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Posts tagged ‘Libya’

Report: Ex-CIA Deputy Director May Have Altered Benghazi Talking Points.


Image: Report: Ex-CIA Deputy Director May Have Altered Benghazi Talking PointsMichael Morell

By Lisa Barron

The recent Senate Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi suggests that the former deputy director of the CIA played a role in shaping the official “talking points” about the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Michael Morell may have altered the government’s explanation for the assault to benefit the Obama administration, reports Fox News.

Editor’s Note: Govt Prohibited From Helping Seniors (Shocking) 

The panel’s reports showed that on Sept.15, four days after the attacks and one day before U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on various Sunday talk shows, Morell received an email from the CIA station chief in Libya stating that they were “not/not an escalation of protests.”

But that same day, according to Fox News’ chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge, although Morell cut the word “Islamic” from the talking points, he left the word “demonstration.”

And despite the fact that the CIA and the FBI on Sept. 18 reviewed the closed circuit footage showing there were no protests, President Obama still referred to a demonstration two days later, reported Fox.

Intelligence analysts stayed with the explanation “without sufficient intelligence or eyewitness statements to corroborate that assertion. The IC (intelligence community) took too long to correct these erroneous reports,” said the Senate report.

In November 2012, as the controversy over the talking points escalated, Morell accompanied Rice to a meeting with Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Morell defended Rice’s TV appearances and maintained there was confusion about what happened in Benghazi, Graham told Fox.

“What I found curious is that he did not accept responsibility for changing the talking points. He told me the FBI had done this. I called the FBI — they went ballistic. And I am sure somebody from the FBI called Mike Morell, but within 24 hours, his statement was changed where he admitted the CIA had done it,” Graham said.

Herridge pointed to an interview Morell gave to The Wall Street Journal last August in which he spoke about his interest “in advising future presidential campaigns,” and noted that The Journal, citing unnamed officials, also reported that Morell “is close to Hillary Clinton.”

“He’s put himself out there as a political player,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch is reportedly suing in federal court for the talking points documents and recently obtained 70 heavily redacted pages.

“You have to wonder what he was thinking at the time he was deleting these talking points in a way that benefited the Obama administration, and Hillary Clinton personally,” Fitton said.

Since leaving government Morell has joined Beacon Global Strategies, a government relations firm founded by Philippe Reines, whom the New York Times magazine recently described as “Clinton’s principal gatekeeper.”

Morell issued a written statement to Fox saying that the Senate report “…strongly supports the CIA’s long-standing position that neither the unclassified talking points nor the classified analysis on which they were based were in any way politicized. While not perfect, neither the talking points nor the analysis were produced with any political agenda in mind. None.”

“I think given what was said by him and others, and where they’re headed, down the political road, would justify revisiting this issue,” Graham told Fox.

Editor’s Note: Govt Prohibited From Helping Seniors (Shocking) 

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Bolton: Hillary’s Benghazi ‘Regret’ Remark Just Canned Politics.


Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton says Hillary Clinton’s remark that the Benghazi attack was her “biggest regret” as secretary of state was a “focus-group-tested, polled response.”

“The fact here is that those deaths could have been avoided,” Bolton told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“The Obama-Clinton administration was . . . unwilling or unable to acknowledge that, in fact, the terrorist threat had grown under Obama worldwide.

“Their campaign claim [was] that al-Qaida was on the run, General Motors is alive, and Osama bin Laden’s dead. The fact is – and Benghazi demonstrates it – the terrorist threat was real and was growing,” Bolton said Monday.

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Bolton said Obama and Clinton’s unwillingness to acknowledge what was actually happening in Libya “for well over a year” before the Sept. 11, 2012, attack led to that tragedy.

He said Clinton’s “biggest regret” comment was “a tried-and-true, focus-group-tested, polled response . . . They may get away with it, but they shouldn’t.”

Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former U.N. ambassador, said he is alarmed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s remark that it is a matter of national security to give people who are in the country illegally a pathway to citizenship.

“There is no way that you can say that anybody has earned the right to be a citizen unless they have followed our laws and lived here the prescribed amount of time, done what they’re supposed to do,” he said.

“If you just happened to get here and that earns you the right to be a citizen, then we don’t have citizenship anymore,” Bolton said.

“We might as well just forget about the borders entirely, and honestly, that is what motivates some people in the Obama administration and some of their supporters.”

See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Hillary Clinton: ‘My Biggest Regret Is What Happened in Benghazi’.


Hillary Clinton has clearly done her share of soul-searching after the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which happened under her watch as secretary of state, she indicated in comments Monday.

“My biggest … regret is what happened in Benghazi,” she said in an interview while giving the keynote speech at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans. 

