28 Nov 2012

Benghazi-Gate: What exactly is the FBI hiding?

By Richard Cottrell: On Christmas Eve 1975, Richard Skeffington Welch, freshly installed station chief at the CIA post in Athens, was shot dead in front of his horrified family as they returned from the ambassador’s traditional festive party. Skeffington seemed to drop from the catalogue of classic assassination candidates.

The Gerald Ford White House rapidly swung into action. Welch’s body was flown back to Washington, the plane circled the Air Force One landing field to make sure it touched down live for mass audience TV shows. Ford waived aside all formalities and allowed Welch to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, alongside the nation’s fallen heroes. Master of ceremonies for these obsequies was none other than Dick Cheney, Ford’s Chief of Staff. [See my new book Gladio, below]

Almost immediately the CIA-baiting congressional inquiry convened by Democratic Senator Frank Church (aka the Church Committee) collapsed, on the specious grounds that Welch was the victim of whistle-blowers who outed him to sabotage the CIA. Colby stated the patent truth that the CIA generated bad PR wherever it went, so he got the order of the boot. Down the line, David Patraeus is ejected from the agency because he could not keep his pants on, but it amounts to the same thing.

Welch was shot in a city seething with anti-American bile, due entirely to US and NATO support for the vile fascist military regime that seized power in 1967. The junta collapsed in 1974, just a year before Welch arrived.

On the night he was shot, Welch had no security detail, despite his true role in Athens blown across the front pages of every newspaper in the country.

TV anchors and reporters sniffed a ‘political device,’ a show of pomp designed to denigrate Senator Church’s committee. As to those who fired the fatal shots, fingers were pointed to a shadowy band of urban political gladiators calling themselves November 17, after an especially vicious pogrom committed during the Greek fascist junta years.

In reality, November 17 was a guns for hire terror-takeaway cloaked Star Trek-style with heavy political overtones, a sort of Greek al-Qaeda.

I am sure readers are getting my point. The murder of Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi and that of CIA agent Richard Welch in Athens seems to drop from the same playbook of assassinations intended to serve political scheming and machinations.

Once again we are in the mad-lands of spot the bogeymen. November 17, blamed for shooting Richard Welch, also acted as contract killers for western interests when the call came. Were double agents of similar ilk in the throng outside the consulate in Benghazi?

Susan Rice, Secretary of State designate, has dined so many times off her own tongue in this affair she has little left to say which carries any conviction. Caught on the inquisitional rack, Rice came up with this Kremlinesque masterpiece to explain her quite plain falsehoods uttered after the Benghazi assault: ‘The points were not, as has been insinuated by some, edited to minimize the role of extremists, diminish terrorist affiliations, or play down that this was an attack.’

One can imagine the squirming of the invisible spinners behind that obsequious nonsense. Rice is of course simply the decoy put up to shield Hillary Clinton and her remarkable claim made in the wake of the attack that security in Benghazi was ‘adequate.’

Petraeus and his trouser zips have attracted so many lightning strikes that too little attention is being paid to the piling of one cover up on another, like a peeled onion reconstructing itself.

Petraeus and his tiger lilies are connected to Benghazi only in the sense that he hinted the attacks were premeditated, and not some instantaneous mob reaction to a profane YouTube clip defaming the Prophet Muhammad.

Here is the increasingly tragic figure of Rice once more twisting in the wind. ‘Because of the various elements involved in the attack, the term extremist was meant to capture the range of participants.’

Weasel words. Note carefully how she fogs the mirror by introducing a whole UN of insurgents swirling around outside the besieged consulate with the clear intention to mix those possibly upset about the insulting portrayal of the Prophet with those of more dastardly designs. Thus begging the obvious question: how could anyone know for sure? This was exactly the line spun by Obama and White House spokesmen for two weeks after the attack on the defenseless consulate.

The administration’s primary defense rests on the notion that al-Qaeda may have been involved in the attack and then possibly not. The spin that ‘we didn’t want to name names because otherwise they would know we were on their tail’ clearly came out of the White House and not intelligence quarters because even by the standards of the CIA, it is patently absurd.

