With the appearance of new evidence from the Defense Intelligence Agency and Hillary Clinton’s emails indicating that the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was a pre-planned act of terrorism and not a spontaneous uprising in response to an anti-Muslim video, former CIA acting Director Michael Morell has penned an Op-Ed in Politico
dismissing this evidence and claiming that the pundits who are citing it “don’t understand intelligence work.”
Well, as someone who worked as a CIA analyst for 19 years, I understand intelligence work, and I believe this new evidence confirms the conclusions I drew in September 2012 that the attacks on the consulate were pre-planned acts of terror.
These conclusions were in several articles I wrote for LIGNET, Newsmax.com’s former intelligence analysis service. Below are snippets from two LIGNET articles I wrote on this issue in September 2012:
Although the LIGNET service is no longer available, its articles can be found on the new Newsmax website The Financial Braintrust
I cited in this article
a September 16, 2012 statement by Sen. John McCain who said the attack looked like a preplanned act of terrorism because “Most people don't bring rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons to a demonstration.
"That was an act of terror, and for anyone to disagree with that fundamental fact I think is really ignoring the facts. Now, how long it was planned and who was involved, but there is no doubt there was extremists and there's no doubt they were using heavy weapons and they used pretty good tactics — indirect fire, direct fire, and obviously they were successful.”
Morrell claims in his Op-Ed that intelligence analysts came to the conclusion that the attacks on the consulate were not preplanned.
He also dismissed a recently-released DIA report that indicated otherwise as “raw intelligence” and “not the considered view of DIA analysts.”
This report, which was shown to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Obama White House National Security Council, said the attack was an act of terror and in response to a June 2012 drone attack that killed an al-Qaida member.
I strongly disagree with Morell’s attempt to dismiss the DIA report since I came to the same conclusion in September 2012. I noted in my April 2014 Newsmax article that: “We knew for example that al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a Sept. 10, 2012, video, called for attacks the next day to avenge the death of his deputy, Abu Yahya al-Libi, by a U.S. drone strike in June 2012.
"We also knew that Zawahiri’s brother and Egyptian radical Islamist, Mohammed al-Zawahiri, was outside the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012, while angry mobs tried to storm it.”
Morell seems eager to debunk claims made by Fox News that new information indicates that the Benghazi attack was a preplanned act of terrorism that the Obama administration lied about so this incident would not interfere with the president’s re-election chances. However,
Morrell is strangely silent on Hillary Clinton’s recently released emails that indicate her longtime friend and Democratic strategist Sidney Blumenthal sent her a memo on Sept. 12, 2012 which said the attacks were in response to an anti-Muslim video.
Clinton promptly sent this memo to her aides, telling them “We should get this around asap.”
This is the strongest evidence to date that the Obama administration was pushing a politically expedient account of the Benghazi attacks the day after they occurred and that this account may have originated from a Democratic political hack.
Morell still has a lot to answer for in this affair. He has been accused by several GOP senators of doctoring talking points on the Benghazi attack on behalf of the Obama administration to remove references to “Islamic” and “Islamic militants.”
These talking points were used by Ambassador Susan Rice in an appearance on Sunday Morning talk shows on Sept. 16, 2012, and said the attack on the consulate were in response to an anti-Muslim video and not a preplanned act of terrorism. Morell has been accused by GOP senators of lying to Congress about his role in altering the talking points and for trying to shift the blame on the FBI for these alterations.
It doesn’t help Morrell’s case that he now works for Beacon Global Strategies, a consulting firm headed by former Hillary Clinton aides who probably hope to get top foreign policy jobs in a new Clinton administration.
I said in my April 2014 Newsmax article
that LIGNET got this story right while the CIA got it terribly wrong because LIGNET’s analysis was not “sidetracked by politics and political correctness.”
I believe newly-released information about this tragedy is compelling evidence that Michael Morell helped the Obama administration politicize intelligence on the Benghazi terrorist attack to influence the outcome of a presidential election. He needs to be held accountable for this gross misuse of his CIA position.
Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, followed the Iranian nuclear program for the CIA, State Department, and House Intelligence Committee. He is senior vice president for policy and programs at the Center for Security Policy. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz
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