPG fired at the U.K. ambassador's car, and an attack on the Tunisian consulate. An Islamic extremist group, the imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman Brigade"—remember, he was found guilty of being involved in the original attacks on the World Trade Center back in the early 1990s—"claimed responsibility for the attacks on both the International Committee of the Red Cross buildings, and the U.S. compound." They noted that basically, these attacks are under investigation, but they've been unable to reach any conclusions.
"The government of Libya national security official shared his private opinion that the attacks were the work of extremists, who were opposed to Western influence in Libya." And it goes on from there.
Again, if you want to read all of these documents, I would actually urge you to do that, because they are extremely informative, and paint a very unambiguous picture.
'The Guns of August'
And finally, we have an Aug. 8 document (Figure 4a,b), again sent under the signature of Amb. Chris Stevens. And this document is actually headlined, "The Guns of August, Security in Eastern Libya." Now, anyone who knows their history, knows that the "Guns of August" is a reference to a famous book by Barbara Tuchman, which was an account of how a series of chaotic regional conflicts ultimately erupted in what came later to be known as World War I. So obviously, there's great concern on the part of Ambassador Stevens, and people in the embassy and in the consulate in Benghazi, about the deteriorating situation.
I'll just read a few sentences: "Since the eve of the elections, Benghazi has moved from trepidation to euphoria and back, as a series of violent incidents has dominated the political landscape during the Ramadan holiday. These incidents have varied widely in motivation and severity. There have been abductions and assassinations, but there have also been false alarms and outright fabrications."
But then he goes on to say: "The absence of significant deterrence has contributed to a security vacuum that is being exploited by independent actors." And he goes through everything from criminals to Islamic extremists.
So, in other words, there is no doubt whatsoever that there were extensive warnings that were provided in advance, by the American government officials on the scene in Libya, as to the fact that the situation was one of grave danger. There were requests for additional security. One of the documents I did not have blown up to bring here today, was one of several memos that were sent by the ambassador in Libya, requesting that existing security teams that were on the ground, that were supplemental to the diplomatic security service, be allowed to remain on the ground in Libya, at least through the end of September. In other words, these are all teams that should have been, but were not any longer, deployed in Benghazi and Tripoli at the time that the attack occurred.
So, I think that it goes without saying that the President of the United States owes us a certain number of answers to some very obvious questions: What did he know? Was he briefed in advance? Is it actually conceivable that, as we go into the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, there were no briefings provided to him in his Presidential Daily Briefing, or that there was no special briefing provided him by John Brennan, the White House counterterrorism advisor, as to the fact that there was a heightened risk, and there ought to be a beef-up of security in many places, but certainly Libya was one of the obvious ones. and in Benghazi in particular? There was this mountain of reports piling up over a period of six months or more, indicating that the security situation was out of control, and the Libyan government had no capacity whatsoever to deal with it.
So, that's one area—and I think simply these documents, which, as I say, are a select, but representative indication of just how much was known about how bad that situation was—that needs to be answered by the President.
Yesterday afternoon, there was a background briefing for a select group of journalists at the CIA, and you'll be reading a lot in the papers today about what the CIA tried to do, did or didn't do; but still, there's absolute silence from the White House, and particularly from the President.
Urgent Cables to Washington ...
Now, the other thing is, the day of the attack itself.
There were three e-mails that were made public. Initially, they were leaked to Reuters, and released to the general public. And there's been no effort whatsoever by anybody in the Administration, to disclaim the legitimacy of these e-mails. So, the first of them (Figure 5) arrived in Washington at 4:05 p.m. Washington time, and you can you see that the names are blacked out of the people who received the e-mails, but you can see the indication that quite a few of them went to obviously different locations at State; this one, NSS.eop.gov, is the National Security Staff at the Executive Office of the President, in other words, the White House Situation Room. And then, you have the FBI, the director of National Intelligence, several locations at the Pentagon.
In other words, there was a burst transmission from the embassy in Tripoli, that was received in Washington in various official locations at 4:05 in the afternoon, Washington time, and the content of it was "Subject: U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi under attack. The regional security officer reports the diplomatic mission is under attack. Embassy Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots. Explosives have been heard as well. Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi and four COM personnel [Chief of Mission] are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support. The operations center will provide updates as available."