There’s either a man out there in the arena waving a red rag at the snorting bull or there isn’t. There’s no half-way house.

All this beating of flames is intended, primarily, to wish away the inconvenient truth that Ambassador Stevens and his people had no security at all when they died. They were hunted around the consulate and ruthlessly chopped down. Up to practically his last moments, Stevens was cabling Washington frantically begging for the protection that was never delivered. His local guards loaned by some revolutionary forces melted away. He was left with two former Navy SEALs (who also perished).

In the month leading up to the assault, tighter security back-up was consistently refused. This also happened on the day of the attack. Now you know why White House aides are presently sifting so industriously through the records concerning previous impeachments.

Now, a few of the big questions which the mainstream media ignores:

- Why was the ambassador a more or less permanent fixture in Benghazi and not well-protected Tripoli?

- Why are mainstream organs ignoring the fact that before he became accredited ambassador, Stevens was an old Libyan hand and ex-officio delegate to the rebels after the anti-Gadaffi rising began?

- What else is the White House trying to hide? Is there more to it than the reprise of Iran-Contra Libyan Arms for Syria carousel, of which Benghazi was the spigot? [Possible answers follow].

- What did all those warehouses which formed out-stations of the consulate contain?

- The obviously framed Egyptian patsy neither bankrolled nor still less artistically directed the now famous Muhammad shock-horror movie. What does ex-King David know about this, or did the spooks plotting around his throne seal their lips, knowing full well the executioner was sharpening his axe?

- An especially grisly conclusion: was the whole deception really designed to bolster Obama’s chances of a second term?

- Or is Obama being lined up for the Nixon Fix?

It is impossible to set aside the very clear signs of political stage scenery, theatrics and special effects: the 9/11 anniversary, the invocation of ‘extremists’ (hint: al-Qaida) steering the angry mob, the timely appearance of the YouTube shocker to act as the cover story, and the refusal to provide aid in response to the urgent telegrams Stevens was sending to Washington, even though help was quite literally at hand.

Against that background an especially bizarre story is now doing the rounds on the Internet. This would have it that Stevens was the victim of a kidnapping that went wrong. Christmas may be close, but it seems the fairies are making an especially early appearance this festive season. It seems the new Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi asked Obama to free the imprisoned WTC 1996 bomber Ramzi Yousef. To cover the president’s exposed sensitive parts, Stevens would first be nabbed then exchanged for Yousef, all on the eve of the election.

Now fast backwards and then re-run that story in a different version. The kidnap element stays in place, but the outcome storyline is even more bizarre. The Iranian National Guard would snatch the ambassador to force negotiations over Iranian nukes, from which Obama emerges triumphant and the ambassador is freed without a scratch.

These pantomime stories are undermined by the testimony of ex-Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who emerges as the only true hero of the entire affair. His legacy of evidence is devastating. Woods was working at the CIA annex about a mile from the consulate. He heard shooting and naturally sought to render assistance with a small team at hand. He was ordered firmly to stay put.

He ignored a second command to back down and drove off anyway with a couple of volunteers to the consulate building, by now engulfed in flames. They rescued several consulate staff and retrieved one body but could not locate Ambassador Stevens. With their own lives now clearly in peril, the impromptu rescue squad hurried back to the CIA base which, interestingly, subsequently attracted another attack a short time later.

We learn several decisive facts from Woods’ account. First the CIA – and thus Director Petraeus – was in minute-by-minute contact with events at the consulate. Second, the CIA – and thus once again Petraeus – were privy to the decision not to intervene to save the Ambassador’s life.

Woods and his volunteers saw clearly with their own eyes that the consulate had come under a massive and clearly organized attack, thus making mincemeat of the official line of some spontaneous eruption of anger peddled by Susan Rice and others privy to the subsequent cover-up.

