On Monday, I had noted some evidence (from Petreaus' mistress, of all people) suggesting that the CIA was holding prisoners in Benghazi. Poor Richard's News has followed up on this issue a bit more and offers the following:
Naturally, the Obama administration promptly came out with a denial of any such prison’s existence. In its denial, the CIA is actually cited President Obama’s executive order from January 2009 banning the agency from operating detention centers:Of course, this doesn't rule out the gun-running issues. The CIA and/or State Department could have easily been doing both, or more, out of the consulate and CIA annex.
the CIA has not had detention authority since January 2009, when Executive Order 13491 was issued. Any suggestion that the Agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless.
Obama’s executive order was put in place specifically to end the Bush-era controversy over “enhanced interrogation” (i.e. torture) at secret CIA detention centers. ...
Fox News, which has been one of the only news organizations actively pursuing the Benghazi scandal, checked Paula Broadwell’s claims against their sources, and they cast serious doubt on the CIA’s denial:In the original Oct. 26 Fox News report, sources at the annex said that the CIA’s Global Response Staff had handed over three Libyan militia members to the Libyan authorities who came to rescue the 30 Americans in the early hours of Sept. 12.If the Fox News sources check out and the CIA/Obama administration’s denial ends up being debunked, the next question is why the Obama administration was allowing the CIA to operate a detention facility in Benghazi, and what kind of interrogation tactics were being used there.
A well-placed Washington source confirms to Fox News that there were Libyan militiamen being held at the CIA annex in Benghazi and that their presence was being looked at as a possible motive for the staged attack on the consulate and annex that night.
According to multiple intelligence sources who have served in Benghazi, there were more than just Libyan militia members who were held and interrogated by CIA contractors at the CIA annex in the days prior to the attack. Other prisoners from additional countries in Africa and the Middle East were brought to this location.
The Libya annex was the largest CIA station in North Africa, and two weeks prior to the attack, the CIA was preparing to shut it down. Most prisoners, according to British and American intelligence sources, had been moved two weeks earlier.
“Enhanced interrogation” would certainly explain the level of secrecy and coverup by the Obama administration surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attacks. It would also perhaps explain why Benghazi was so important that General Petraeus went to Libya and personally inspected the CIA facility after the attack. A scandal of this magnitude would have been the biggest “October surprise” any election season has ever seen.
A CIA detention center and enhanced interrogation would fly in the face of everything President Obama has run against since day one of his campaign. However, it would, at the same time, jive perfectly with his actions since he’s been President: increased use of drone attacks, indefinite detention without charges, failure to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.