DID THE PRESIDENT USE THE WORD TERRORISM THE DAY AFTER BENGHAZI?
NO. What he did use was the word terror and he used it in the context of 9/11, Foreign wars, and those individuals buried in Arlington National Cemetery. For the next two weeks the Obama team trotted out the surrogates including the UN Ambassador Rice to say the events at Benghazi were a spontaneous response to the movie. He used the word “terror” and the word was used in the context of all events dating from the 9-11 attack in New York to the present.
THIS IS WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID beginning with 3:21 minutes into the speech: “Of course yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We mourned with the families who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of the troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. And then, last night we learned of this attack in Benghazi. As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because of our people who fight for it, who are willing to stand up for it, and in some cases lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of both civilian and military that represent us around the globe. No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn for more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.
We will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act, and make no mistake, justice will be done. We also know that the lives of these Americans led, stand in stark contrast to those of their attackers. These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity. They should give every American great pride in the country that they served and the hope that our flag represents to people around the globe who also yearn to live in freedom and with dignity. We grieve with their families but let us carry on their memory and let us continue their work of seeking a stronger America and a better world for all of our children. Thank you. May God bless the memory of those we lost and may God bless the United States of America.”
Not only did the President not use “terrorism” in the speech, he embedded the word “terror” into the speech to cover all those who died including Iraq and Afghanistan, those buried at Arlington etc. If this was not sufficiently fuzzy, for the next two weeks the Administration at every opportunity attributed the cause of the deaths to movie trailer.
Although Ambassador was raped and mutilated, the lack of outrage in the President’s speech would indicate that the President was not addressing this incident as terrorism; but, in the President’s mind, it was a time to reflect on the past contribution of the dead to freedom and human dignity. The fact that violent death, mutilation and a fully armed military attack were omitted clearly indicates the President was not putting this into the category of terrorism.
TIMELINE OF CURIOUS QUESTIONS REGARDING BENGHAZI
THREE TOP MILITARY MEN REMOVED
What is your best guess of what is going on?
- Benghazi 9/11/12 According to the Obama Administration rioters provoked by a anti-Muslim film stormed the compound at Benghazi and killed four Americans. For two weeks the Administration stuck to this story and used UN Ambassador Rice and Secretary of State Clinton to say the same thing.
- Anti-Muslim Film Administration Explanation Both Joe Biden and Barak Obama state they did not know anything more. During this time period the Administration continuously contended that the Benghazi attack was made because of an anti-Muslim film.
- Removed 10/27/12 Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette Carrier Strike Force Three (CSF-3) Middle East “In an unusual move, the U.S. Navy is sending the admiral in command of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Middle East back to Bremerton, pending the outcome of an “inappropriate judgment” investigation.Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette is being sent back to the USS John C. Stennis’ home port of Bremerton in what the Navy called a temporary reassignment.The Navy says, in a statement released today, Gaouette is not formally relieved of his command of the Stennis strike group but will be replaced by Rear Adm. Troy M. Shoemaker, who will assume command until the investigation is completed.It is rare for the Navy to replace a carrier strike group commander during its deployment.The Navy is not revealing details of the allegations. The statement cites an “accusation of inappropriate leadership judgment” that arose during the strike group’s deployment to the Middle East.The Stennis group deployed from Bremerton in late August, deploying four months earlier than scheduled. The Stennis made port visits in Thailand and Malaysia on its way to the Middle East.
- Removed, retired? Rotated? Etc. Unclear U.S. Army General Carter Ham (AFRICOM) for Middle East 18 October 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta participated in a “DOD News Briefing on Efforts to Enhance the Financial Health of the Force.” In his introductory remarks, Mr. Panetta said: “Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.” Officials said that Carter Ham was to be rotated out by March because of his wife’s cancer but was now leaving and protested strongly in the next several days that he had not been fired
- Security questions are raised. Did the compound make multiple requests for added security?