At midnight, the CIA annex itself came under attack, and a third desperate request was made for air support. Woods specifically requested back-up support from a heavy duty gunship man enough to cope with insurrections. It is not clear, incidentally, who was in command at the CIA outpost, though Woods himself was obviously a contractor. We know of no other casualties in the CIA command post that night, which given the violence of the said attack, seems surprising to say the least, given the fate of Woods.

Once upon a time, presidents used to put their feet up after a hard day’s work and watch old cowboy movies and war films before toddling off to bed with a hot cocoa, or something a smidgeon stiffer. Not any more it seems. If the story appearing at this location is broadly correct, then a truly Gothic performance – actually an appalling snuff movie – was on the reel at the White House that evening.

The story suggests that the persecution and murder of Ambassador Stevens, his deputy, and two Navy SEALs was viewed in real time by the crème of the US intelligence and security establishment, thanks to a pair of drones circling over the stricken consulate transmitting the live action.

Obama himself was apparently not present – he went off for an early night at this hour of crisis – but Petraeus was in this select audience, along with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey, Hillary Clinton and the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

In subsequent interview on March 25th, Panetta baldly claimed that ‘military leaders’ – including himself, presumably – lacked a grasp of what was actually happening at the consulate and given the absence of any ‘real time information’ the military leaders did not have adequate intelligence information. ‘We felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation with so little real-time information about what’s taking place…we could not put military forces at risk.’

Clearly Woods would be in a devastating position to prove the falsehood of Panetta’s claim, but he is no longer around to take the public witness stand. Close to midnight on this 9/11 episode mark two, the annex housing the CIA quarters allegedly came under stiff attack.

Once again the plea went out for aid, preferably a heavy duty gunship used in field fights. Request denied. Of his own volition Woods then went alone to the roof to defend the annex with a machine gun. Close to running out of ammunition he was picked off – or so it is claimed – by a single mortar round.

If mortars were employed at Benghazi that night, then the spontaneous riot story takes another serious knock. Or am I the only one to notice that? As it is, we only have the official account that Woods fell in the line of duty.

If that is the case, a man already a genuine hero earns even more commendations. Unfortunately the official account is so consistently distorted by lies and disinformation, we can believe very little that emanates from official sources concerning events in Benghazi that evening.

To be clear concerning Woods, an important witness was silenced, one way or another. Dead men are as conveniently silent as the grave.

There are no confirmed sources for the ghoulish account of the real-time assassination of Stevens viewed from the White House situation room. Minus that, we must assume some degree of supposition or hearsay. If however the story or the main thrust of it is correct, then here is a leak as substantially significant as Deep Throat in the Watergate affair.

There may be another striking parallel with Watergate – and another Deep Throat, once again connected with the FBI. This is a quote from Wikipedia which serves as an introduction:

‘The Washington Post created a morality play about an out-of-control government brought to heel by two young, enterprising journalists and a courageous newspaper. Instead, it was about the FBI using the Washington Post to leak information to destroy the president, and Post willingly serving as the conduit for that information while withholding an essential dimension of the story by concealing Deep Throat’s identity.’

In 2005 Deep Throat revealed himself as Mark Felt, at the time Assistant Director of the FBI and effectively Acting Director following the death of J. Edgar Hoover in 1972. Felt never came up with any convincing explanation as to why he placed himself in league with Bob Woodward (who was on Frank Wisner’s Mockingbird propaganda payroll) and Carl Bernstein.

What may be nearer to the truth, and relevant to the FBI’s curious role in the Benghazi business, is the probability that Deep Throat was never a single individual but a clever disinformation program run by the FBI. The object of the conspiracy was to destroy Nixon and have him ejected from the presidency in disgrace. As history tells, the sting succeeded brilliantly.

Is this the fate now awaiting Obama? Consider the intriguing role of the Naked Federal Agent, Frederick Humphries, in the fall of King David. The mainstream media – sadly it must be said, in common with most off-radar commentators – cannot get to grips with Shirtless Fred, so he is written off as a freak occurrence. The agent who, confronted with the alluring charms of Jill Kelley, instantly succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome.

