Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Whistle-blower: State Department cut counterterrorism experts out of Benghazi decisions

Fox News has the latest on another of Benghazi whistle-blowers.

Excerpt:

On the night of Sept. 11, as the Obama administration scrambled to respond to the Benghazi terror attacks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a key aide effectively tried to cut the department’s own counterterrorism bureau out of the chain of reporting and decision-making, according to a “whistle-blower” witness from that bureau who will soon testify to the charge before Congress, Fox News has learned.

That witness is Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for operations in the agency’s counterterrorism bureau. Sources tell Fox News Thompson will level the allegation against Clinton during testimony on Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

Fox News has also learned that another official from the counterterrorism bureau — independently of Thompson — voiced the same complaint about Clinton and Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy to trusted national security colleagues back in October.

[...]Sources close to the congressional investigation who have been briefed on what Thompson will testify tell Fox News the veteran counterterrorism official concluded on Sept. 11 that Clinton and Kennedy tried to cut the counterterrorism bureau out of the loop as they and other Obama administration officials weighed how to respond to — and characterize — the Benghazi attacks.

“You should have seen what (Clinton) tried to do to us that night,” the second official in State’s counterterrorism bureau told colleagues back in October.  Those comments would appear to be corroborated by Thompson’s forthcoming testimony.

[...]Documents from the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, first published in the May 13 edition of “The Weekly Standard,” showed that senior officials from those agencies decided within days of the attacks to delete all references to Al Qaeda’s known involvement in them from “talking points” being prepared for those administration officers being sent out to discuss the attacks publicly.

Those talking points — and indeed, the statements of all senior Obama administration officials who commented publicly on Benghazi during the early days after the attacks — sought instead to depict the Americans’ deaths as the result of a spontaneous protest that went awry. The administration later acknowledged that there had been no such protest, as evidence mounted that Al Qaeda-linked terrorists had participated in the attacks. The latter conclusion had figured prominently in the earliest CIA drafts of the talking points, but was stricken by an ad hoc group of senior officials controlling the drafting process. Among those involved in prodding the deletions, the documents published by “The Weekly Standard” show, was State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, who wrote at one point that the revisions were not sufficient to satisfy “my building’s leadership.”

The allegations of the two counterterrorism officials stand to return the former secretary of state to the center of the Benghazi story. Widely regarded as a leading potential candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, Clinton has insisted she was not privy to decisions made by underlings about the inadequate security for the U.S. installations in Benghazi that were made in the run-up to the attacks. And she has portrayed her role — once the attacks became known in Washington — as that of a determined fact-finder who worked with colleagues to fashion the best possible response to the crisis.

[...]The counterterrorism officials, however, concluded that Clinton and Kennedy were immediately wary of the attacks being portrayed as acts of terrorism, and accordingly worked to prevent the counterterrorism bureau from having a role in the department’s early decision-making relating to them.

Also appearing before the oversight committee on Wednesday will be Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks. Like Thompson, Hicks is a career State Department official who considers himself a Benghazi whistle-blower. His attorney, Victoria Toensing, a former chief counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, has charged that Hicks, too, has faced threats of reprisal from unnamed superiors at State.

Be sure and check out the previous article on Hicks’ testimony. I personally think that this is enough to impeach Obama and rule Hillary Clinton out as a candidate in 2016. But only if people find out about it. I’m not optimistic about the media doing its job on this, though, especially given that CBS News spent 30 minutes on the gay basketball player and still has not mentioned Gosnell. The liberal media is covering up for Obama. They have become Watergate co-conspirators.

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