September 12, 2012, is a date that changed the purpose of my existence. I was a Blues/Roots musician rehearsing, playing gigs, and writing songs. I sometimes used my music history background and writing ability to write music articles. However, on September 12, 2012 everything changed when my wife and I found out that our nephew by marriage, Sean Smith, had been murdered in the September 11/12th terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Sean’s murder devastated our family. It led me to question why he had been deployed to this area without adequate security. He had worked for the State Department for several years, under Rice and Powell, without incident. Sean’s mother, Pat, has never been told why her son was not protected.
Sean’s murder led me to justifiable anger and hundreds of hours of research on exactly what happened on that terrible night in Benghazi. This also led me to become the first family member to support Congressman Frank Wolf’s efforts to establish a House Select Committee to investigate the attack. This then led to hundreds of phone calls to Congressional and Senatorial representatives asking them to support and sponsor the Select Committee process. From there, over 50 print, radio, and TV interviews were conducted on a variety of Benghazi subjects. I am still a Blues musician and it was not my aspiration to be an activist. But considering the before, during and aftermath of Benghazi, I knew it was my responsibility as a citizen to do so. Considering the state of our country at the moment, it is important for all citizens to embrace that responsibility. I was taught to always speak out against injustice.
Now there is a movement among the mainstream press corps to consider the subject of Benghazi officially over. But since they never reported honestly about Benghazi how could it be over for them? That is also the frame of reference for some politicians, on both sides of the aisle, who deny that any sense of accountability should be applied to the Obama Administration. Because the media refused to cover the Benghazi terrorist attack it was an under-reported issue. So on the 2012 presidential campaign trail, Obama was not held accountable for his failed foreign policy and won re-election. Now the media is once again basically ignoring the findings of both the House Select Committee Report and the Citizen’s Commission on Benghazi report.
It has been three years and ten months and there is still no accountability for the four ghosts of Benghazi.
The House Select Committee on Benghazi released their final report on June 28th, 2016. On June 29th, 2016, just as important but grossly underreported by all members of the press, was the release of the Citizen’s Commission on Benghazi report entitled: “Betrayal in Benghazi: A Dereliction of Duty.”
I will first examine the House Select Committee’s Final Report on Benghazi. When I attended the first hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi in September 2014, I remember the following words from House Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy: “I remain convinced that all our fellow citizens are entitled to all of the facts about what happened before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi.”
In my continued analysis of the recently released House Select Committee on Benghazi report, I am deeply troubled by the lack of any real emphasis on the “before” that Gowdy mentioned in September 2014. The House Committee did address the deteriorating situation and the attacks on the British Ambassador, the State Department’s Diplomatic Outpost and the Red Cross. But no mention of Libya during Gaddafi’s reign and no addressing of why he was deposed. These are far too important facts to omit when considering the atmosphere that prompted the attacks.
For me personally, the strongest points of the House Select Committee’s report and the many hearings are as follows, along with my opinions:
– There were over 600 requests for additional security by Ambassador Chris Stevens that were refused or ignored and security was actually reduced at the Benghazi Diplomatic Outpost on the anniversary of 9/11.
– In the report there was an honest recollection of what happened in the Diplomatic Outpost by a Diplomatic security agent who was there with my nephew, Sean Smith, and Ambassador Stevens on September 11, 2012. Moving to my soul.
– Hillary Clinton and her staff had a 7:30 PM meeting on September 11, 2012 to determine what sort of statement she would issue regarding the attack. The House report indicates that the ruse of the video was discussed during this meeting. So as Tyrone Woods was fighting for his life on the roof of the CIA Annex, Mrs. Clinton was practicing yet another attempt at a spin. She is apt with that skill. Note: In an interview a couple years back with FOX news I stated that Mrs. Clinton and President Obama made a political decision as opposed to a security decision.
– The House reports states that both President Obama and Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, both ordered forces to be deployed to Benghazi. Really? Well, where were they? I will ask again: Who gave the order for forces to stand down? If orders were ignored, who was dismissed from their position in the Obama administration?
– Why were Marines coming from the Marine Fleet Anti-Terrorism Team,or FAST, based in Rota, Spain made to change their uniforms four times at the Tripoli airport when in transit to aid the personnel at the Outpost and Annex?
– As determined by her e-mails referenced during her October 2015 testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Mrs. Clinton stated in her phone call to the Egyptian Prime Minister, to President el-Magariaf of Libya, and in her e-mail to her daughter Chelsea, that it was more than a video. In her phone calls and e-mails she blamed Ansar al Sharia or “an Al-Qaeda-like group” for the being the perpetrators behind the attack.
– The report details the preparation of the talking points about the “infamous video” and the grooming of Susan Rice as a tax payer paid liar for the Sunday talk show circuit. President Obama and Hillary Clinton continued to promote that lie.