- 11/2/12 CBS News releases timeline of the events* It becomes more apparent that the Biden/Obama statements that they “did not know” is pretty shallow and that we knew within an hour that this was an attack
- *11/9/12 General Patraeus Resigns. Patraeus head of CIA resigns because of “ extra marital affair.” Patraeus was secretly investigated by FBI because Patraeus was sending encrypted messages. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
- Patreaus was scheduled to speak to Congress next week on Benghazi
- Do you believe that under any circumstances the head of the CIA would use encrypted equipment to talk to a girl friend? How easy is it to get encrypted equipment set up with a civilian? Why was the FBI watching him in the first place? How many top brass are part of oath takers?
CBS NEWS TIMELINE OF BENGHAZI
Since the Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, which left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead, questions have persisted over what happened that night, whether there was adequate security at the compound and the manner in which the Obama administration initially characterized the attack.
Below is an account, compiled by CBS News, from sources who spoke to us in Washington and Benghazi about the attack in that eastern Libyan city and the investigation that followed.
Security Incidents Prior to the Benghazi Attack
December 2011: Terror plot thwarted, but Benghazi emergency plan warns of many Islamic terrorists still operating in area.
March 2012: U.S. Embassy in Tripoli lead security officer, RSO Eric Nordstrom, requests additional security but later testified he received no response.
April 10, 2012: An explosive device is thrown at a convoy carrying U.N. envoy Ian Martin.
May 22, 2012: A rocket-propelled grenade hits the offices of the International Red Cross.
June 6, 2012: An IED explodes outside the Benghazi consulate compound.
June 11, 2012: An RPG hits a convoy carrying the British Ambassador. The U.K. closes its consulate. Col. Wood, military Site Security Team (SST) commander, is in Benghazi, and helps with emergency response.
July 2012: RSO Nordstrom again requests additional security (perhaps via cable signed by Amb. Stevens dated July 9, see below).
July 9, 2012: Amb. Stevens sends a cable requesting continued help from military SST and State Dept. MSD (Mobile Security Deployment team) through mid-Sept. 2012, saying that benchmarks for a drawdown have not been met. The teams are not extended.
* Before death, Amb. Stevens warned of “violent” Libya landscape
Early August: State Dept. removes the last of three 6-man State Dept. security teams and a 16-man military SST team from Libya.
August 2, 2012: Ambassador Stevens sends a cable to D.C. requesting “protective detail bodyguard postions” — saying the added guards “will fill the vaccum of security personnel currently at post… who will be leaving with the next month and will not be replaced.” He called “the security condition in Libya … unpredictable, volatile and violent.”
August 8, 2012: A cable from Amb. Stevens to D.C. says “a series of violent incidents has dominated the political landscape” and calls them “targeted and discriminate attacks.”
Aug. 27, 2012: The State Department issues a travel warning for Libya citing the threat of assassination and car bombings in Benghazi/Tripoli.
Timeline of 9/11 Consulate Attack As It Unfolds
September 11, 2012: 9:43 a.m. Benghazi time (3:43 ET): Amb. Stevens sent cables to D.C., including a Benghazi weekly report of security incidents reflecting Libyans’ “growing frustration with police and security forces who were too weak to keep the country secure.”
Hours before the assault, nearly 750 miles away in Cairo, events were taking shape that would inform the early narrative surrounding the events in Benghazi:
Around 12:00 p.m. (6:00 a.m. ET): The U.S. Embassy in Cairo releases a statement on its website disavowing a YouTube film named “Innocence of Muslims,” which mocks the Prophet Mohammad. Later that afternoon, protesters who had gathered outside the embassy compound stormed the gates and tore the American flag down, replacing it with a black Salafist flag.
Around 9:00 p.m. (3:00 p.m. ET): In the walled Benghazi compound, U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens says good night to the Turkish Ambassador Ali Kemal Aydin and retires to his room in Building C, a large residence with numerous bedrooms and a safe haven.