Now, unless I have trouble understanding English, I don't see anything in this initial report that talks about a demonstration, or talks about large crowds of people showing up at the consulate to protest a video. There were clearly incidents like that going on in other places, including in Cairo, but this initial report, which was the basis on which the CIA, according to their account yesterday afternoon, went into action, and actually marshalled up a team of people who were at a separate building, a mile away in Benghazi, deployed over to the consulate to try to basically rescue the people who were there.
About 50 minutes later, a second cable e-mail came in to the same list (Figure 6): "Update No. 1: U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Embassy Tripoli reports the firing at the U.S. diplomatic in Benghazi has stopped, and the compound has been cleared. A response team is on site attempting to locate COM personnel."
Then, the last of the documents made public (Figure 7), that came from Tripoli to Washington, on the afternoon as events were unfolding, simply says: "Update: Ansar al-Sharia claims responsibility for Benghazi attack. Embassy Tripoli reports that group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on the embassy in Tripoli."
So, this, to my mind, raises another very significant question that is very disturbing. How is it possible that on Sept. 16, five days after the attack, that the President deployed UN Ambassador Susan Rice to appear on five different "talking heads" Sunday morning interview shows, to say that this was not a terrorist incident, that this was a spontaneous mob upsurge in angry reaction to a video. A video that probably very few people in Libya even knew existed, given the chaotic conditions in the country. The idea that everybody was walking around with access to the Internet, and closely monitoring an obscure video that was never even made public really—a few excerpts were released—the idea that somehow or other, there was a spontaneous mass outpouring of people at the consulate to protest this, is preposterous. They knew, they knew on Sept. 11, what was actually happening.
... and a Surveillance Drone
I haven't even mentioned the fact that there are confirmed reports, as of yesterday, as of the CIA briefing, that there was an unarmed surveillance drone that was in the air over the compound, over the consulate, and also nearby, a mile away at the CIA annex. And there was live-stream video—fine, it was grainy, but there was live-stream video coming back to Washington. We don't know whether anybody in the White House Situation Room was monitoring it. A Presidential spokesman yesterday claimed that nobody was watching it, and to my mind, that goes to the question of competence, and why was there no concern, at the very highest level of our national command authority, to deal with a crisis that was ongoing. There was no way to know whether this thing was over or not.
And so, five days later, Ambassador Rice went on five national TV shows and lied to the American people. Two days after that, President Obama himself appeared on the "David Letterman Show"; and several days after that, was interviewed on "The View," and after that, appeared before the world community in his address before the UN General Assembly, and repeated the same lie; he tried to change the subject, and divert attention away from the fact that the U.S. consulate had been targeted for a terrorist attack, and that a U.S. ambassador and three other officials were killed. And it had nothing to do whatsoever with a video, with a mass protest demonstration.
From the very moment that Washington was alerted to what was going on, it was clear that it was an armed attack by a group of 20 or so people, and there was a follow-on attack that occurred at the CIA annex later in the day.
So, there are many, many things that we don't know, but there are certain things that we absolutely do know. Number one, we know that there was ample evidence in advance that this was a bad security situation, a dangerous situation on the ground in Benghazi. There was lots of reporting in advance, and yet nothing was done to provide advance security, which would have been probably a life-saving factor. If you had several of these Fleet Marine Security Teams dispatched on the ground there, we would probably be having a different discussion about Benghazi today.
Secondly, we know certain things from the official White House calendar about the President's activities as these events were unfolding. He was at the White House in the afternoon when that cable came in at 4:05. In fact, at 5:00 that afternoon, he met with Defense Secretary Panetta and Vice President Biden. We don't know anything about the content of that meeting; we just know that it did occur. We also know that later in the evening, President Obama spent an hour on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, trying to work out differences and come up with kind of a common story about what they would be doing, whether or not there would be a meeting when they were both in New York for the General Assembly.
