Obama, Clinton, Syria, Iraq, and Benghazi
Compiled and Edited by Peter C. Coker
To some, this may seem to be a small and insignificant matter. But sometimes small things reveal the true nature and essence of a larger narrative. And, when lives are at stake, those things are certainly not small and insignificant to the families and friends of the deceased. Further, as we shall see, sometimes small matters left unchecked can turn into big problems with huge ramifications for the future.
As we have already learned and now know through the partial release of Department of Defense (DOD) documents that the Obama administration and (former) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew almost from the outset that the attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, was coordinated and pre-planned. Further, the DOD documents also provide confirmation that the Obama Administration was well aware that weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria.
During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by the downfall of the Qaddafi regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo. The level of detail presented in the documents suggests that the Obama administration, (at the very least) was in a position to stop any of these military weapon transfers.
Through more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of State, reveals that the DOD almost immediately reported the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was committed by al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance.
These DOD documents were not released voluntarily, but were forced out of the “secretive” Obama Administration, thanks to a court order that followed a May 15, 2014 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against both DOD and State asking for communications between the two agencies and congressional leaders “on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi.” These documents show that the Benghazi cover-up has been in motion for years and is only now beginning to unravel. However, the State Department has so far (as of May 2015), only released some of Hillary Clinton’s secretly held emails concerning this matter.
The documents provide us with the first official confirmation that the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria. The documents also include an August 2012 analysis warning of the rise of ISIS and the predicted failure of the Obama policy of regime change in Syria. It is not clear however, from the first partial release, if the information was ever shared with Congress.
A Defense Department document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), dated September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, details that the attack on the compound had been carefully planned by the BOCAR terrorist group “to kill as many Americans as possible.” This document was sent to Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama White House National Security Council. The “report” says that the attack on the Benghazi facility “was planned and executed by The Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BCOAR).”The group subscribes to “AQ [al Qaeda] ideologies:” The Defense Department reported that the group maintained written documents that contain information on all of the “al Qaeda” activity in Libya.”
The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately September 1, 2012. The intention was to not only to attack the consulate [and]; (1) kill as many Americans as possible, but to (2) seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye (ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and (3) as a memorial to the September, 11 2001 attacks on the American World Trade Center buildings.
“A violent radical,” the DIA report says, and “the leader of BCOAR is Abdul Baset Azuz; AZUZ was sent by ZAWARI to set up Al Qaeda (AQ) bases in Libya.” The group’s headquarters was set up with the approval of a “member of the Muslim Brotherhood.” “They have large caches of weapons and some of these caches are disguised by feeding troughs for livestock. They have SA-7 and SA-23/4 MANPADS…they train almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scriptures including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology.” It should also be noted that Azuz is blamed for the Benghazi attack in an October 2012 DIA document.
So, what’s the big deal, why should the weapons transfer from Benghazi to Syria be such an important issue? Because, the whole “Libya fiasco” was allowing weapons to move into a jihadist madhouse in the Syria-Iraq region! And that, as we have seen has had huge consequences in Iraq.
In another DIA report, written in August 2012 (the same time period the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), it said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist Muslim groups: “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and al Qaeda Iraq are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The growing sectarian direction of the war was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the “grave danger” of the rise of ISIS: The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows: (1) This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and (2) will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. (3) ISIS could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, (4) which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory. So, President Obama was forewarned about the dire consequences of the situation and made the decision to allow it to proceed.
Some of the “dire consequences” are blacked-out in the report, but the DIA presciently warned one such consequence would be the “renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.” As it turned out, the DIA warnings were right on the nose as Isis terrorists are now on the march in Iraq. And now the murderous Islamic radicals, with volunteers courtesy of Obama’s Libya creation, have embarrassed America and taken many American military assets that we gave to the Iraqi military! Obama has essentially handed Iraq over to “radical Islamic extremists” and thrown away its previous liberation! This is Obama’s big “F–U” to the American soldiers who fought to free Iraq, to the once liberated Iraqi people, and to the former President George Bush administration. President Obama’s policies have increasingly destabilized the entire region and expanded the influence of radical extremists.
Presently — for corrupt and incompetent politicians like President Obama and Hillary Clinton, “process” happens to be in their favor. Acquiring the necessary records and sludging through the judicial process is slow-going at best. (Not to mention the politically inspired stalling tactics of the Obama Administration in conjunction with Hillary Clinton). This slow-going process essentially provides cover for their cover-up. The strategy and hope for them is that the public will forget or dismiss what really happened in Benghazi, Libya. But, as we are clearly finding out; they lied, they mocked, and they covered-up (more than was suspected). And, remember what Hillary Clinton said at the time; “what difference at this point does it make.” Hillary’s words attempted to minimize the importance of her neglect, incompetence and suppression of evidence. In other words, in Hillary’s view, yesterday’s lies don’t matter, (because) I’m compassionate, my intentions are good, and besides, I need to get to work for the American people; blah, blah, blah.
But, as government records are revealing, the “difference” at this point has been devastating for the war on worldwide terrorism. And truly “caring” people are asking, “why are we allowing worldwide terrorism to continue?”