There are three other structures in the compound: Building B, a residence with bedrooms and a cantina and dining room; a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) located across from building B, containing offices, one bedroom and security cameras; and barracks located by the front gate, staffed by Libyan security guards.
At this time, there are five diplomatic security agents (DS) on site – three based in Benghazi and two traveling with Stevens. According to a U.S. State Department account given Oct. 9 there was “nothing unusual outside of the gates. ”
9:40 p.m. (3:40 p.m. ET): Gunfire and an explosion are heard. A TOC agent sees dozens of armed people over security camera flowing through a pedestrian gate at the compound’s main entrance. It is not clear how the gate was opened.
The agent hits the alarm and alerts the CIA security team in the nearby annex and the Libyan 17th of February Brigade, one of several powerful militias serving as a de facto security presence in Benghazi. The embassy in Tripoli and the State Dept. command center were also alerted.
State Dept. Diplomatic Security follows events in real time on a listen-only, audio-only feed, according to testimony of Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant director for international programs, given before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Oct 10.
Around 10 p.m. (4 p.m. ET): At the compound, several DS agents leave to get tactical gear from Building B. One stays in Building C with Ambassador Stevens and Information Officer Sean Smith. The mob sets fire to the 17th of February Brigade barracks on site.
DS agent Scott Strickland moves Stevens and Smith to the closest area “safe haven” in Building C.
The other agents, currently in Building B and the TOC come under attack.
The attackers gets into Building C, lights furniture on fire, then the building’s exterior. Stevens, Smith and Agent Strickland move to the bathroom and lay on floor but decide to leave safe haven after being overcome by smoke.
Strickland goes out an emergency escape window. Stevens and Smith do not follow. Strickland returns several times but can’t find them in the overwhelming smoke. He goes up to the roof and radios the other agents.
Three agents return to Building C via armored vehicle. They search and find Smith’s body, but not Stevens.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is told of the incident “shortly after it began at 4 p.m.,” CBS News’ Margaret Brennan reported Sept. 14. Clinton spoke to the Libyan President Mohammed Magariaf to “enlist his full support.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. military began moving an unarmed drone over Benghazi to provide real-time intelligence to the CIA team on the ground. It would take roughly an hour to arrive.
10:05 p.m. (4:05 p.m. ET): An alert from the State Department Operations Center is issued to a number of government and intelligence agencies, including the White House Situation Room, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI. “US Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack” — “approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well. Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four COM (Chief of Mission/embassy) personnel are in the compound safe haven.”
10:25 p.m. (4:25 p.m. ET): A six-member CIA team arrives from the annex with 40 to 60 members of 17th of February Brigade. The team removes Smith’s body.
Around 10:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. ET): Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his top military adviser learn of the incident.
10:54 p.m. (4:54 p.m. ET): An alert from the State Dept. Operations Center: “the firing… in Benghazi has stopped. A response team is on site attempting to locate COM personnel.”
11 p.m. (5 p.m. ET): Just ahead of the weekly meeting with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey, White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon tells President Obama of the attack and the fire at the main villa. The president and those officials discuss possible responses to the situation.
At the compound, the 17th of February Brigade says they can’t hold the perimeter and withdraws.
DS agents make final search for Stevens and leave with the CIA team in an armored vehicle heading for the annex, taking fire along the way.
Inside room of murdered U.S. Ambassador Chris StevensOf note, when CBS News’ Elizabeth Palmer visited the compound in one of several trips to Libya, she found little evidence of an extensive firefight at the compound’s walls and main gate, likely indicating the fiercest fighting occurred away from the compound.
Midnight (6 p.m. ET) Agents arrive at the annex, which receives sporadic small-arms fire and RPG rounds over a roughly 90-minute period. The security team returns fire and the attackers disperse.
Over the next two hours, Sec. Panetta holds a series of meetings and issues several orders: Two Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) platoons stationed in Rota, Spain prepare to deploy – one to Benghazi and the other to the Embassy in Tripoli; A special operations team in Europe is ordered to move to Sigonella, Sicily – less than one hour’s flight away from Benghazi; An additional special operations team based in the U.S. is ordered to deploy to Sigonella.