The next day, the President spoke in the Rose Garden, and if you carefully read the transcript, which is obviously something Candy Crowley failed to do before the [second] debate, you'll see that he made no reference to the Benghazi incident as an act of terrorism, even though he had plenty of time to be briefed up on this. And later that same day, after a stop-over at the State Department, he flew off to Las Vegas for a fundraiser, which is where he was much of the day on Sept. 12.
Al-Qaeda Not Destroyed
Now, the only other thing I'll say, and then I think we can open up for questions to Mr. LaRouche and to myself, is that throughout the campaign, and continuing for weeks after the Sept. 11 attack, one of the standard stump speeches that the President and the Vice President gave, was that his greatest foreign policy achievement was killing Osama bin Laden, and destroying al-Qaeda. You can check again: Go to any of the news feeds that have covered a lot of the President's speeches. You can find probably 20 of them on CSPAN, archived there, and this was one of his big statements of accomplishment. Not just that bin Laden was dead, but that al-Qaeda was finished, and had been routed, and that he had succeeded in effectively winning the war on terrorism.
The events in Benghazi really sort of shattered that claim.
And so, I think it makes sense to leave it at that, and turn things over for questions to Mr. LaRouche on the subjects that he raised, or, if there are further questions on this Benghazi business, I'm also available.
Dialogue with LaRouche
Q:: This is a question for Jeffrey. After going through all the documents that the House Committee has provided, have you seen any hard evidence that there was a call from the President to actually remove the commanding general of Africom? Because he has been removed—. No, no, he has been removed; the process to remove him is already underway. It has been alleged that his intelligence operations have been caught providing information to Fox News and the House, and Congressman [Darrell] Issa's [House Oversight and Government Reform] committee. I was wondering, have you seen anything that would be cause for him to be removed?
Steinberg: If there were people in Africom who had information that was basically disturbing, unpleasant facts about what happened preceding the Sept. 11 attacks, on the day of Sept. 11, and orders that may have followed afterwards, I would say that they would have an obligation to make sure that that information was available to the relevant Congressional committees. Certainly, there has been nothing that has come from the White House by way of any real clarification. We have a statement from Defense Secretary Panetta that makes it clear that there were options that were being considered about sending a military force into Benghazi to deal with the crisis, once the initial word came out. Africom has assets that could have been deployed to Benghazi in probably an hour and 45 minutes after the 4:05 [p.m.] information arrived at the Pentagon, among other places.
Again, I am not going to make any speculation, but I think that these are all among the most crucial and fair questions that have to be asked and answered, starting with the President himself.
We are not privy to all of the back-and-forth discussions that went on. I can just add one other thing, though. This is by way of just a personal account. On the morning of Sept. 12, I had a phone conversation with a contact, a government official, who was pretty much up all night dealing with the Benghazi events, and basically he indicated to me that among the things he was doing, was reaching out to some Libyan government officials whom he personally knew, one of whom was a Libyan ambassador somewhere in Europe. So there was a direct feed from Libyan sources on the ground in Benghazi, through the office of the Libyan President, and into certain people in the Libyan diplomatic community. And I've got my contemporaneous handwritten notes from the morning of Sept. 12 on that briefing, and I can tell you, that that briefing stands the test of time.
It was an armed, premeditated attack. Security had been basically taken down, prior to the attack. I was told that there were approximately 20 heavily armed people involved in the initial attack on the consulate, and that the operation was conducted by Ansar al-Sharia, an organization that was founded in the area near Benghazi, in the port of Derna, by somebody who had spent five years in Guantanamo; who had been a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, had been captured in Afghanistan, jailed in Guantanamo, and after five years had been sent back to Libya, where he was released by Qaddafi under an amnesty deal. So, there were people on the ground who were providing real-time, accurate intelligence, and it was not just simply these documents, but direct source reports that we were receiving pretty much in real time confirming that.
As far as the issue with General [Carter F.] Ham [commander of Africom], it is again one of these questions. If this was a revenge firing, because he refused to be silent in the face of a potential cover-up by the Administration, this is something that we need to know about. Right now I wouldn't want to speculate, but the question is clearly out there, since it was announced that he will be relieved of his command early next year; they have already announced a replacement. For a military commander, when your replacement has already been announced, it is the kiss of death. You have no authority anymore, so whether he formally stays on the job or not, he has no authority. And I hope this is one of the things that will come up in the House or Senate Armed Services Committee as we plunge into this thing.