In a follow-up, covering November and December 2015, from politico.com comes this:
State Department belatedly finds 1,300 emails on Anwar Al-Awlaki
Last month (Dec. 2015), the State Department belatedly discovered about 1,300 emails relating to deceased Islamic cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki in official accounts belonging to top aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, more than four years after a legal watchdog group requested all such records, a new court filing reports.
At a federal court hearing in Washington, Justice Department attorneys assigned to the case brought by Judicial Watch told a federal judge that State‘s “executive secretariat” — the repository of records for the secretary’s office — was searched in response to the initial Freedom of Information Act request from Judicial Watch.
In the new filing the lawyers representing the State Department said the records of Clinton’s former office were searched initially. The filing is vague about whether any responsive records were found at that time. However, it says a batch of emails about Al-Awlaki — who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011 — turned up only during the follow-up search.
“Upon review of the initial search of S/ES, State determined to conduct targeted supplemental searches,” Justice Department attorney Stephen Elliott wrote. “Accordingly, State conducted searches of the state.gov email accounts of six individuals, including Ms. [Huma] Abedin, Ms. [Cheryl] Mills, and Mr. [Jake] Sullivan.
In total, State’s searches of the state.gov email accounts for the six individuals identified 1,317 potentially responsive records, many of which are multiple-page documents.”
Previously, at the Nov. 20 hearing, Elliott said State had located a modest total of 127 Al-Awlaki-related emails in messages that former State officials Abedin, Mills and Sullivan had turned over to the agency from their private accounts at State’s request earlier this year. The new filing makes clear the 1,317 messages are from official accounts, not the trove of messages State received in recent months.
State’s recent discovery of the Al-Awlaki-related emails appears to be similar to the belated discovery of roughly 81,000 emails former Clinton aide Philippe Reines exchanged with journalists on his official account during his tenure at State. Gawker requested those messages under FOIA and was initially told that “no responsive records” could be located. The 81,000 messages appear to have turned-up only after the website filed suit in March of this year, following the disclosure that Hillary Clinton exclusively used a private email account and server for official business while serving as Secretary of State.
At a recent hearing in the Gawker case, Elliott declined to concede that the initial search which discovered no records was inadequate. A State spokesman had no comment beyond confirming the statements in the court filing. However, former State officials have said it is possible initial FOIA searches found no messages because the employees in question had left the agency several months before the searches began. If so, their accounts would likely have been empty. However, a more diligent effort could have retrieved the messages in some instances because some employees regularly moved their entire mailboxes to shared servers because of limits on State’s email boxes, the former officials said.
Those archived mailboxes would likely survive an employee’s departure, although current staff might not immediately know where to look. In addition, disaster recovery backup systems might contain some records, though those systems aren’t routinely searched for FOIA requests. Subpoenas from the House Benghazi Committee and a flurry of FOIA lawsuits that followed Clinton’s revelation in March may have prompted State to conduct more aggressive searches, the ex-officials said.
Born in New Mexico and serving as imam at a Falls Church, Virginia, mosque at the time of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Al-Awlaki became the focus of intense FBI surveillance and eventually left the U.S. for England and, later, Yemen. There, he became a fiery preacher of anti-American sermons on the Internet. Fingered by U.S. officials as a leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Awlaki was killed by an unmanned U.S. drone in September 2011. The move was controversial and raised novel legal questions because Al-Awlaki was a U.S. citizen and was not on a conventional military battlefield when he was targeted.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Friday that his group does not think State ever searched Clinton’s office for records when the request was filed. “To put it directly, we don’t believe they searched Secretary Clinton’s office in 2012” he said. His group filed requests with State and the FBI on the same day Al-Awlaki was killed in 2011 and filed suit in June 2012 after not receiving any records. A large trove of FBI records on its surveillance was later made public as were a smaller number of State records.
It is unclear how many of the newly discovered Al-Awlaki-related messages are substantive and how many are news reports forwarded by State officials. The new filing says “a number” of the messages in the new batch consist of “news clipping[s,] but is not more specific.
*Oops! But wait, there’s more…check this out:
Here’s an interesting (Benghazi) tidbit from Judicial Watch on Christian Dominionists:
Also of interest is an email from former Ambassador Joe Wilson to Hillary Clinton concerning the Benghazi attack, in which he suggests the military is being compromised by “Christian Dominionists” in the U.S. military:
From: Joe Wilson
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2012 10:27 AM
Subject: From Joe Wilson
Glen Doherty [CIA contractor killed in the Benghazi attack] was a fellow member of the Military Religious Freedom Advisory Board, which fights to ensure that our military is not further compromised by the Christian Dominionists who seek to turn it into an instrument of their religious zealotry, an army for Christ rather than for the defense of our nation. He was invaluable in helping us uncover several cases where religious indoctrination was taking place under the guise of military training….
Why would Wilson send such a vicious attack on our military to Hillary Clinton unless he believed it would be welcomed?