– It was pro-Gaddafi loyalists that came to the aid of the CIA Contractors and personnel at the CIA Annex on September 12, 2012. The 13th of February Militia and British Blue Mountain Libya security personnel were largely ineffectual.
– Additionally, we can thank The House Select Committee, Judicial Watch and Catherine Herridge for bringing the discovery of Mrs. Clinton’s various private, and illegal, e-mail servers to light. Don’t blame Trump, blame Clinton for making us less safe with her carelessness in safeguarding classified information.
These are the important points as detailed by the House Select Committee’s final report on Benghazi. It is a responsibility for all American citizens to read the report in it’s entirety. You can access the report at the following link:
Ultimately, I feel the House Select Committee’s report fails as it does not provide pre-attack information on Benghazi. Nor does it really hold anyone responsible for the events leading up to the attack, the lack of security, and the cover-up. The House Select Committee dealt with the politics of Benghazi first hand by the obfuscation of the Obama Administration for failing to provide all the pertinent documents. Additionally, the Democrats on the committee obstructed the process whenever possible. It is a grave mistake to call this the “final” report.
By contrast, the Citizens Commission on Benghazi’s report, “Betrayal in Benghazi: A Dereliction of Duty,” makes no declaration that this is their final report. Unlike the 800 page,unwieldy, House Report, the Citizen’s Commission 76 page report describes effectively the before, during, and aftermath of the attack. The report reads clearly and was designed by the staff at Accuracy in Media. The Commission includes members such as Clare Lopez, Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy in Washington D.C. Lt. Col. Dennis B. Haney, USAF (Ret.), and Former Congressman and Retired Army Lieutenant Allen West among other distinguished citizens.
Here are some of the key findings as covered in the “Betrayal in Benghazi: A Dereliction of Duty” report:
– The Obama administration actively supported the replacement of quasi-secular North African rulers in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt with Muslim Brotherhood rule. Note: In this report, I found it particularly fascinating that Muammar Gaddafi was trying to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan Dinar. Gaddafi’s desire to stop selling oil in U.S. dollars was alarming to French President Nicolas Sarkozy who saw it as a threat to “the financial security of the world.”
– In Libya, the Obama Administration turned against Muammar Gaddafi in favor of supporting the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood and supplied material aid to known al-Qaeda linked militias to topple his regime. Note: By my assessment and understanding, President Obama and Hillary Clinton became illegal gunrunners and instituted an illegal, without Congressional approval, regime change.
– The Obama Administration deliberately withheld urgently requested security for the U.S. Mission in Benghazi. Note: This was done at least in part to buttress the false campaign narrative that “al-Qaeda was on the run.”
– The Obama administration ignored multiple advance warnings about an impending attack. Hillary Clinton bore the ultimate responsibility for diplomatic security and failed to do so in Benghazi.
– Despite a failure by the Pentagon to pre-position forces in advance, various U.S. assets were available to deploy immediately, but were held back. Note: Again, I ask who gave the stand down order? Who had the authority to do so? Answer: President Obama.
– The President, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, must be required to answer for their dereliction of duty. Note: Damn straight, this is a criminal offense that smacks of treason and should be prosecuted as such.
– The Obama White House and Clinton led a concerted two week campaign to cover up the facts of the Benghazi attack. Note: Without a doubt, the Obama administration made a political decision to hide their gross negligence of failing to make an appropriate security decision.
I wholeheartedly support the findings of the Citizen’s Commission on Benghazi report. I find it to be factually accurate and well written. Unlike the House report, they hold key members of the Obama administration guilty of dereliction of duty. I recommend that every American citizen read this report which can be found at the following link:
The irresponsible behavior of President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and various members of the Obama administration supported the United State’s involvement with Libya’s “Arab Spring” and supplied material support to America’s enemies. It is also one of the many reasons why President Obama should be removed from office and prosecuted for war crimes and why Hillary Clinton should never be President.
President Obama and Hillary Clinton are guilty of involuntary manslaughter for deploying Ambassador Stevens and my nephew, Sean Smith to Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11 without adequate security measures in place. They knew the risk and ignored them in order to promote a false narrative that their foreign policy was working and the war on terror was over. This partisan decision and gross dereliction of duty cost four Americans their lives.
The American media died an ignoble death in 2012. The lack of reporting on the details of the Benghazi attack by the press is shameful and, in its own way, a dereliction of duty. The rare exception is the Pulitzer Prize worthy reporting of Catherine Herridge. Catherine did the heavy lifting in her reports regarding the Benghazi attack. We found out that the gross criminal behavior of this administration surpasses that of the Nixon administration because no one died in Watergate.
The destabilization of North Africa and the Middle East by the Obama administration created the chaos that led to the formation of ISIS. President Obama and Hillary Clinton are the creators of that organization. I pray that we elect someone that will appoint a competent Attorney General that will prosecute them for their crimes.