As Mr. LaRouche said, this is not going to be over on Nov. 6. One way or the other, this story cannot be buried, and the truth is going to have to come out, and I think there is enough commitment among some people in Congress to make sure that this doesn't just simply go away, which is exactly what the White House would like to have happen.
We Can Not Have Thermonuclear War
LaRouche: I think as one supplement on that, as a general consideration, that we have been covering up this kind of story for a long time in the United States. For example, let's take the case of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have been running an operation which has prevented the President from moving ahead towards, actually, a thermonuclear war. Obviously this is all over the place, if you are looking for it; that this has been recognized as a key issue. Because the Joint Chiefs of Staff have recognized, as all competent military circles know, you can not fight a thermonuclear war with a major power. And therefore, this effort of the Joint Chiefs has been, explicitly, to prevent that from happening; to try to find a medium of negotiation to avert anybody going to general thermonuclear war.
And if you take the implications of what general thermonuclear war are, you understand what the Joint Chiefs are doing. And when somebody tries to flank the Joint Chiefs by picking out a general, to victimize him, with no explanation of what the basis is, this means that Obama, whom we know, wants a war!
And what has been happening is that our Joint Chiefs, together with the Russian representatives, with people in China, in India, and other places, are determined to prevent that from happening. Because there wouldn't be much of a population left on this planet, if what Obama wants to unleash, were allowed.
This President deserves to be removed from office on grounds of insanity, or some other charge.
But this cannot be allowed. The fact of the matter is, if the submarine fleet, in particular, of the U.S. military, were to be engaged with other instruments of the U.S., and the U.S. were committed to attack Russia and China, which is what the issue is, then in that case, you wouldn't have many people left on this planet after an hour and a half of that warfare.
So the President is the enemy of this policy: The policy is that we have reached the point, that general warfare among major powers can not be fought as thermonuclear warfare. Now if you are going to have warfare, you don't compromise, and say we're going to have this kind of warfare. We've had a lot of experience, especially since Bismarck was kicked out of office back in the 1890s. That since that time, we've had a general case of general warfare! And during this time, the capacity for warfare, for kill power, for destructive power, has been more or less consistently increased.
The objective has been, knowing that at this point, if the United States is engaged in a thermonuclear war, and this would be a thermonuclear war, then you are not going to have, after an hour and a half, many living people left on this planet. They will either be dead, or the effects of the aftermath of a thermonuclear war of that nature would kill them. You could cause the extinction of the human species, as a consequence of such conditions brought about on this planet.
And therefore, every sane person in this area, especially the military who understand the matter, and understand what they would have to do—anyone who is on the Joint Chiefs, or in some similar capacity, knows that when you are talking about war, you are talking about what they are going to be told to do. And what the opposition is going to do. And therefore, the strategic objective here, is to not allow thermonuclear war, or warfare which leads to thermonuclear war, such as is going on in Syria right now. The Syria issue right now is the key trigger, which could have set off thermonuclear war, and except for negotiations between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Russian military, you would have had it.
And that is the issue behind this. And what he [Steinberg] is talking about, the facts he is reporting—he is restricting himself to the facts that bear on this, without prejudice or interpretation.
But I can go further and say that the issue here, is, that we need a policy which we don't have presently in the world; we need a policy to prevent full-scale warfare, major warfare.
And at this point, no one is going to go, I think, to launching a thermonuclear war, except the United States, because the United States is the only nation which, given what has happened economically, and so forth, and means of warfare—unless you have some wild nut. But, again, if a major nation is going to a war, to general warfare, thermonuclear warfare, this is a threat of extinction of the human species. We are going to have to define—in between what we call military policy now, and what we develop—we are going to have to define a policy in this and other leading nations, in particular, a policy which says we can resolve the problems, the threats of warfare, by finding efficient other means which are going to solve the problem. We still need the military force in order to prevent some interloper from coming up with some wild stunt, and therefore, the military is actually a pacifist military in that sense; it is not pacifist in the way it can act, and what the training requires, but it does mean it's a completely different approach.
