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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Is Benghazi Another Gunrunning Scandal? (Updated Jan. 5, 2013))

Benghazi may be another gunrunning scandal. From Front Page Magazine:
Over the weekend, the newest, and by far the most disturbing, revelations surrounding the Benghazi attack were revealed. Several sources have pointed to the possibility that a major CIA gun-running operation aimed at arming anti-Assad Al-Qaeda-affiliated forces was in danger of being exposed. If true, the information casts an even more devastating pall over the Benghazi terrorist attack and the administration’s botched handling of the region.

The decision to stand down as the Benghazi terrorist attack was underway was met with extreme opposition from the inside. The Washington Times‘s James Robbins, citing a source inside the military, reveals that General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, who got the same emails requesting help received by the White House, put a rapid response team together and notified the Pentagon it was ready to go. He was ordered to stay put. “His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow,” writes Robbins. “Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.”

If true, Ham has apparently decided he wants no part of the responsibility for the decision not to help those in harm’s way. He is not alone. As the Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol revealed late Friday, a spokesperson, “presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus,” released the following statement: ”No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”

Obama himself is stonewalling.

. . . Several sources have come up with explosive answers accounting for the administration’s reticence.

According to WND’s Aaron Klein, “Egyptian security officials” revealed that Ambassador Christopher Stevens “played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.” Stevens was reportedly a key contact for Saudi Arabian officials, who wanted to recruit fighters from North Africa and Libya, and send them to Syria by way of Turkey. The recruits were ostensibly screened by U.S. security organizations, and anyone thought to have engaged in fighting against Americans, including those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, were not sent to engage Assad’s regime.

Yet as Klein further notes, reality is far different. The rebels the administration armed to fight Gaddafi, as well as those we may have armed to fight Assad, do include al-Qaeda members, and fighters from other jihadist groups as well.

As to the nature of the arms themselves, an October 6 report by the New York Times’ Robert Worth reveals that “Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been funneling money and small arms to Syria’s rebels but have refused to provide heavier weapons, such as shoulder-fired missiles, that could allow opposition fighters to bring down government aircraft, take out armored vehicles and turn the war’s tide.” The reason they have refused to provide more lethal weapons to the rebels is partly because “they have been discouraged by the United States, which fears the heavier weapons could end up in the hands of terrorists.”

Yet as Business Insider reveals ”there’s growing evidence that U.S. agents–particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens–were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels” (italic mine) and that, beginning in March 2011, Stevens was “working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group–a group that has now disbanded, with some fighters reportedly participating in the attack that took Stevens’ life.” In November 2011, the Daily Telegraph reported that “Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, ‘met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,’ said a military official working with Mr Belhadj.” Reportedly, many of the militia groups that helped oust Gaddafi were eager to export their revolution to Syria.

Three days after the attack in Benghazi, it was revealed that ”a Libyan ship carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria…has docked in Turkey,” with a cargo that “weighed 400 tons and included SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.” Business Insider speculates the weapons came “most likely from Muammar Gaddafi’s stock of about 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles–the bulk of them SA-7s–that the Libyan leader obtained from the former Eastern bloc.”

The Insider then reaches a devastating conclusion. “And if the new Libyan government was sending seasoned Islamic fighters and 400 tons of heavy weapons to Syria through a port in southern Turkey–a deal brokered by Stevens’ primary Libyan contact (meaning Belhadj) during the Libyan revolution–then the governments of Turkey and the U.S. surely knew about it.”

But not just Turkey and the U.S. Canada Free Press columnist Doug Hagmann, citing a ”well placed source with extensive knowledge about the attack,” claims that “Russia was fully aware of this operation and warned the U.S. not to engage in the destabilization of Syria, as doing so would endanger (Russian) national security interests.” He further asserts that Stevens’ final meeting in Benghazi on September 11 was with ”his Turkish counterpart, who reportedly warned Stevens that the (gun-running) operation was compromised.”

That the administration was helping to arm the worst elements in the region — jihadist rebels also at war with the United States — may explain the administration’s vigorous stonewalling to date. Far from just a diplomatic mission in Libya, the evidence suggests that one of the explicit functions of the U.S. “consulate” was to oversee the transfer of Libyan weapons from the Gaddafi regime’s stockpile, including to the opposition in Syria.

