Nov 3, 2012
As the presidential election nears its conclusion, the current Commander-in-Chief, Barack Obama, is finally facing media scrutiny surrounding his handling of the 9/11 attack in Libya that took the life of U.S. Ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three others.
As the layers of spin are pulled back, information reveals that the U.S. may have been trafficking weapons under Ambassador Steven’s watch and Russia didn’t like it.
It is indisputable that the U.S. government was aware the Benghazi mission was under attack based on real-time drone surveillance video feeds from Libya to the Department of Defense, the U.S. State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and the White House Situation Room. What is also now known is that the mission was under surveillance before the Benghazi attack by the very Libyan security forces charged with protecting the U.S. consulate and numerous requests for additional security went unanswered by U.S. officials.
It’s also been reported that Ambassador Stevens had been meeting with multiple terrorist representatives in Benghazi. According to a Washington Times story, “The evidence suggests that the Obama administration has not simply been engaging, legitimating, enriching and emboldening Islamists who have taken over or are ascendant in much of the Middle East. Starting in March 2011, when American diplomat J. Christopher Stevens was designated the liaison to the “opposition” in Libya, the Obama administration has been arming them, including jihadists like Abdelhakim Belhadj, leader of the al Qaeda franchise known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group… It now appears that Stevens was there — on a particularly risky day, with no security to speak of and despite now copiously documented concerns about his own safety and that of his subordinates — for another priority mission: sending arms recovered from the former regime’s stocks to the “opposition” in Syria.
Just one hour before the fateful attack that cost Steven’s his life, Obama administration officials say Stevens met with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin. This acknowledgement opens the door to arms trafficking. Prior to the Benghazi attack Stevens was warned about a ship sent from Libya and docked in Turkey loaded with arms intended for the anti-Assad rebels that may actually be destined for al-Qaeda fighters in the region. Apparently, after the meeting between Stevens and Ali Sait Akin did not result in an agreement to end the U.S. lead anti-Assad arms shipments, the Turk abruptly left the meeting and the U.S. Benghazi consulate was attacked an hour later.
In an interview with this reporter in San Diego, retired CIA/NSA Director Michael Hayden (General, USAF ret) said the Libya incident “was predictable.”
So why leave Benghazi open? Hayden said, “I can’t explain that.” However, he concedes the most plausible explanation for the Benghazi incident centers on the CIA’s efforts to move weapons from Libya through Turkey and to the Syrian rebels in order to overthrow Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad.
“I think the story is that this (moving arms) was going to go to the Sunnis that opposed Assad. And Assad is Russia’s friend,” Hayden said.
“I don’t know the specifics of attack, but the question I asked is what was the plan? What did you have on the shelf because this could not have been so unexpected given the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi? What was the concept for defending people? It’s kind of alone, small and isolated in (Benghazi),” Hayden explained. “I’m more concerned about the thinking that went on before the attack began and tend to be less critical of what happened seven hours after the attack.”
Another curious piece to this puzzle is Russia. Did they have a part to play inside Benghazi and was presidential contender, Mitt Romney right that Russia remains a threat to the U.S.?
The Russian response, under former KGB Cold War foe Valdimir Putin, who was visibly incensed last fall when a jubilant crowd of rebels murdered his ally, Muammar Qaddafi, has described the event as “repulsive and disgusting.”
Shortly after the death of U.S. ambassador in Libya, numerous Russian commentators used social media to describe their position on the destabilization in Libya.
“The democratized residents of Libya thanked the staff of the American Embassy for its support,” one Tweet read. “This is what you call exporting democracy, it seems. America gives Libya a revolution, and Libyans, in return, kill the ambassador.”
Aleksei K. Pushkov, the head of Russia’s parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote via Twitter: “Under Qaddafi they didn’t kill diplomats. Obama and Clinton are in shock? What did they expect – ‘Democracy?’ Even bigger surprises await them in Syria,” a New York Times story read in September.
It is no secret that Putin disagreed with the West’s view of Syrian ruler Assad. When Putin was Prime Minister, he delivered a scathing criticism of the Libya bombing by NATO and left the impression that under his leadership it would have never happened.
It’s also worth pointing out that Russia and China have consistently opposed any military intervention in Syria. Russia and its allies have repeatedly warned the West that efforts to aid Syrian rebels would only bring more bloodshed to an already embattled region. Also, the Russians have been demanding a cessation of U.S. aid to the Syrian rebels fighting President Assad, again noting that any military aid would destabilizes the entire region, and could have serious economic consequences for Russia.
Even Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cautioned the West against arming the Syrian rebels. However, the Arab Times news agency said, “Western officials say that Russia’s vetoes have abetted the Syrian violence by encouraging Assad to pursue an offensive with his Russian-supplied armed forces to crush the popular revolt. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are believed to have funded arms shipments.”
Case in point, in late August Russia said there was increasing evidence that Syrian rebels were procuring large numbers of Western-made weapons. They even suggested that America and other EU countries were spurring the violence in Syria.
So was Benghazi a message delivered by the Russians to end U.S. gun-running by executing Ambassador Stevens, the kingpin between the armed groups, the Libya stockpiles, and the shipments to Turkey?
Did this American meddling in Syria unhinge Russia’s patience? And is it possible that Russians or their surrogates assisted al-Qaeda in the Benghazi consulate attack?
“Moving (weapons) from Libya to Turkey to Syria or to Lebanon to Syria is completely plausible. I don’t know about the Russian part, but the trafficking piece is a yes,” Hayden concluded.
Read yesterday’s story in the Washington Guardian:
For more stories: http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak
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