We have to create an order on this planet, among particularly the major nations, and insure that we can solve these problems without getting into thermonuclear war.
A Viciousness within Human Civilization
Q:: It seems pretty obvious that the assassination in Benghazi was allowed to happen, deliberately, and you mentioned one possible motivation being simply something personal against the ambassador. But I'm wondering if there's a way that it also plays into the pushing for general warfare.
LaRouche: Yes, precisely. Exactly that. You have an effort on this planet—.
You have to go back into history a bit more, which is my department. You look back at the history of empire, or look at what has been validated, at least in its major principles, as the Trojan War. And you had a war that was fought—it was extermination warfare, where the horse was suddenly introduced into the center of Troy, and the victors over the Trojans destroyed Troy, salted the earth on which Troy had sat—and this was all proven by that archaeology business. And killed all but a few women and children. Killed all the rest.
Against that background, which was often disputed, but then was clarified in the course of the 20th Century, that was the history. And since that time, we had the Roman Empire, and other empires like Byzantium. We had the first Venetian Empire. We had what developed as the second Venetian Empire which is what launched the British Empire, actually. And so, this kind of situation has persisted.
What happened essentially: You have approaches to that with the establishment of the British Empire which occurred, essentially, in India and other countries, and was then brought in as an imperial force in a revision of the British economy, British society.
So, this has been the case. General warfare has been a trend since the long period of religious war, and into what emerged with the British victory in the later war. And the key issue in this has always been, that the traditions of European civilization have been long corrupted by the influence of imperial systems. And the imperial systems changed the way people behaved. Normal, healthy human society is trying to progress, is trying to find ways of creating a better universe for mankind.
And we're now looking at the universe. We're now seriously looking at Mars! Warfare for us, is how are we going to stop these satellites from hitting Earth in a way which kills any number of people on Earth, or extinguishes the human civilization, human life on Earth. These are the kinds of issues we have to face. And therefore, we should be getting around to that kind of thing. But the problem is that the long vestiges of imperialism, of various wars, and what we know, especially in the trans-Atlantic region, but also in other places: There has been a vicious sickness in human civilization, and it is that sickness which has been the most important, the most significant forces which have led to general warfare.
Why do we want to kill each other? Why not solve the problem? And you would think, after 2,000 years or so, that people had learned their lesson on what to do. And so there's a problem, there's a viciousness within human civilization, which compels and impels people into warfare, has so far. But sooner or later, mankind has to overcome the influence of killing, as a system of life, the leftover of imperial systems, such as what was done to Troy, or was done in Tunis, for example, at a later stage. Salt the whole territory. Kill as many people as possible. Cause extinction. Like the Roman legions, same thing.
That is at the root of the thing. We have to understand that we have to look at the sickness inside our civilizations, inside our cultures. The sicknesses that allow us to fall prey to this kind of tendency in life. And we still need policemen to try to enforce some sense of order, including our military. The time has come that the option of military weapons of general warfare are thermonuclear weapons. At that point, we have to change.
Libya: An Impeachable Crime
Steinberg: With respect to the Libya situation, I think you really have to go back to the circumstances around which the Qaddafi government was overthrown. And basically, what we're dealing with, is an action on the part of the President that was a clear violation of the Constitution. It was an impeachable crime to have gone into Libya, without having even gone to the U.S. Congress to solicit support and endorsement for it. That's a cut and dried issue. And the President made it a point of explicitly refusing to go to Congress in order to further the idea of the imperial Presidency, that was really pushed aggressively during the Bush-Cheney period, and has been advanced even further under President Obama.
Now, the other thing: I think that the Libya action also was the beginning of exactly this potential thermonuclear confrontation with Russia and China that Mr. LaRouche has been focussing on here. The normal functioning of the United Nations Security Council, is that there's a collegial arrangement among the five ambassadors of the five permanent Security Council member countries: the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China. They meet in private, usually over dinners, and get-togethers at various of their residences, to work out the big issues, so that when they have a formal convening of the Security Council, everybody knows what's going to happen, at least among the Five. And Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador, in league with the British and French ambassadors, lied to the Russians and Chinese.