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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“It was a terrible tragedy, losing four Americans, two diplomats — and now it’s public, so I can say two CIA operatives — losing an ambassador like Chris Stevens, who was one of our very best and had served in Libya and across the Middle East and spoke Arabic.”

Clinton, eyed as the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, was speaking about the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were slain.

“You know, you make these choices based on imperfect information. And you make them to — as we say, the best of your ability. But that doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be unforeseen consequences, unpredictable twists and turns,” she said. 

Clinton has come under fire for her handling of the investigation into the Benghazi tragedy, amid accusations of lax security and a cover-up.

In her speech to the NADA, Clinton lauded the recent growth of the auto industry after government bailouts, and credited the nation’s dealers with helping to fuel a stagnant economy.  She defended the bailout in a Q&A session after her speech, Automotive News reports. 

And as with all her interviews, Clinton was asked about a possible presidential run. She gingerly sidestepped the question.

“I have to say I don’t know. I know that’s not a very satisfactory answer,” she said, adding there are more important issues to address globally.

“Whether Republican or Democrat or conservative or liberal, I want them to see we’re all on the same team,” she said. “We’re on the American team. We can worry about the next election later. We spend too much time looking over the horizon.”

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Cynthia Fagen

McCain: Jimmy Carter’s Failure ‘Pales in Comparison’ to Obama’s.


The Obama administration’s dearth of leadership has surpassed the failure of Jimmy Carter’s presidency and is helping al-Qaida gain footholds around the globe, laying the foundation for extremist Muslim terror groups to take up residence on U.S. soil, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said Tuesday on a Phoenix radio show.

“If you don’t care about Syria, my dear listeners, if you don’t care about Syria, it’s becoming a regional conflict,” he said while a guest on The Mike Broomhead Show.

“It’s spread to Lebanon. It’s spread to Turkey. It’s spread to Jordan. It is spreading throughout the region, and sooner or later it will affect the United States of America if you allow a place to become a base for al-Qaida.”

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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McCain fielded listeners’ questions and offered his take on everything from the Super Bowl to Syria. He slammed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for failing to take responsibility for the deaths of a United States ambassador and three others in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 people.

McCain railed against Obama, Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry, who he criticized for negotiating with Russia while that nation supports Syria with arms during the civil war there.

“Eleven thousand people have been tortured to death and killed and beaten and murdered in the custody of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad,” McCain said, referring to Assad as “a monster” who instructs his soldiers to “rape, torture and murder.”

McCain directed most of his ire at Obama and Clinton. McCain vowed to launch a thorough investigation of the Benghazi incident if the GOP wins control of the Senate in the midterm elections this fall.

“I will be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and we will not quit until we get the testimony of those survivors, those brave Americans that fought,” he promised.

The senator lauded New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for swiftly acting on the bridge-closing scandal and immediately firing top level aides involved. Hillary Clinton, McCain chided, should learn something from Christie’s accountability.

“What the hell is going on when our secretary of state is not held responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, nor has anyone ever been held responsible for the deaths of four Americans?” he railed. “There’s a real double standard. Chris Christie held people responsible for what was obviously an abuse of power. Hillary Clinton has never taken responsibility even though the intelligence committee, Republican Party report, mentioned her specifically.”

Obama’s leadership is so deficient that Jimmy Carter’s epic failure as president “pales in comparison,” McCain says.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” he said. “I thought Jimmy Carter was bad.”

McCain said it’s unfathomable that Obama complains about not being able to accomplish anything because of the gridlock in Washington.

“He’s the president and he’s talking like he’s a bystander, an observer.”

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melissa Clyne

NY Times Reporter: No Attempt to Clear Hillary on Benghazi.


Image: NY Times Reporter: No Attempt to Clear Hillary on BenghaziSecretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies on Jan. 23, 2013 before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs about the September 11, 2012 attacks against the U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

By Greg Richter

New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick called accusations “preposterous” that his controversial story on Benghazi was written to boost Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes.

The story does not reflect well on the administration of President Barack Obama, Kirkpatrick said Monday on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.” 

Though Kirkpatrick concludes that the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was caused by an anti-Muslim video produced in the United States, he says he doesn’t think the attack started spontaneously from a street protest, as then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice asserted on all five Sunday morning news shows days after the incident.

“Her statements clearly were misleading,” Kirkpatrick told CNN. A lot of the confusion and misinformation that have proliferated since were a result of Rice’s initial misstatements, he said.

“It was not a street protest. It was clearly an attack that began very deliberately and very suddenly. There was certainly some planning,” Kirkpatrick said. “There is evidence there was surveillance earlier that morning, he said.

