Tapper and Benghazigate


More Benghazigate Questions


I wroterecently about the peek CNN’s Jake Tapper took into that dark room wherein the ObamaAdministrationand its allies in the MSM have consigned the Benghazigate Scandal, and today I will expand on it and look at other aspects of the event.


I do this because Tapper’s was the first and only major report to appear in the MSM and because CNN will air a special on Benghazigate Tuesday at 10:00 pm.


That special should be a “must watch” for anyone interested in understanding the event, its genesis, and its consequences.  Furthermore, Erin Burnett, whatever her shortcomings might be perceived to be, does some very good work at times (especially on Mali).


Additionally, my searcheshave found that the MSM (except in a blog here) has not touched Tapper’s report, and the special may serve as a second prod to get its members off their duffs (I’m surprised that Brent Bozell’s ganghasn’t yet picked that fact up yet—unlike the otherCNN scoop).


As for Tapper’s piece, the only big new news in it related to the intensive polygraphing being given the survivors and the implication that that extraordinary testing was being done to intimidate the survivors and to further the cover-up of what had been going on in Benghazi prior to the attack/intrusion on the “Diplomatic Facility” and its associated Annex.


However, there was one other factthat is being said to have been unreported earlier other than in alternative media—that there were a total of seven persons injured in the attacks.  The Telegraphputs it this way:


Sources said that more Americans were hurt in the assault spearheaded by suspected Islamic radicals than had been previously reported.


To my knowledge, that specific number had not been stated by the many members of congress investigating the matter and who had visited with some of the injured.


That number is interesting for a number of reasons, the first of which being that no injuries were reported during the series of face-to-face “immaculate confrontations” that the intruders had with the security agents at the compound and with the rescue team that came to the compound from the Annex.  Nor were any injuries reported amongst the rescuers and the rescued during their fighting retreat back to the Annex from the compound (as reported by Fox—caution, autoplay)


The officialbriefinggiven on 9 October 1212 says that:


the agents…make their way to the annex….[and] join the defense at the annex. [Some take up firing positions on the roof….and [in] other firing positions around the annex. The annex is, at this time, also taking fire and does take fire intermittently, on and off, for the next several hours. The fire consists of AK-47s but also RPGs, and it’s, at times, quite intense.  As the night goes on, a team of reinforcements from Embassy Tripoli arrives by chartered aircraft…and makes its way to the…annex….And somewhere…around 4 o’clock in the morning …the annex takes mortar fire. It is precise and some of the mortar fire lands on the roof of the annex. It immediately killed two security personnel that are there, severely wounds one of the agents…from the compound.


That is, the only official briefing that anyone has given speaks of only one injured (Agent David Ubben).


Who were the other injured, and when and where were they injured? 


That is unclear, and the numbers reported in the media and in internet postings vary widely from a few up to as many as thirtytreated in Germany, and seventhen hospitalized at Walter Reed.  I shall not take readers’ time to cite the specifics, but these variouslinksmaybefollowedto see those numbers discussed.


The official, Unclassified, State ARB report(pdf) puts the specific number at two, but hints at more (and more may be discussed in the Classified version):

The seven person response team from…Tripoli arrived…. at the Annex about 0500 local.  Less than fifteen minutes later, the Annex came under mortar and RPG attack, with five mortar rounds impacting close together in under 90 seconds. Three rounds hit the roof of an Annex building, killing security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty….[And] severely injur[ing] one ARSO and one Annex security team member…. team members provide[d] combat first aid to the injured.  Wounded personnel were transferred to a local hospital, in exemplary coordination that helped save the lives of two severely injured Americans….At 1915 local on September 12, Embassy Tripoli evacuees, Benghazi personnel, and those wounded in the attacks departed Tripoli on the C-17 aircraft, with military doctors and nurses aboard providing en route medical care to the injured.


It will be very interesting to see how CNN covers this matter.


The briefing says the mortaring began at 4:00, but ARB says 5:00, and both report intermittent firing of AK-47s and RPGs into or at the Annex for several hours before the intense, short period of mortaring and heavier firing began


Jamie Dettmer and Christopher Dickey of the Daily Beast presumably were fed by administration sources the following account of the culminating events at the Annex, and they reported on those events and other matters in late October:



as [the Libyans] prepared to evacuate the Americans…the street was dead quiet. And then a shot rang out. Then within seconds there was a whooshing sound of rocket-propelled grenades being fired, raining down into the annex compound from attackers in positions concealed on rooftops and behind a stand of trees. In two minutes 15 RPGs hit. Then a pause. Then came the muffled sound of a mortar going off, and a devastating detonation as it hit the roof of one of the annex buildings. “It was a good shot,” says [the Libyan leader]. “Whoever fired it knew what they were doing.” It was dark. And they were too accurate. “They must have known the coordinates,”….the high explosive rounds lobbed on top of the buildings killed two members of the quick-reaction team, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods…[and] Special agent Ubben….

The shooting at the annex went on for about 15 minutes….then it stopped as abruptly as it had started. The assailants simply disappeared.