If you remember, Russia and China abstained from the vote authorizing the no-fly zone, and humanitarian intervention in Libya. And they agreed to abstain because they were specifically told that the objective was not the removal of Qaddafi and regime change; that the objective was simply to intervene in a humanitarian fashion to save the people of Benghazi.
Defense Secretary Gates was scheduled to leave the administration in August of 2011—he left four months early. And the reason he left early is because he wanted no part of the Libya operation, because he said that a no-fly zone is an act of war, and there is no turning back. There is no avoiding, once you go in, that you're going in full force.
You start out a no-fly zone by wiping out the air defenses and bombing the air force of the country that you're targeting. So, Russia and China were lied to in the case of Libya, and that has poisoned the functioning of the UN Security Council ever since. The Russians and Chinese have made statements at the highest levels of government, both civilian and military, that they will never, ever again trust the U.S., Britain, and France, when they talk about a humanitarian intervention.
So, you've had a sequence of vetoes of all the efforts to do a replay of Libya in Syria. So, in effect, the actions that were taking place around the overthrow of Qaddafi—and his execution, by the way, after he was already in custody, that was a premeditated act of murder, that was discussed the night before among various heads of state.
So, that was a turning point, and it was the kickoff of an immediate drive towards a direct confrontation with Russia and China.
Now, in the case of Syria, what happens if the Joint Chiefs of Staff don't succeed in preventing a no-fly zone there? You're going to have a no-fly zone that will be 90% American, as was the case with the military operations in Libya. And you're going to probably have the Russians providing their most advanced air defense systems to the Syrians to defeat the no-fly zone, with backing from China.
So, you can spin these things out, and see just how precarious things are, and how close we are, as the result of an operation that was launched in Libya, and was intended to go immediately into Syria and Iran, as a succession of regime-change operations that were directed fundamentally at forcing Russia and China to capitulate, back down, and agree to let this happen. So, this is how close we are to a hair trigger, in Syria—and we haven't even talked about the Iran situation—that could bring us into a strategic confrontation, with the United States and a few virtually self-disarmed NATO allies on the one side, and Russia and China on the other.
The British-Saudi Role
Q:: I'm not sure I got a complete answer to what I asked before, and I'm seeing a piece of it here. Was the getting rid of the ambassador in Benghazi then part of the silencing of any revelations of the games that went on prior in Libya? In other words, I'm looking for, is there really a motive, aside from personal, for getting rid of him?
LaRouche: It gets to a much broader subject than we can take up here. Yes, the answer is available. The point was, the intention behind this was an intention to go to a general world war situation. That was the intention. But the key to this is found in a very specific aspect of this: that the intention was to—it was essentially that. The intention goes to the Obama principle.
You had in 2001, you had something which I had, unfortunately, sort of forecast. I knew as of early January 2001, and publicized that at the time, that we were headed for a threatened terrorist event, which would strike within the United States. Now, what I was investigating at the point, on this information that I had—I had a keen impulse that we were headed for a terrorist attack internally in the United States. I was looking, correctly, in a sense, at the area around Washington, D.C., north or south of Washington, D.C. There was activity, heavy activity, that justified my concern at that point.
But what happened, in September of that year, was an operation which, to my knowledge, was instigated by Great Britain and the Saudi Kingdom. That was what 9/11 was.
Now, step up now to the present time. Why did the event [in Benghazi] occur on Sept. 11, precisely the same day, when the attackers involved were [in effect] part of the Obama campaign, Obama's supporting campaign? And therefore, that's where the problem lies. It lies in the fact that 9/11, which had been suppressed under the Bush Administration, and suppressed under the Obama Administration—remember Obama, when he was elected, promised that he would reveal all these conspiracies. He would open up the box, explain what the proof was, the evidence.