“In short, it seems President Obama has been engaged in gun-walking on a massive scale,” Center for Security Policy president Frank Gaffney explains in the Washington Times. “The effect has been to equip America’s enemies to wage jihad not only against regimes it once claimed were our friends, but inevitably against us and our allies, as well. That would explain his administration’s desperate, and now-failing, bid to mislead the voters through the serial deflections of Benghazigate.”
What is interesting to me is, shortly after the attack (Sept. 20), the White House Insider (WHI) at the Ulsterman Report speculated that gunrunning to terrorists may have been behind the Benghazi attack:

UM: How about the Middle East stuff? The embassy attacks? I have been trying to get out as much information on that as possible. Is that going to hurt Obama like it should?

WHI: It will – it IS hurting him. Not as much as it should – media is in 24/7 protect mode. That whole things stinks…not just the president’s reaction to it. Not just the lying by the administration…but the fella who was killed…that ambassador. Now this is me – this is just me thinkin’ here. What my gut is tellin’ me on this…that guy was no ambassador. Officially yeah – but off the books. He was CIA. Had to have been. You made a comment in one of your stories…’bout how it was like Fast and Furious except in the Middle East. Somethin’ like that.

UM: That if Obama was willing to arm Mexican drug lords, why not Muslim extremists.

WHI: Right – somethin’ like that. Think you might a nailed it there without knowing it. You meant it as…like a bit of sarcasm there at the end of what you wrote – but you actually said what the real deal is. Obama sent a sh-tload of weapons into Libya during the Gaddafi thing. Had no idea who they were going to…just…tens of millions of dollars worth of high grade weaponry. Now you think folks like al Qaeda and other militant groups won’t notice? It was a take what you need weapons supermarket courtesy of the Obama government for them! Not much different than what happened in Egypt.

UM: How so?

WHI: You got Egypt. You got Libya. Both of them were run by…basically they guys running the show were non-practicing Muslims, right? Mubarak – he couldn’t stand the Muslim hardliners and he beat the sh-t out of them every chance he got. Him and his military cronies. So he kept the peace that way. He kept business open to American and European interests. Things weren’t perfect, but a hell of a lot better than say,Iran. He could tell Iran to shut the f-ck up, and Iran had to consider it because Egypt had some real muscle. It had a military, and it had the backing of the West.

Now Libya…Gadaffi was a real sh*t. Sick bastard. But like Mubarak – he didn’t like the Muslim hardliners in Libya either. Especially if they were gonna cause trouble for him. So he would intimidate the sh-t out of them too. At least over the last decade or so. Gaddafi had two coming to God moments in his life. The first was when Reagan bombed the hell out of his palace. He knew he coulda died then. He knew the West could come in and take his life if it wanted. So he moderated. Then there was 9-11. And when Bush went into Iraq and did his thing – they found Hussein and put him on trial and hung the bastard…that scared the hell out of Gaddafi. Really got inside his head. So he moderated some more. He was actually…my understanding…he was actually becoming a regular contributor to our Intel. By that time he couldn’t stand al Qaeda anymore than we could. Maybe less so because they posed an even more direct threat to him.

And what happens? The dumbest pile of sh-t that has ever sat in that White House helps to force Mubarak and Gaddafi out – and we got no real plan for the aftermath. All kinds of people are telling the administration the Muslim Brotherhood could take overEgypt. Could take over Libya. They either ignored those warning or that is EXACTLY what they wanted to happen.

They are warned that Gadaffi’s departure will create more chaos in Libya and there are a sh-tload of weapons that will be unaccounted for. That is exactly what happens. Obama doesn’t give a sh-t. Too busy golfing. Doing the talk shows. Right? Telling Israel to go f-ck themselves. Dancing around Iran instead of punching them right in their f-cking face. Jarrett is Iranian. Jarrett has long ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. You would think, maybe for one f-cking second, enough people in the media would think maybe – just maybe…we should take a closer look at all this.

