The Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed for Americans is “sort of a microcosm” of an underlying scandal stemming from the Obama White House’s alleged funneling of weapons to Syrian opposition groups through Libya, former assistant defense secretary Frank Gaffney tells Newsmax TV.
“If it is the case that the Obama administration, was in fact, in the person of Christopher Stevens and the CIA operation in Benghazi, taking arms that had been bought from people who had liberated them from Gaddafi’s weapons caches and sending some of those to people who we know include Islamists of the most radical stripe, which include al-Qaida, that is a scandal that will make Iran-Contra look like a day at the beach,” Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, tells Newsmax.
“What we’re doing now is putting fuel into the Jihadist fire at a moment when these guys already think they’re on the cusp of victory. That is an exceedingly dangerous thing to be doing. A scandal of the first order.”
Gaffney, who served as Ronald Reagan’s assistant defense secretary, has written that the Obama administration has been arming such rebels since as early as March 2011. Such groups include the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which has ties to al-Qaida.
“This means that we are in fact, I’m afraid, watching this threat metastasize dramatically. And short of dramatic action to undo it, it will continue to dog us for the years to come. It is evidence of how misbegotten the whole Obama policy has been in terms of embracing these Islamists.
“That’s really the underlying scandal here,” he added. “It is a particularly sordid example of what can happen, but it’s just the beginning of the kinds of costs that we’re going to find associated with this wrongheaded and downright dangerous policy of the administration.”
The threat is far more acute now, Gaffney said, because of perceived lukewarm support of Israel by the United States.
“What’s different, and this is a very important difference, is that for the first time these enemies have reason to believe that the United States will not support Israel as it has in the past. That changes dramatically what the Soviet Union used to call the correlation of forces.
“And, more importantly, it changes the calculation, now, as to whether or not what has failed again and again and again in the past will now be possible. And you don’t need to give these folks who think it’s God’s will that they triumph much encouragement to believe that this is the moment to see in order for them to go at it.
“We were worrying, and rightly so, about the existential threat that Iran with nuclear weapons will pose to the Jewish state. That’s coming. What is shaping up now is an encirclement of Israel by Islamists. This is the kind of correlation of forces that can be perilous and extreme for Israel.
“Whether they actually bet on that is to be determined, but that there is evidence that President Obama has signaled as much, repeatedly, is indisputable,” Gaffney added. “And that’s what’s so troubling. It won’t be a stretch for Israel’s enemies to calculate that they’ve got a friend in the White House –or, at least, that Israel does not.”
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