Now the evidence was being collected by a couple of Senators and others, a team headed by two Senators. They had documentation which was frozen by the Bush Administration at that time. Obama, when he was elected, promised he'd reveal the evidence, which had been collected by the Senators and other people. Obama then suppressed that: that the operation of 9/11, back then in 2001, was done by the British, the Saudi Kingdom, and by forces working with them. That's how it was done. And what is happening now is the same thing.
The purpose of this was to create a global change in policy, a new kind of empire, and policies of that nature. The intention was—and it's still a problem, even though the information is known, and I have, and Jeff has, and other people have, on this, we know a lot about this. We know the details. We know that the Saudi ambassador to the United States at that time [Prince Bandar bin Sultan], was a key element in this. We know that the family of bin Laden was there in Texas being received as a family; were given special permission to leave the United States, when no one else was allowed to fly out of the United States at that time.
So the Obama operation has always been of that character. So what happens, 9/11? Why did they schedule a terrorist attack, on a part of the U.S. system, for 9/11? This is 9/11. What is the purpose of that? What effect is that? The effect is, they have increased, since that time, the commitment of certain parties in the Islamic world, to egg them on, in an idea of a triumph over the United States and other nations. And this was done by the British monarchy itself, through the BAE, which is a British-Saudi operation. The armaments, the equipment was done through the BAE. And it was a British-Saudi operation that did the original 9/11. It is the same concern—including the present Saudi figure—the same thing, all over again. This is not an isolated incident. It is a part of a pattern, a process, and it goes back to what happened in 2001.
And then you know why this thing is so secret: the evidence of the Saudi-British conspiracy in organizing the initial 9/11; the same forces involved in creating a new 9/11 in Libya. It's a part of a process. It is not an isolated incident. It is not something that somebody made up on their own. It is part of an orchestration. It is strategic warfare.
And that's why you have so much of the press shuts up about Obama and his operations now.
The Suppressed 28 Pages
Q: You mentioned two Senators. You probably have good reasons that you mentioned them. I think I know one, probably from Florida. He's been very focused, including talks here at the Press Club about the Saudis. Is he interested, to your knowledge, in the British aspect?
LaRouche: What I know of the personalities, since I know second-hand, but it's pretty reliable, what they've said to others, what they have done; what they have accomplished. Jeff Steinberg has more on that.
Steinberg: We're talking about Sen. [Bob] Graham and his co-chair on the Joint House-Senate investigation into the original 9/11, who was Sen. [Richard] Shelby, who is still in the Senate.
Just to fill in some of the picture here: As part of the House-Senate investigation, which was carried out by people largely from the counter-intelligence section of the FBI who were loaned to the joint House-Senate committee, they established a detailed flow of funds from the office of Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, to two of the leading hijackers who were the first to arrive directly from the planning meeting in Malaysia, and they arrived on the West Coast, and were operating out of the San Diego area for most of the year, almost a year before the 9/11 attacks. Through Prince Bandar's personal accounts, somewhere in the vicinity of $55-75,000 went to these two hijackers alone, to finance their operation. The funds were passed through two Saudi intelligence officers who were the people who greeted these two future terrorists when they first arrived in the United States, around Christmas/New Year's of the previous year.
That material was assembled in the 28-page chapter on the financing of the original 9/11 attack that was part of the joint House-Senate committee report, and the White House classified that 28-page chapter. Subsequent to that, further details have come out, indicating that there were similar relationships between prominent Saudis with official ties to the Saudi government, in Florida, as well; and Mohammad Atta and two of the other hijackers were frequently meeting with somebody who was a big funder of various Saudi causes in the United States. That man and his whole family abruptly left the United States and have never returned. They left about a week before the 9/11 attacks.
So there's a lot of detail out there on the Saudi side, and that's the area of focus of Senator Graham.
We took the investigation one step further, because people may remember, back in 2007, there were extensive exposés in the British press about the al-Yamamah project, which was a deal between the British government and the Saudi Defense Ministry, that involved a barter deal, and British BAE provided $40 or $50 billion in weapons and support to the Saudi Air Force; and in return, the Saudis paid in oil, 600,000 barrels a day, for the period from 1985 to 2007. And so the gap between the money that was generated by those spot market oil sales, and the costs of the equipment and support staff and lucrative bribes to many Saudi officials, was still in the range of about several hundred million dollars, that was created as an offshore covert fund for financing clandestine operations, including the bankrolling of the original al-Qaeda during the Afghanistan War [against the Soviet Union].