This account has troubled me for a number of reasons.  First, I’m not convinced, despite what many military analysts (and the Libyan leader) say, that the mortar men needed a lot of training to fire a few rounds into the compound.  We’ve all seen many videosof jihadis in Syria and elsewhere firing mortars to some effect.


Second, this event must have been when the survivors were injured, but that fact is not reported anywhere that I have seen.  That is, 15 RPG rounds and 5 mortar rounds were fired in the first two minutes killing two and injuring one (or two), but the firing was said to have continued for 13 more minutes to no effect.  How could that have been the case?


Third, why did the attackers suddenly break off an attack that had been going on for four or five hours?  With the weapons they supposedly had, they should have been able to level the buildings in short order—and they should have been able to blast their way inside.  Why didn’t they?


Fourth, why did they allow Ambassador Stevens’ body to be removed and transported to the airport unmolested? 


And, finally, why was the evacuation of more than forty people (the 21 originally at the Annex, the seven mystery people reported here, the six {seven less the dead Glen Doherty} from Tripoli, the five survivors from the Compound, and however many Libyans) unmolested?


Perhaps the whole carefully planned and executed (according to The Atlantic) series of events was just an effort to drivethe Americans out of Benghazi thereby ending whateveroperationthe Americanswere carryingout in Benghazi at the time.


Who knows?  Maybe The Shadow?


I have further comments hereon the event and an expanded and illustrated account here.


The Treepershave good coverage hereand hereof the issue that they own(along with the St. Skittles story).


And the inimitable Barry Rubin comments on the contemptible foolishness of the entire operation here.


I’ll be in the unprecedented circumstance of sitting down to watch CNN at 10:00 Eastern on Tuesday hoping to find out if CNN knows the answers to these manyquestions!


And I know that I’ll be joined by at least one hitherto skepticalleftie.


How about you?


Hillary Appears Before Congress

Yes, But Why Did They Die In Benghazi?


I watched the entire Benghazi Hearing live on C-Span 3’s webpageyesterday.


I shudda stayed in bed, for the only real piece of significant new news was that Hillary actually did make a call to Tripoli that night: All the other new news revealed during those many hours of testimony and commentary disguised as questioning involved peripheral details about stuff already known to anyone who has paid any attention to the descriptions of the actual event as those descriptions have come out over the last 8 months.


Specifically, those four Americans did not die that night because of bad security-related decisions made prior to September 11, 2012, or because U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice lied during her “full Ginsberg” on Sept. 16th, five full days after the event: They died because a horde of mostly unidentified men led by unknown persons intruded into the compound in Benghazi in unknown ways and for unknown reasons. 


Full stop.


The only really important issues about the event in Benghazi involve who the intruders were, how they made their intrusion, and why the intrusion was made—everything else is secondary!


To this day no individual(pick up the discussion by Thomas Joscelyn, Long War Journal senior editor, Bill Roggio, and John Batchelor at about the 9:00 minute mark) or group has claimed responsibility for the event, and no individual or group has been publically identifiedby the Obama Administration (or anyone else, for that matter) as being culpable for the event.  The Hearing shed no light on this matter because it did not address the matter.


Nor did it address how the intruders gained access to the compound nor why, for heaven’s sake, the intruders proceeded directly to, and trashed, an unoccupied building upon first gaining such access.


Surely, the intruders could not have had that as their reason for the intrusion, yet that is what they did before they leisurely made their way to the compound’s main building where they made a half-hearted attempt to breach the secure areas of that building prior to setting the building afire.


The hearing did not address the intruders’ apparent bloodless firefight with the compound’s occupants whilst Sean Smith and Ambassador Chris Stevens were choking to death, nor did it address how Tyrone Woods’ rescue team bloodlessly entered and exited the fully-occupied compound.


In his testimony, Ambassador Stevens’ deputy, Gregory Hicks, said that “about 60” intruders exited the compound during or after the rescue team’s exit from the compound, but no light was shed on why the intruders exited and then returned or what the intruders did while in the compound on both intrusions other than run around shooting ineffectually and burning and trashing things recklessly.


It is incomprehensible to me that no one on the Committee or anywhere seemingly is interested in discovering why the intruders intruded or what the intruders could have done within the compound because of the unknown reason or reasons that they wanted to make the intrusion.


I have written extensively on these pages about the event, comprehensively summarized hereand here.


Those summaries, with their multiple links, explain why I remain angered that the four who died that night in Benghazi died, apparently, because a gun-running operation was being run out of the compound and its associated annex, and because the compound was probably attacked for some reason because that gun-running operation was being run.


And my anger is intensified because that operation and the cover-up of that operation has been and is being ignored by the media and most observers and because that operation and its cover-up is obfuscated by the focus on what are, actually, external issues.


Even Ted Cruz missesthe point!


As this sordid tale continues to unfold, I suggest that concerned individuals keep in mind that while the cover-up of the peripheral circumstances before, during, and after the event (crime) is important and while that cover-up is what may lead to unpleasant consequences for Hillary and others, it is, in fact, the crime, the reasons for the crime, and the cover-up of the reasons for the crime that are the thingsthat are really important.


And those things are the reason four Americans died on that long night eight months ago!