That is the least credible explanation.

The CIA and its domestic counterpart, the FBI, have a long history of spats. Under the Obama presidency the CIA has encroached ever more adventurously on the FBI’s homeland turf, which strictly speaking, is unconstitutional. But then constitutionality went out of the White House window eons ago, when a desk was found in a cobwebbed corner for Dick Cheney.

But the rumble works both ways. The FBI had no specific constitutional right to tail Petraeus – a military property – in a foreign country. Well, up to a point.

In January 2009 Donald Van Duyn, chief intelligence officer for the FBI, admitted before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security that the agency was actively involved in investigating terrorist attacks overseas, such as the hotel massacre in Mumbai, India, the previous year. Van Duyn insisted this was nothing more than a prudent reconnaissance exercise designed to limit copy-cat terrorism on US soil.

Yet five years earlier the Newsmax website reported the FBI has routinely conducting intelligence operations abroad without notifying either the CIA or the State Department, according to whispers from current and former government officials. There is no doubt that the FBI’s huge program of drawing up chairs in US embassies has resulted in a direct clash with the CIA, which has not had to deal with competitors on its own turf since the agency was established in 1947.

The FBI responds with soothing constructive denial. Spokesmen insist the FBI says it has no desire to usurp the CIA’s role ‘as the leading U.S. intelligence agency on foreign soil’, even as it demonstrably expands its intelligence reach. Is the Pope Catholic?

Now here is a broadside which has largely bypassed by the mainstream media, although it was outed in the anti-Obama Wall Street Journal. On October 26th Broadwell was on parade at the University of Denver where she chose to enlighten her audience on the rationale for the attack on the Benghazi consulate.

‘I don’t know if a lot of you had heard this, but the CIA annex had actually taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think the attack on the consulate was an attempt to get these prisoners back.’

There could have been no clearer proof of La Blabbermouth’s access to the CIA’s top secrets, and an even more obvious clue as to the source.

Fourteen days later her lover Petraeus resigned, but not before the CIA indignantly refuted it was holding any prisoners abroad in defiance of Obama’s direct orders issued in 2009.

Shirtless Fred was most probably the fly in the ointment. Humphries is a career agent professing strong moral objections to the CIA’s so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ which became commonplace after 9/11. Humphries pronounced torture as immoral and ineffective.

If the CIA was indeed holding prisoners in the Benghazi compound that would be quite sufficient motive for Humphries to retaliate by independently downloading what he knew about the CIA director’s infatuations. Officially Humphries was discharged from the inquiry because he became ‘infatuated’ with Jill Kelley. On the other hand he was conveniently silenced into the bargain.

We know that the FBI had broken the seal on Petraeus’s secret e-channel with La Broadwell. And it must be apparent that she learnt from her lover what exactly was going on inside the Benghazi compound in defiance of the president’s orders, thanks to her typical attention-seeking outburst in Denver. We are supplied with a credible motive for the storming of the consulate, the refusal to permit aid and, in consequence, the elimination of the ambassador.

Conspiracies tend to run in circles, so the comparisons with Watergate and Iran-Contra are instructive in unraveling the mysteries of Benghazi-Gate. Certainly, when all the president’s men countermand the rescue of an ambassador in a country recently sucked back into the dark ages by western intervention, then something truly weird is going on.

Nixon was actually a political presence of substance, though haunted by his own induced inferiority. He took strong decisions – abandoning the gold standard, the opening to China, melting the Cold War – if in private appallingly crude-mouthed and conspiratorial. Lyndon Johnson shared some of those attributes in plenty.

Yet of Obama the man, we know little or nothing. He gives an unmemorable speech here and there, he is tutored in rhetoric and has put out a ghost-written book about hope. We look for his substance and find ourselves prodding candy floss. He grins like the ephemeral Cheshire Cat.

I firmly suspect that something is going on in the broader political game that may lead to impeachment and a new twist in the road to authoritarianism in the United States.

Richard Cottrell is a writer, journalist and former European MP (Conservative).


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