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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Benghazi Select Committee Answers 'What Difference Does It Make?'

Sec. of State Hilary Testifys Before Congress on
Benghazi. Says, 'What difference does it matter?'
IBD Editorial: Scandal: Democrats claim it's been asked and answered, but the question of why four Americans had to die in a diplomatic outpost in a terrorist haven with inadequate security and no plans for rescue has not.

That all questions regarding Benghazi have not been answered and new ones have in fact arisen was shown by the recent revelation by former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell to reporter Sharyl Attkisson.

Maxwell said he witnessed State Department personnel sifting through stacks of documents and emails to filter out those that would put the department in a bad light before turning any over to the Accountability Review Board tasked to find out the truth.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and the Select Committee he chairs is also tasked with uncovering the truth.

Before Maxwell spoke to Attkisson, Gowdy — along with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah — deposed Maxwell. Chaffetz said he was told that then-Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan were there to oversee the document cleansing.

"For Hillary Clinton's chief of staff and deputy chief of staff to be making a concerted effort to hide documents (and to) make sure that the Accountability Review Board (ARB) and Congress did not see these documents is unbelievable and wrong," Chaffetz says.

Chaffetz told Attkisson he is "100% confident that the Benghazi Select Committee is going to dive deep into that issue," Ed Morrissey at HotAir.com reports.

An interesting exchange occurred when Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., asked Greg Starr, assistant secretary for diplomatic security at the State Department, about "tripwires" — incidents that are supposed to trigger concrete action to enhance security at a given post.

Westmoreland asked Starr if he thought an earlier attack on a convoy carrying the British ambassador, an attack that caused them to leave Libya, or a June 2012 attack where an IED blew a hole in the consulate wall, might have been considered tripwires. Starr said yes.

Yet no more action was taken than after the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, as Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., pointed out in her initial questioning.

Recommendations made by another Accountability Review Board were never followed, and the mistakes there are eerily similar to Benghazi.

A review of those attacks showed that the CIA repeatedly told State Department officials in Washington and the Kenya embassy that there was an active terrorist cell in Kenya connected to Osama bin Laden, who masterminded the attack.

As in Benghazi, requests for more security were denied, warnings were issued, prior incidents were ignored and Susan Rice, then assistant secretary of state for African affairs, went on PBS as spokesperson for the administration to explain it all away.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, pointed out the similarity between Nairobi and Benghazi in his questioning of Todd Keil, former assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at the Homeland Security Department.

Jordan pointed out that Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, the commander of a Security Support Team (SST) sent home in August 2012, has said, regarding requests for more security: "We were fighting a losing battle. We couldn't even keep what we had." Wood said having the SST sent home was against his wishes and those of Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., failed to get a good answer to his question to Starr on why the pleas of Stevens were ignored. On Aug. 8, 2012, Stevens sent a two-page cable to the State Department titled "The Guns of August: Security in Eastern Libya" and noting a dangerous "security vacuum" in and around Benghazi and the presence of terrorist training camps. He was ignored.

As the first Select Committee hearing underscores, there's another security vacuum. It's in our own State Department, which long before Benghazi refused to recognize there are people trying to kill us and that we should do whatever it takes to make sure they do not.

Tags: Benghazi, Select Committee, answers, Hillary Clinton, What Difference Does It Make, Investors Business Daily, IBD, editorial To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 8:08 PM - Post Link

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