JANUARY 26, 2015
Tunis, Tunisia, embassy emergency message: http://tunisia.usembassy.gov/warden-message-9-12-2012.html
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained court-ordered documents in accordance with its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. State Department seeking “any and all logs, reports, or other records” the Washington-based Diplomatic Security Command Center produced between September 10, 2012, and September 13, 2012, relating to the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on October 16, 2014, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01733)).
According to testimony given by Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State Charlene Lamb before the House Oversight Committee on October 10, 2012, the Command Center knew the Benghazi compound was under hostile fire from the moment the attack began. Lamb’s testimony was in direct conflict with initial false claims by the Obama administration that the attack arose from a spontaneous demonstration in response to an Internet video.
“When the attack began,” Lamb testified, “a Diplomatic Security agent working in the Tactical Operations Center immediately activated the Imminent Danger Notification System and made an emergency announcement over the PA. Based on our security protocols, he also alerted the annex U.S. quick reaction security team stationed nearby, the Libyan 17th February Brigade, Embassy Tripoli, and the Diplomatic Security Command Center in Washington. From that point on, I could follow what was happening in almost real-time.”
Despite knowing it was an attack, the State Department, including its security Command Center, continued to falsely tie “demonstrations” to the Benghazi terrorist assault. The State Department’s January 20 document production contains a press release issued by the Diplomatic Security Command Center, on September 12, 2012, that falsely states that “violent demonstrations took place at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, and at the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in damages in both locations and casualties in Benghazi.”
The Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit, filed after the State Department failed to respond to a June 12, 2014, FOIA request, seeks the following:
Any and all activity logs, reports, or other records produced by the Diplomatic Security Command Center between September 10 2012, and September 13, 2012, regarding, concerning, or related to the attack at the U.S. Special Mission Compound and Classified Annex in Benghazi, Libya.
Lamb’s 2012 testimony that the Diplomatic Security Command Center knew in “real time” that a terrorist attack was underway ran contrary to claims by top Obama officials, including U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who on September 16, 2011, told NBC’s Meet the Press, “[W]hat happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, prompted by the video.” According to Foreign Policy magazine, Lamb’s testimony was also buttressed by an October 9, 2012, press conference call in which a senior State Department official told reporters, “The ambassador walked guests out at 8:30 or so; there was nobody on the street. Then at 9:40 they saw on the security cameras that there were armed men invading the compound.”
“The State Department’s Diplomatic Security Command Center clearly knew in real time that a full-fledged terrorist attack was taking place on September 11 at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, and the American people deserve to be told the truth,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We are now into the fourth year of a massive Obama administration cover-up. And the Command Center communiques may further help unravel the Obama administration’s growing web of deceit. I’ve always believed that the Benghazi cover-up was about two presidential campaigns – the Obama reelection effort and Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign. I have little doubt that the State Department is protecting Hillary Clinton with this latest cover-up.”
Judicial Watch has now filed 40 FOIA requests, a Mandatory Declassification Review, and eight lawsuits against the Obama administration relating to the Benghazi terrorist attack. Currently, Judicial Watch is the only non-governmental organization in the nation currently litigating in federal court to uncover information withheld by the Obama administration about the events that transpired before, during, and following the Benghazi massacre.
In April 2014, Judicial Watch forced the release of State Department documents it had obtained, including an internal email showing then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other Obama administration public relations officials attempting to orchestrate a campaign to “reinforce” President Obama and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.” Other documents showed that State Department officials initially described the incident as an “attack” and a possible kidnap attempt. The documents were obtained by Judicial Watch result of a June 21, 2013, FOIA lawsuit filed against the Department of State (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-00951)) Judicial Watch’s release of the Rhodes email, which had been withheld by the Obama administration from Congress, caused the House of Representatives to approve the Select Committee on Benghazi, which is now led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
In June 2013, Judicial Watch released the first seven photos depicting the devastating aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic and CIA facilities in Benghazi. The following November, it obtained 32 new documents from the Department of State, including 13 previously withheld photos depicting the carnage at the U.S. Consulate. The documents were obtained in response to a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department on February 25, 2013 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1-13-cv-00242)).