There was a biography of Prince Bandar that went through a great deal of the detail. And as the British press documented, Prince Bandar received $2 billion as his kickback for the al-Yamamah deal, which he originally brokered, first with Maggie Thatcher, and then repeated it with Tony Blair. That $2 billion was going into the very account that financed the 9/11 hijackers on the West Coast for all of their activity while they were in the United States.
And this was covered up by Bush; and in his 2008 campaign, as Mr. LaRouche said, Obama pledged to the 9/11 families, that he would make that 28-page chapter publicly available and would investigate it further. He met with the families at the White House in February of 2009, right after he was inaugurated as President, and promptly after that, shut the lid, refused to declassify those documents, and then, had the Solicitor General go to court to make sure that no lawsuits against the Saudi government could be carried out in a U.S. court, under a sovereign immunity deal. And it specifically shut down all of the civil actions that were probing at the Saudi, and by extension, British involvement through al-Yamamah, in 9/11.
There was a biography commissioned by Prince Bandar, back around 2009, in which he openly said: We created a joint covert operations fund between the British government and the Saudi government, to finance black operations around the world, coups d'état, operations like the 9/11 attack.
And so, all of these things are out there. We have footprints, we know the nature of the beast, we know the nature of the Anglo-Saudi arrangements, in the specific al-Yamamah case, and so far, consecutively, the Bush, and now Obama administrations have moved heaven and earth to cover up the evidence that exists that would open the door, to getting to the bottom of it. I think it's the biggest coverup since the Kennedy assassination.
The Siegelman Case
Q:: This gets a little deep in the weeds, but it's an unusual opportunity to ask for your knowledge: About two weeks ago, someone who worked with Karl Rove on all kinds of things, including the frame-up of Don Siegelman in Alabama; he had a press conference here, talking about voting fraud. But my question is, those who have followed that, realize that partly gets into military contracts. Wayne Madsen, a Press Club member, has reported that Mohammad Atta received a small part of his training at Maxwell Air Force Base—it was mostly in Florida—but through a company that was owned primarily by the judge in the Siegelman case. And this sounds so bizarre, that unless you've studied it, it almost seems crazy, but all of the links are there.
And I guess my question is: Don Siegelman's frameup is a notorious political prosecution that President Obama hasn't done anything about, but send him back to jail. Do you know anything about this Atta being trained by professional aviation at—
LaRouche: This is not knowledge that's specific to me on this thing. I do know the kind of thing that happens in this direction. You know, we often run, in the United States, the honest among us, shall we say—we often run counter-operations against investigations of known problems, in order to find out what the facts are. We sometimes send people, under cover, to conduct these investigations.
In a case like this, I would not be able to say from here, what I would think would probably be a cover operation of that type, as opposed to really a sincere operation. Because we do run a lot of counterintelligence operations, in precisely that kind of area.
Steinberg: I don't know the specifics of that, but I can just tell you that, in the case of the West Coast hijackers, the funds that went to their flight training, to the logistics of their housing and travel, one of the two actually—his name was al-Mihdhar—traveled around the world and recruited the muscle guys for the entire 9/11 operation. So they weren't just foot-soldiers, they were among the lead organizers. The Saudi intelligence officers who were financing all of their activities on the West Coast were basically dummy employees of [inaudible] companies, that were based on the West Coast; they were Saudi-owned, but they were based in the San Diego area, and had contracts with the Pentagon, with the U.S. government.
So, put it this way: I don't know the specifics of the Siegelman business, but it certainly fits a pattern of other things that have been documented in terms of the training and protection of the 9/11 guys while they were here, before the attacks.
So, on that note, unless there's a final question, I want to thank Mr. LaRouche, I want to thank all of you for being here today, and hope it was informative, and that we'll crack some of the lies and coverups.