12:07 a.m. (6:07 p.m. ET): An alert from the State Dept. Operations Center states that the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli reports the Islamic military group “Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibilty for Benghazi Attack”… “on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.”
Around 12:30 a.m. (6:30 p.m. ET): A six-man security team, including two Defense Dept. personnel, leave Embassy Tripoli for Benghazi.
1:30 a.m. (7:30 p.m. ET): The U.S. security team from Embassy Tripoli lands in Benghazi and learn that the ambassador is missing. They try to arrange for transportation into town, with the goal of locating Stevens.
4:07 a.m. (10:07 p.m. ET): Secretary Clinton issues a statement acknowledging the death of one State Dept. officer.
5:00 a.m. (11:00 p.m.): A second U.S. Predator drone arrives to relieve the first.
5:15 a.m. (11:15 p.m. ET): The U.S. Regional Security Office in Tripoli gets a phone call from an Arabic-speaking source who says a Westerner has been found in Benghazi and is perhaps at a hospital. It’s believed to be Ambassador Stevens. Transfer to airport is arranged.
At around the same time, the additional security team finds transportation from the airport under the escort of the Libyan Shield, another local militia, but decides to head to the annex after learning that Stevens was almost certainly dead. Just after their arrival, the annex takes mortar fire, sustaining three direct hits. The precision of the attacks indicates a level of sophistication and coordination.
Former U.S. Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty are killed in the mortar assault, which lasts just 11 minutes before dissipating; a DS agent and annex security member are severely wounded.
After the mortar attack, about 30 Americans evacuate the annex and head to the airport, with the assistance of the Libyan security convoy.
Ambassador Stevens is confirmed dead later that morning, as Americans see his body at the airport
Around 7:40 a.m. (1:40 a.m. ET): Unable to fit on one plane, the first wave of Americans – consisting of U.S. diplomats and civilians – departs Benghazi and heads to Tripoli, leaving behind security staff and bodies.
Around 10:00 a.m. (4 a.m. ET): The second flight leaves Benghazi for Tripoli with U.S. security members and bodies.
President Obama is told of Stevens’ death. State Department tells all diplomatic posts around the world to review their security posture and to take all necessary steps to enhance it
Around 7 p.m. (1 p.m. ET): Americans are transported out of Tripoli on a C-17 military aircraft, heading for Ramstein, Germany.
Around 8 p.m. (2 p.m. ET): U.S. special forces team arrives in Sigonella, Sicily, becoming the first military unit in the region.
Around 9 p.m. (3 p.m. ET): A FAST platoon arrives in Tripoli.
10:19 p.m. (4:19 p.m. ET) The C-17 carrying Stevens’ body and the other Americans arrives in Ramstein.
Post-Attack Response and Investigation
Sept. 12: Secretary Clinton announces the death of Stevens and Smith via press release.
Clinton holds a video conference with the entire embassy staff in Tripoli, which by then also included everyone who was evacuated from Beghazi, as reported by CBS News’ Margaret Brennan Sept. 14.Play Video
Clinton: Ambassador’s death a “senseless act of violence”Clinton later delivers live remarks from the Treaty Room of the U.S. State Department.
President Obama addresses the public: “Make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.
“Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence. … No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”
The president spends time with State Department personnel in an impromptu visit that is closed to the press.
Obama suspects Libya attack targeted Americans
In an interview with President Obama the same day, “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft presses the president on early accounts that the attack stemmed from a spontaneous protest, saying it didn’t “sound like your normal demonstration.”
“We’re still investigating exactly what happened,” Mr. Obama said. “I don’t want to jump the gun on this. But you’re right that this is not a situation that was exactly the same as what happened in Egypt. And my suspicion is, is that there are folks involved in this, who were looking to target Americans from the start.”
