|This article appears in the November 2, 2012 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
ON ELECTION EVE:
Benghazi Lies Blow Up in Obama's Face
by Jeffrey Steinberg
Oct. 29New revelations about President Obama's coverup of his administration's failures to protect American diplomats prior to and during the Sept. 11, 2012 assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which Amb. Chris Stevens and three other American officials were killed, are blowing up in the President's face on the eve of the Nov. 6 elections.
Last week, three e-mails, sent from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, as the assault on the consulate was underway, were made public by Reuters. Those three documents, which were sent to the White House Situation Room, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the CIA, the FBI, and numerous officials at the State Department, made clear that the attack on the consulate was a well-planned and heavily armed assault. In none of the diplomatic messages was there any mention of a demonstration outside the Benghazi consulate. In the third of the e-mails, the group Ansar al-Sharia was identified by name as taking credit for the attack, and calling for a similar assault on the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.
Now, in the past 48 hours, a series of damning additional leaks from within the U.S. military indicate that there were rapid-reaction forces ready to intervene into the Benghazi events as they were still unfolding, but that no authorization came from Washington. According to Lt. Col. Anthony Schaffer (ret.), top officials of the Obama Administration, including the President himself, were monitoring the events in Benghazi in real time, through drone surveillance relays back to Washington. Yet, special units attached to Africom, and even CIA paramilitary teams on the ground in Benghazi, were ordered to stand down, when they asked for authorization to launch air strikes against mortar positions firing at the consulate.
According to a news report aired on Fox TV and several other conservative news outlets, Africom commander Gen. Carter F. Ham was temporarily relieved of his command when he refused to accept the orders to call off the deployment of C-130 gunships to the scene. And a replacement for him has already been named, even though he is less than two years into what is normally a three-year tour.
What Did He Know, and When?
To date, President Obama has refused to provide any details about when he learned of the ongoing attacks, what he did about it, and why. It is known that the President was at the White House at 4:05 p.m. on the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2012, when the first e-mail arrived from Tripoli. At 5 p.m., he met with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Vice President Joseph Biden. No further details of what the President did on Sept. 11, 2012 have been made public by the White House or by the President's re-election campaign.
On the morning of Sept. 12, the President spoke briefly to the media in the Rose Garden, but did not characterize the Benghazi attack as an act of terrorism, contrary to what he himself claimed in the second Presidential debate with Gov. Mitt Romney. Later in the day, the President went to the State Department briefly, and then flew to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser. There is no indication that the President convened the National Security Council or took any other action appropriate under the circumstances of an attack on an American diplomatic outpost.
Senior U.S. intelligence sources have told EIR that the President and his campaign team panicked over the Benghazi attack, because the President had been campaigning non-stop around the idea that he had destroyed al-Qaeda by killing Osama bin Laden, and by the drone and special forces assassination program. The Benghazi incident made clear that al-Qaeda and its affiliates were very much alive and on the offensive.
When UN Ambassador Susan Rice went on national television on Sept. 16, and when the President appeared on the David Letterman Show and The View days later, they both lied to the American people, claiming they did not have enough information to declare the Benghazi attack an act of terrorism. In reality, as the three 9/11 e-mails make clear, the evidence was overwhelming that an al-Qaeda-affiliated group, led by a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, had killed the ambassador and three other Americans.
EIR's intelligence sources have further reported that the Obama White House and top national security cabinet officials are furious and panicked over the fact that new details are being leaked to Members of Congress and the media, further exposing both the incompetence and the lying coverup by top officials, perhaps including the President himself. According to the sources, military officers who were in a position to send emergency teams into Benghazi are furious at the runaround they got in Washington, and are leaking to the media and Congress.
A number of Congressional Republicans have demanded specific answers from the President, including a detailed account of his actions on Sept. 11, 2012. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), appearing on Fox TV this morning, told host Chris Wallace that the Benghazi attack and its aftermath are the number one issue on the minds of voters in his state, and that the President must come clean on what happened.