Benghazi May Have Been Center For Covert Arms To Syrian Rebels In CIA Op; Secrecy Is To Avoid Iran-Contra Type Exposure
CNN’s Jake Tapper broke new ground yesterday by reporting that there were 35 CIA operatives on the ground in Benghazi at the time of the September, 2012 raid. But the questions loom: What were they doing there? And why was the Administration so desperate to cover-up their presence that it administered polygraph tests to stop leaking and had agents use aliases?
Answers to these questions were ventured by James Horn, a former intelligence operative and the author of the 2011 book Experiencing Islam. Horn spoke on the Dick Morris Show on WPHT 1210 AM in Philadelphia.
In a previous appearance on the Dick Morris Show on June 24, 2013 and in an article in Family Security Matters magazine in June, Horn broke the news — now confirmed by CNN — that the CIA had “thirty additional Americans on the ground in Benghazi at the time of the attack.”
He says that they were involved in a covert and possibly illegal effort to ship arms from Libya to the Syrian rebels with the aid of al Qaeda operatives. Horn says, “The CIA was involved in the illegal acquisition of weapons from the terrorist al Qaeda affiliates in Libya and shipping them to al Qaeda Sunni terrorists in Syria via Turkey.”
If Horn’s testimony is to be believed, it would mean that the cover-up of the Benghazi raid was motivated by much more than a mere desire by Obama to conceal the viability of al Qaeda despite the bin Laden killing. Obama may have been trying to stop a full blown Iran-Contra type scandal from engulfing his administration.
Apart from the cosmetics of being found to be working with al Qaeda to arm al Qaeda rebels in Syria, Obama may have feared legal issues.
Media reports suggest that lawyers advising the Administration have had serious concerns that arming the rebels could violate “customary international law” and give Syrian dictator Assad legal justification and motivation to attack Americans around the world.
In addition the House and Senate Intelligence Committees had not approved aid to the Syrian rebels at the time of the Benghazi attack and did not do so until last month. To have armed the Syrian rebels would have violated the tacit understanding between the executive and the Intelligence Committees that the Administration would not proceed without the approval of the Committees.
The perspective from Horn of the real issues at stake in Benghazi makes the CIA’s efforts to cover it up more understandable. It would be to stop revelations of this magnitude from leaking out that the agency would be polygraphing its operatives in Libya monthly, moving them around the country, and making them take assumed names.
But the Benghazi scandal has gone from an effort by the Administration to deflect public focus on al Qaeda’s continuing power to an attempt to cover up possibly illegal arms shipments reminiscent of Reagan’s Iran Contra scandal.
Now the focus of the investigation must not only be why Obama and Hillary Clinton lied by saying that the raid was simply an overreaction to a movie and why there was not adequate military support for Ambassador Chris Stevens but what the CIA was doing there anyway and whether it violates American or international law.
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