But Rice’s initial misstatements set up a “false dichotomy” that either it was a spontaneous street protest or it was a planned al-Qaida attack, he said. Neither of those extremes is true, he says.

“In fact, it was an attack, in response to this movie, by local militants,” he said.

It’s pretty easy to find out who was involved, Kirkpatrick said. “This is not like someone secretly planted a car bomb under a car.” It was a “mob attack” that happened “in broad daylight” with a large crowd of people watching.

It also isn’t difficult to find out that Ahmed Abu Khattala, a local militia leader for the group Ansar al-Sharia, was a significant and central player, as was his group, Kirkpatrick said.

“They’re well known. They’re local people with friends and neighbors and histories,” he said.

But Abu Khattala isn’t a member of al-Qaida, he said. “He’s an anti-Western, anti-democratic, Islamic militant.”

One could stretch the term and call Abu Khattala part of al-Qaida, but he’s not part of the al-Qaida organization founded by Osama bin Laden, Kirkpatrick said.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

King: Terror Group Ansar al-Shariah ‘New Face of al-Qaida’.


The terror group Ansar al-Shariah, suspected of carrying out the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, is the “new face of al-Qaida,” Rep. Peter King asserted Monday.

“The fact is, this is the new face of al-Qaida. We have to face up to that. That is what a number of us have been saying for several years now,” King, the former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Fox News.

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The New York Republican agreed with the Obama administration that the core al-Qaida group founded by Osama bin Laden has been “weakened,” but insisted that it has “metastasized” and “morphed” into “more of a threat” than when the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001.

He added that if the U.S. State Department does not recognize al-Shariah or certain other terrorist groups as affiliates at al-Qaida, “then that is a very, very real policy issue that has to be discussed.”

King made the comments in response to a New York Times report over the weekend claiming the Benghazi attack was not carried out by a al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist group, but was prompted in part by an American-made anti-Muslim video, as initially claimed by the White House. The Times report put the blame for the attack directly on extremist militia leaders in Libya who had helped to overthrow dictator Muammar Gaddafi with the aid of both the U.S. and NATO.

King, like many other Republicans who have blasted the Times report since its release on Saturday, also suggested the article could serve to “defuse” what many believe could be a Republican issue against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president in 2016.

Republicans blame Clinton for failing to beef up security at the Benghazi compound, despite repeated warnings to the State Department that it was vulnerable to attack.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Wanda Carruthers

Report: US, Libyan Forces Capture Tunisian Militant Leader.


Image: Report: US, Libyan Forces Capture Tunisian Militant Leader

TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisian state media said the head of the country’s Islamist militants had been captured in Libya by U.S. and Libyan forces on Monday, though his organization denied he had been detained.

The U.S. army also said it had not played any part in any move against Ansar al Sharia leader Saifallah Benahssine — the man accused of inciting an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia in 2012.

Any U.S. involvement in an operation on Libyan soil would be highly sensitive. Libyan Islamists were furious at what they saw as Washington’s interference after American forces captured a top al-Qaida suspect in Tripoli in October.

If confirmed, the capture of such a high-ranking Tunisian militant in Libya would also highlight close ties between Islamist groups in North Africa.

After the fall of Moammar Gadhafi two years ago, Libya has drawn foreign militants because its weak central government, uncontrolled southern areas and porous borders to sub Saharan Africa allow arms and fighters to flow to regional hot spots.

Western powers have pledged to help Libya control its frontiers and train its nascent armed forces to build up its capacity to control the country’s territory.

Tunisia’s TAP agency, citing a senior security source, said Benahssine, also known as Abu Iyadh, had been arrested in the coastal city of Misrata on Monday morning.

“An authorized security source told TAP that Saifallah Benahssine, known as Abu Iyadh, has been arrested in Libya on Monday morning,” TAP said. “The source said special American forces arrested Abu Iyadh and other members of his group, helped by Libyan forces.”

The U.S. military said it had played no part in any operation, and U.S. security officials told Reuters that U.S. intelligence agencies and their personnel also were not involved.

Some U.S. officials believed that Abu Iyad had indeed been captured, while others said that reports of his capture had not been confirmed and cannot be considered reliable.

Libya’s LANA state news agency also published the TAP report on the capture. But there was no comment from the Libyan government.

Misrata officials denied he had been captured in their city.

“Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia denies any information stating that its prince, the Tunisian Abu Iyadh, may God protect him, has been captured,” the group said on its Twitter account.

Ansar al-Sharia was one of the hardline jihadist groups to emerge after the Tunisia’s revolt against its autocratic leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali three years ago when long-oppressed Islamist ultra-conservatives rose in influence.

Militant violence has also increased there since the government began a crackdown on the group this year, declaring it an outlawed organization.© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

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