Meanwhile, Clinton visits the Near Eastern Affairs bureau, and the information technology bureau where Sean Smith was assigned, CBS News’ Margaret Brennan reports.
Clinton later references the assault as an “attack by a small and savage group.”
Meanwhile, senior State Dept. officials share initial details of the attack in Benghazi with members of the press via phone briefing. A senior official says in response to an inquiry about alleged protests outside of consulate that night: “We frankly don’t have a full picture of what may have been going on outside of the compound walls before the firing began. … With regard to whether there is any connection between this Internet activity and this extremist attack in Benghazi, frankly, we just don’t know. We’re not going to know until we have a chance to investigate.”
CBS News’ David Martin reports that some U.S. officials already were looking at the attack as a terrorist act, perpetrated by people either associated with or who sympathize with al Qaeda, that took advantage of the protest.
The FBI officially opens an investigation into the deaths of Stevens and the three other Americans killed, as reported by CBS News’ Andres Triay and Bob Orr.
Sept. 13: A government official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the FBI is planning to send investigators to Germany to interview U.S. Consulate personnel who were evacuated there, as reported by CBS’ Pat Milton.
CBS News’ David Martin reports that a radical Islamic group called Ansar al Sharia is the lead suspect in the attack, according to U.S. officials. The name means “Supporters of Islamic law.”
Sec. Clinton remains in regular contact with other top officials such as Secretary Panetta and Gen. Dempsey, CBS News’ Margaret Brennan reports.
Marine anti-terrorist teams similar to the one sent to Tripoli land in Yemen to protect the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, reports CBS News’ David Martin. There are two more of these teams on standby but so far no plans to send them to particular embassies.
CBS News’ Charlie D’Agata gets access to an injured Libyan guard based inside the consulate, who offers a firsthand account of the attack and makes the first mention of Blue Mountain, a British security firm contracted by the State Department that employed Libyans to conduct procedural security measures inside the compound, including x-rays of equipment.
Sept. 14: The bodies of Stevens, Smith, Woods and Doherty are returned to the U.S. They are welcomed in a televised ceremony at Joint Base Andrews. Secretary Clinton publicly denounces the “Innocence of Muslims” video.
CBS News’ Brennan reports that Clinton visits the Situation Room and Oval Office “half a dozen times this week” and spends “countless hours” there.
CBS News’ Cami McCormick reports on protests outside the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan. The number of protestors outside the Khartoum Embassy is estimated at 2,000. Police use tear gas against the stone-throwing protestors. The demonstrators were trying to get in the compound but police held them back.
CBS News’ Charlie D’Agata interviews members of the 17th of February Brigade’s VIP protection team involved in the evacuation and obtains exclusive photos of an injured American being evacuated to the airport from the annex under the brigade’s escort. They put the total number of Americans evacuated from Benghazi at 32.
Sept. 15: CBS News’ D’Agata is the first reporter to locate the secret CIA annex in Benghazi. He reports that the roof of the house is covered in mortars. CBS News broadcasts images of the helmets and bloodied flak jackets discovered there.
Sept. 16: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice tells Bob Schieffer on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that there is no information that suggests the attack was preplanned.
“We’ll want to see the results of that investigation to draw any definitive conclusions. But based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy … sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that — in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent. … We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.”
Earlier in that same program, Libyan President Magariaf tells Schieffer that the assault was preplanned and some of the attackers were foreigners.
“The way these perpetrators acted and moved … this leaves us with no doubt that this has preplanned, determined – predetermined … It was planned — definitely, it was planned by foreigners, by people who — who entered the country a few months ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their — since their arrival.”
Magariaf also claimed “about 50” people had been arrested in connection with the attack.
Magariaf separately states Ahmed Boukhatala is one of the lead suspects. CBS News interviews Boukhatala over mango juice off camera and admitted he was there that night but denies any involvement in the attack. At that point, he had still not been questioned and was moving freely in Benghazi, challenging Magariaf to “come to my house and arrest me” if he was a suspect.