Update: January 7, 2016
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the report released today by the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) regarding the Hillary Clinton email scandal and the mishandling of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department:
The Clinton email scandal is worsening. Today’s State OIG report confirms what we’ve been saying all along – that Hillary Clinton and the Obama State Department thwarted specific Judicial Watch FOIA requests by lying about her email system with “inaccurate” and “incomplete” responses. The State Department OIG report is half-baked but nonetheless devastating in laying out the violations of law and regulations by Hillary Clinton and her then-Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills. Judicial Watch plans to share this report with several federal courts considering our requests for discovery about the Clinton email issue. The OIG admits it still doesn’t know the extent of the inaccuracies and other violations of FOIA and correctly suggests that officials could be held in contempt of court for FOIA fraud. This is exactly why Judicial Watch is asking the courts for discovery, which could include putting current and former Obama administration officials under oath. Judicial Watch wants to know the facts behind Hillary Clinton’s and the Obama State Department’s purposeful thwarting of FOIA so we can be sure that all of the emails from her illicit email system are reviewed and released to the public as the law requires.
Update: January 11, 2016
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the Obama State Department recently found “thousands” of new records from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. According to information provided to Judicial Watch by various Justice Department attorneys, the new documents appear be “working” records in electronic format located on both “shared” and “individual” drives accessible to or used by persons identified as being relevant to Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits on the Benghazi scandal and controversies from Clinton’s term at State. The State Department confirmed the new find in a court filing late this past Friday in a FOIA lawsuit concerning records about Clinton aide Huma Abedin:
After State filed its motion for summary judgment in this case [on November 11, 2015], State located additional sources of documents that originated within the Office of the Secretary that are reasonably likely to contain records responsive to Plaintiff’s request. State has informed Plaintiff that it intends to search these locations, produce non-exempt portions of any responsive records, and file a supplemental declaration in support of its motion for summary judgment (which is presently stayed).
The State Department seeks at least until February 1 to provide additional information about these new records.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement in response to the new disclosures:
This latest find of Clinton records, at this late date, is astonishing. The State Department waited to last possible moment, as it did with the Clinton emails, to tell Judicial Watch and the federal courts about thousands of records that haven’t been searched, as the law requires. Who knew what – and when did they know it – about these new Clinton documents?
These newly recovered Clinton records are a potential game changer – and will be of interest to the courts, Congress, and the FBI’s criminal investigation. It sure looks like more of the same in terms of Obama administration officials’ obstructing our FOIA requests, obstructing the courts, obstructing Congress, and obstructing justice.
Judicial Watch exposed this new cover up on the heels of a finding by State Department’s Inspector General that Hillary Clinton and the Obama State Department thwarted specific Judicial Watch FOIA requests by lying about her email system with “inaccurate” and “incomplete” responses.
Here we go again! Another Update – Another Cover-Up exposed…
Update: April 26, 2016
Email Info Could Have Exposed Clinton Server in 2014
(Washington, DC) – The Obama State Department last week admitted it withheld a key Benghazi email of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from Judicial Watch since at least September 2014. If the State Department disclosed the email when first supposedly found, Clinton’s email server and her hidden emails would have been disclosed nearly two years ago, before Clinton authorized the alleged deletion of tens of thousands of emails.
The developments come in a July 2014 Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit seeking records related to the drafting and use of the Benghazi talking points (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). The lawsuit, which forced the disclosure of the Clinton email records, seeks records specifically from Clinton and her top State Department staff:
Copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Any and all records or communications concerning, regarding, or relating to talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency.
Also, upon further review, the Department has determined that one document previously withheld in full in our letter dated November 12, 2014 may now be released in part.
The referenced November 12, 2014, letter does not reference any withheld emails. A search declaration suggests the hidden email was found in September 2014 as a result of a search in response to Judicial Watch’s lawsuit.
The September 29, 2012, email to Clinton from then-Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan concerns talking points for Clinton calls with senators about the Benghazi attack. The email contains Clinton’s non-state.gov address.
It is in this litigation that U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth granted “limited discovery” to Judicial Watch into Clinton’s and her aides’ email practices. Judge Lamberth ruled that “where there is evidence of government wrong-doing and bad faith, as here, limited discovery is appropriate, even though it is exceedingly rare in FOIA cases.” (U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan also granted Judicial Watch discovery into the Clinton email matter. The discovery plan, agreed to by the State Department, is awaiting Judge Sullivan’s approval.)
Last week’s document production also includes material from a records cache of thousands of new Clinton State Department records supposedly only discovered in December 2015. The new material shows the State Department compiled extensive Libya/Benghazi-related dossiers on Republican and Democrat senators.
“Now we know the Obama administration consciously refused to give up key information about Hillary Clinton’s email in 2014. It covered up this email both from the court and Judicial Watch,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judge Lamberth was right when he suggested that Obama’s State Department acted in bad faith. This cover-up provided Hillary Clinton enough time to hide potentially thousands of government records. One aim of our court-order discovery will be to get to the bottom of this cover-up.”
To be continued…?
A note to “the people:” pay no attention to the denials of the men or women ‘behind the bureaucratic curtain.’ Pay attention to what they actually do and how transparent they are overall.
Note: This article and updates are basically taken from news reports, e-mail briefings from Judicial Watch, and an article from politico.com; which I compiled, edited and added some of my own snarky comments. – P.C. Coker