Panel Connects-the-dots on Benghazigate, Suggests Urgent Questions for Congressional Investigators
by FRANK J. GAFFNEY, JR.
November 15, 2012
The Center for Security Policy today hosted three of the nation's preeminent analysts concerning the totalitarian, supremacist Islamist doctrine of shariah in an examination of its influence and impact on U.S. policy - including the scandal now known as "Benghazigate." In a panel convened at Hillsdale College's Kirby Center in Washington, the author of the new book, Shariah vs. Freedom, Dr. Andrew Bostom, syndicated columnist and author Diana West and the former duty expert on radical Islam for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Stephen Coughlin, Esq. connected the proverbial dots between the failing efforts of the Obama administration with respect to engaging with Islamists and submitting to shariah and the debacle that began in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 and continues to this day.
Video of the panel is available at www.youtube.com/securefreedom
A transcript will be posted at www.securefreedom.org by November 14, 2012. In addition, the video link, the transcript and an executive summary will be distributed to members of Congress on November 14, 2012.
Highlights of the panel moderated by Center President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. included the following:
Dr. Andrew Bostom, widely published expert on the history of shariah doctrine, noted that "Cynically ignoring sharia doctrines and practices that permanently endanger the life, liberty, and property of non-Muslims, US policymakers--epitomized by the murdered US Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens--have sacrificed US lives, and our nation's principles." Bostom's third book on shariah was just published by Prometheus Books: Sharia versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism.
Stephen Coughlin, nationally recognized expert and briefer on the shariah threat to the U.S. military, intelligence and law enforcement communities, commented, "As an explanation for the Benghazi attack, the YouTube clip is ridiculous. Understood in its own right however, the YouTube clip belongs to a cluster of activities that is just as disturbing as Benghazi." Coughlin's forthcoming book, Catastrophic Failure: The Big Lie in the War on Terror, will be published in January 2013 by the Center for Security Policy Press.
Diana West, investigative reporter and author, stated "In seeking the details of what happened on 9/11/12 in Benghazi, it's vital not to lose sight of the real scandal, the policy the Obama Administration supported to overthrow anti-jihad allies in the region and re-align the US with the "bad guys" -- the "rebels," the "martyrs," the al Qaeda forces, the Muslim Brothers, the whole jihad-happy crew in Libya and the wider Middle East. In Libya, Uncle Sam joined the jihad. In Benghazi, it blew up in our faces." West's next book, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character, will be published April 2013 by St. Martin's Press.
The panel recommended that congressional investigators use three hearings this week, and others likely to be held down the road, to address a series of questions requiring urgent answers. Several of the most important of these questions are contained in the appended list below.
Mr. Gaffney said: "Now that the 2012 election is behind us and Congress is back in town, legislators must drill down not simply on the details of what happened during and following the murderous terrorist attack in Benghazi last September. They must examine that event as a microcosm of - and teachable moment concerning - the Obama administration's pro-Islamist policies that gave rise to it. Getting answers to the questions our panel has posed will do much to shed light on both."
Center For Security Policy Benghazigate Panel
QUESTIONS FOR CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATORS
13 November 2012
1) Can the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi be disassociated from the larger failure of American policy towards Libya and the region that has involved engaging Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood and even individuals and organizations known to be associated with al Qaeda? For example, hasn't the U.S. government entered into a relationship with Libya Shield, which fought under the black flag of al Qaeda during the "February 17th revolution." Libya Shield is led by Wissam bin Hamid, who official sources have identified as a jihadist and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and possibly the leader of al Qaeda in Libya. Yet, this man met with U.S. diplomats on September 9, voiced his support for MB candidate running for PM in Libya and threatened to withdraw security from US if the candidate he said the US backed won. Who authorized this meeting and this relationship? The same should be asked about February 17th Martyrs Brigade, from which Ansar al Sharia is said to have spun off.
2) Were jihad, anti-infidel, pro-shariah factors taken into consideration in formulating U.S. policy on Libya and the so-called Arab Spring more generally? Why not? How would such factors have shaped the policy differently?
3) Who came up with the idea of blaming an anti-Mohammed video for the attack in Benghazi when it was clear from Day 1 at State and the Tripoli CIA station and by Day 3 at the FBI (after it interviewed survivors) that there was no protest, period?
4) Who coordinated the dissemination of this false narrative, notably to the President, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CIA Director Petraeus and White House spokesman Jay Carney?
5) Who drafted the President's September 25th address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in which he cited the video six times and declared, "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam"?
6) Who called the deflection operation off, and when? Is it coincidental that that seemed to occur after the UNGA speech, which stands as the closing bookend to the video-narrative that the White House and, as others dropped out, Obama alone pressed for two full weeks after the attack.
7) Meanwhile, why did the CIA and other intelligence agencies ignore a seemingly more significant video - Ayman al-Zawaheri's video exhorting Libyans to take revenge for the U.S. killing of Libyan al Qaeda leader Yahya al Libi that was posted online on September 9 and September 10? Spokesmen such as George Little at Pentagon have explicitly stated there was no prior warning about Benghazi. Doesn't a 9/11 anniversary video from the head of AQ exhorting Libyans to fight Americans count as a warning?
8) Did President Obama order the U.S. military not to come to the aid of Americans under attack on 11 September 2012? Mr. Obama told a local Colorado TV reporter that he made his priorities clear "the minute I found out what was happening." He continued: "Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to." Did Obama issue such a directive, written or oral? If so, was it carried out? If not, why did the president lie to the reporter?
9) According to a November 12th Fox News item (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/12/petraeus-mistress-may-have-revealed-classified-information-at-denver-speech/), "White House Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan reportedly was aware that there was a relationship [between General David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell] as early as the summer of 2011." Yet, myriad published reports indicate that only a small number of individuals in the FBI and Department of Justice, including Attorney General Eric Holder, were privy to the investigation into this affair. Which is it? And, either way, was the President actually kept in the dark until after the election?
10) The CIA's Benghazi station was reportedly (http://www.radicalislam.org/analysis/arms-flow-syria-may-be-behind-beghazi-cover) engaged in a covert operation aimed at helping an international effort to arm the so-called "Syrian opposition" by shipping weapons recovered from "liberated" Qaddafi-era caches. If, as the New York Times has reported, the bulk of the armaments being sent to the "rebels" in Syria by Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are winding up in the hands of the most radical Islamist elements, some supplied by us are likely reaching al Qaeda operatives, as well. Has the Obama administration been secretly arming Syria's opposition, including al Qaeda and/or other radical Islamists?
About the Center for Security Policy
The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for the Washington Times.