Below are some key points, personal analysis, and further questions I gathered from reading The Benghazi Report. I hope this will generate some more detailed analysis, conjecture, deductions, and questions. Kudos to Brandon and Jack for putting this together. It was definitely a learning experience. [Quotes from the book are in bold.]
“The contract with February 17 was allowed to lapse prior to the 9/ 11/ 12 attack because the militia no longer wished to be seen protecting Americans in Benghazi.”
-This should have been a major indicator. When did the contract lapse? How high on the priority list was correcting this situation?
“All told, the handful of Americans would kill just under a hundred enemy attackers.”
-Didn’t hear much about these numbers in the news. Important note: the assaulters gave up the rough equivalent of a bunch of pawns to take out a rook, bishop, and two knights. Painful loss, simply put.
“Did Ansar Al-Sharia get inspired after seeing the Egyptians storming the US embassy in Cairo the day before? Did they get offended by an internet video? Did they choose 9/ 11 as the date for the attack because of the obvious symbolism? Maybe. But another contributing factor was JSOC operations in Libya, which kicked the hornets’ nest and pissed off the militia.”
-Logical deduction. Makes sense to me.
“With the left hand not talking to the right, it was impossible for Stevens to see or predict the JSOC expedition into Libya in late summer of 2012, which ultimately led to the attack on the consulate.”
-Main explanation within this report as to the “why” behind the attacks. This seems logical, though the weapon transfers variable would have to play a role to some degree. Whether it played a major role or minor is a very serious question which I doubt we will have answers to in the near future.
“In total, seven Americans with four local militia guards were left to promote diplomacy in one of the most hostile and unstable places on earth.”
-“We had the correct number of assets in Benghazi on the night of 9/11,”-State Department official Charlene Lamb. Her testimony made my blood boil.
“It’s worth noting that the local guards hired by the State Department were armed only with bats, not with firearms of any sort; it’s no surprise they fled.“
-Assets also apply not only to personnel, but equipment as well; yet another Dept. of State failure. I suppose it ‘doesn’t make a difference‘ in the eyes of some.
“With tacit support from Michael Vickers and James Clapper, Brennan works to exploit a number of loopholes and utilize the Obama administration’s creative interpretations of Title 10 and Title 50 powers to launch operations across North Africa and the Middle East, with Admiral McRaven no doubt happy to be along for the ride.”
-Here begins the accountability portion of the report. John Brennan receives a healthy amount, and it seems well deserved.
“Because John Brennan is running his own private war, he is not going through the normal chain of command, and operations are not deconflicted. Ambassador Stevens, for instance, was not read on to the JSOC operations in Libya. He was kept in the dark and ultimately killed in a retaliation that he never could have seen coming. ”
-If the CIA is not gathering intelligence on potential attacks via HUMINT or SIGINT, who the hell is? Was there any of that going on? There had to have been a catalyst, even if the bulk of the assault didn’t take place until hours after the initial breach. There is always a thread running somewhere. Our intelligence assets were either kept completely in the dark by the coordinators of this assault, or someone dropped the ball.
“In a Senate hearing after the attack, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olsen, stated that there was no evidence of “significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack.” This is a viewpoint shared by Matthew VanDyke, who told Business Insider, “This was not a commando style raid, that’s ridiculous…” The problem with this thesis is that further investigation has clearly shown that there was no protest outside the consulate prior to or during the attack.”
-Again, if they were gathering any HUMINT or SIGINT of any measurable value, or there should have been SOME sort of a blip on the radar that something was in the works. My estimation: this was pure spin from the administration.
“As the Global War on Terror enters the next phase in North Africa and elsewhere, we can only hold our breath and wonder which of our friends will be killed in the next debacle.”
-The next chapter looks to be a disturbing one. I do not look forward to it growing.
“The last thing the White House wanted was journalists digging into what was really going on in Libya, namely, secret weapons transfers from Libya to Syria, a program that remains a peripheral issue in the story of the Benghazi attack. More importantly, they did not want the press investigating the true motivations behind the assault.”
-This stood out as the most valuable piece of the puzzle I gathered from this report. This picture cleared up the majority of questions I had about this entire debacle.
“His willingness to stand up to his CIA boss and do what was right is an example of true American heroism. Glen Doherty ran toward the sound of gunfire, and his CIA and JSOC comrades could have waited it out in Tripoli. Instead, they practically commandeered a local plane and forced their way into the fight. Their presence and the JSOC element’s access to the Predator drone ultimately drove the decision to evacuate the Americans.”
-One of the more sobering elements of the report, but definitely a bright light amid a backdrop of blackness.
- Is the CIA or JSOC capable/willing to run operations without knowledge or consent of the Dept. of State?
- What quantifiable actions has the Department of State done to fix their operations abroad?
- What was the original intelligence source that referenced the YouTube video? How did that become the assumed reason for the attack in the State Department?
- Did the absence of executive authority hamper the speed at which assets could have provided support?
My bottom line: The continued lie about the video was intended to be discovered as a blatant lie in order to distract anyone with the power to hold the administration accountable from the darker activities being conducted. The real important question is how far up the chain these ‘darker activities’ go. Fortunately for the White House, the majority of the media is too prostrated to actually go through the process of ‘journalism’ and discover questions like these. I have little to no confidence that anyone will be held accountable for what occurred on this dark day.