(Pause)

What if that ambassador fella…what if he was killed by weapons sent there by Barack Obama? Just like you said in that off-handed way. And what if there are tens of thousands of those weapons being used by al Qaeda right now? Maybe on their way to the Israeli border? And not just guns ‘cause that’s not all we were sending into Libya you know. We’re talking some high powered take down an airliner kinda stuff.

And take it a bit further. We did that. And we did it knowingly. We did it willingly. The Obama White House. Their hand picked stooges in the military, in State. They did that.

Now let me go one little step more here. What if that ambassador…well…let’s say he came across certain information…damaging to the administration. Why is he flying into that consulate in Benghazi? Cover of night. No security precautions. Anti-Western sentiment reaching critical levels. It’s almost like he was trying to keep his whereabouts unknown to his own government. Right? And that bullsh-t little YouTube video thing? It had been out for…what – months? Nobody gave a sh-t about it. NOBODY.

But then it is being used as the spark to start the fire? Who did that? Who would want to get those sand…get those people are riled up like that? And the administration – they are saying it was that video right out of the gate, right? Like it was a packaged excuse ready to go. Packaged means it was part of something bigger. A bigger plan, right?

UM: (Interrupts) Hold on – I apologize. I just want to ask you if this is all your own speculation – or if you received information. (Military Insider?) You’re getting pretty specific here – and that usually – all the times we’ve done this…usually means you received information from another source.

WHI: This is me. Just me.

…so like I said…the video thing…it’s part of a packaged plan. They are running that excuse HARD. Libyans are saying it’s bullsh-t. London media…they got a sh-tload of people in Libya too who know – there is stuff going on between us and the Brits…they ain’t happy with Obama. Not all of them.

So basically everyone BUT the Obama administration is saying the Benghazi attack was pre-planned, right? Terrorist attack. And what is Barack Obama doing right at that time? He’s flying to Vegas. He’s doing goofy interviews. His White House just keeps repeating the video excuse over and over again.

So is this all just a pile of incompetent sh-t by the Obama administration? By Clinton? Did you notice how Defense said very little? And the CIA…Petraeus… has said nothing? In this town, some times the ones speaking the loudest are the ones not saying a word.

UM: And then we get the “secret” Romney 47% video released.

WHI: Right – right. Obama was starting to take on just a little bit of heat on the Middle East sh-t and that tape comes out. That thing wasn’t meant to come out this early. Late October, maybe – certainly not now. But they are so spooked and confused over the polling data, they released it sooner. That means the Middle East situation has them afraid. People are actually asking some questions now. Sniffing around the situation just a bit. And if they get somebody in the military…somebody like that…to go on the record with this…with whatever had that ambassador acting so strangely right before he was killed…well-well-well…

UM: So you’re going conspiracy on this?

WHI: Oh yeah. That was no accidental killing of the ambassador. And it wasn’t just al-Qaeda acting alone. They had approval. From somebody linked with our side of the fence.

UM: And you’re really just speculating here?

WHI: (Pause)

…Sure. Just me on this…just me thinking on Barack Obama – the Butcher of Benghazi.
 Update: (January 5, 2013) Fox News is reporting:
Egyptian authorities seized six U.S.-made missiles in the Sinai Peninsula Friday that security officials said were likely smuggled from Libya and bound for the Gaza Strip.

Libya's 2011 uprising and subsequent civil war left the country awash in weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades, automatic rifles and other munitions. Since the end of the country's eight-month conflict, smugglers have transferred some of the weapons to Islamic militants in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which has faced a security vacuum since the country's own uprising, and from there onward in underground tunnels to neighboring Gaza.

Security officials said that police working on a tip from local Bedouin discovered the six U.S.-made missiles hidden in a hole in the desert outside the northern Sinai city of el-Arish before dawn on Friday. They said the anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles have a range of up to one mile.

The officials, who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to speak to media, did not specify the make of weapon.

Over the past year, Egypt's Interior Ministry has confiscated hundreds of weapons smuggled from Libya, often near the Egyptian city of Marsa Matrouh, which is located along the Mediterranean coastal highway some 270 miles northwest of Cairo. Last month, security officials seized 17 French-made missiles near el-Arish, east of Marsa Matrouh along the coast, before they could be smuggled through tunnels to the Gaza Strip.

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