SEPTEMBER 11, 2013
Updated Report focuses on “Unanswered Questions and the Quest for Accountability from the Obama Administration;” calls for House Select Committee to fully investigate the attack
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released “On the Anniversary of the Benghazi Attack of September 11, 2012: Unanswered Questions and the Quest for Accountability from the Obama Administration,” a Special Report containing new in-depth analyses of “the Obama administration’s Benghazi stonewall.” A follow-up to its January 22, 2013, Benghazi report, the new Special Report includes extensive information uncovered in the organization’s 23 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Mandatory Declassification Review, and four lawsuits against the Obama Department of State and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Judicial Watch is the only non-governmental organization in the country litigating in federal court to uncover the full story about what happened before, during, and following the Benghazi massacre. What it has discovered to date, according to the Special Report, is a “story of political treachery in high places.”
Part One of the new Special Report contains in-depth analysis, conducted exclusively for Judicial Watch by former State Department Security Special Agent Raymond Fournier, examining the critical time period leading up to the Benghazi attack, when repeated requests for increased security were shunned by top State Department officials. It also examines the Obama administration’s official claim that “an obscure Internet video” triggered the attacks. It also raises questions as to the internal problems within the State Department that may continue to leave overseas diplomats without adequate security.
Part Two of the Special Report contains new information focusing on the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, including continuing attempts by the Obama administration to withhold information about the attacks and its subsequent actions. It includes a “Benghazi Chronology,” revealing details about more than 30 violent incidents that occurred in and around Benghazi dating back to December 2011, and leading up to the day of the attack. The chronology includes a cable sent to Washington by Ambassador Christopher Stevens on the morning of September 11, 2012, reflecting Libyans’ “growing frustration with police and security forces who were too weak to keep the country secure.”
The Judicial Watch Special Report addresses a series of “Loose Ends and Unanswered Questions,” including the following:
- “Almost immediately after the September 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi” the Report says, “the President pledged, ‘We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done’ … Despite these vows of swift justice, no one has yet been arrested or killed for participation in the attack.”
“Of particular concern to lawmakers,” the Special Report adds, “is the fact that CNN was able to conduct an interview with Ahmed Abu Khattala in July . Libyan officials identified Khattala as the ‘mastermind’ of the attack as early as October .”
- The Special Report continues, “The administration has also reportedly undertaken a concerted effort to keep government personnel who were on the ground in Benghazi on the night of the attack from testifying to Congress or providing information to the media. In July, Rep. Frank Wolf reported on the House floor that, ‘According to trusted sources that have contacted my office, many if not all of the survivors of the Benghazi attacks along with others at the Department of Defense, the CIA have been asked or directed to sign non-disclosure agreements about their involvement in the Benghazi attacks.”
- “The activities of Ambassador Stevens on the day of the attack also raise questions regarding a possible weapons transfer being conducted out of the SMC at Benghazi [to Syrian rebels via Turkey],” according to the Special Report. “Stevens met with Mahmoud El-Mufti, the owner of a Libya-based shipping company Al-Marfa … Stevens’ final meeting of the day was with Ali Akin, the Turkish Consul General in Benghazi … So, while the official version of events holds that the Ambassador was in Benghazi for routine meetings and opening of a cultural center, it seems clear that he was working on something undisclosed that involved both Turkey and cargo shipments.”]
- “Some evidence of the power of the FOIA law, and Judicial Watch’s persistence, came about with the release of the first US Government images of the aftermath of the attack on the Benghazi SMC,” the Special Report says. “Judicial Watch’s lawsuit against the State Department compelled production of the images on June 21, 2013 – four months after going to federal court to get the Obama administration to obey the law. A total of seven (7) photographs were produced to Judicial Watch by the State Department.” Two of the images obtained by Judicial Watch are in the Special Report.
- According the Special Report, “DOS hired a British firm, Blue Mountain, to manage its security in Benghazi, and Blue Mountain subcontracted the job to a local jihadist militia called the February 17 Martyrs Brigade who have known Muslim Brotherhood ties.” The Report also reveals that [Regional Security Officer in Libya, Eric] “Nordstrom testified at the October 11, 2012 Congressional hearings that ‘in deference to sensitivity to Libyan practice, the guards at Benghazi were unarmed’ [emphasis added] – an inexplicable practice for a place as dangerous as Benghazi.” The Report says Nordstrom also “told Congressional investigators that DOS Deputy Assistant Director for International Programs Charlene] Lamb “wanted to keep the number of U.S. security personnel in Benghazi ‘artificially low.”
The Judicial Watch Special Report concludes with a call for the creation of a bipartisan House Select Committee to fully investigate the terrorist attack on Benghazi. “Five different House committees have, each in their own way, conducted disjointed, uncoordinated inquiries,” the Report says. “A single Select Committee appears to be the best forum for the American people to ever learn the truth.”
“Here we are, one year after the Benghazi attack, and there has been zero accountability. No military action, no drones, no arrests. No one has been fired for the Obama administration lies and malfeasance.” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Without a select committee, Congress will continue to drift on Benghazi accountability. Grassroots Americans want justice for the Benghazi Four but I fear, but for our independent investigations and lawsuits, the Washington Establishment would be happy to sweep Benghazi under the rug.”