This news comes via Roger L. Simon of PJ Media, who says his sources, two former U.S. diplomats, “sounded credible.” Simon doesn’t report which department the whistleblowers work in, but notes that they are colleagues of the former diplomats, and are in the process of securing legal counsel because they work in areas not fully protected by the Whistleblower law.
If what these diplomats are saying, is true, the ramifications will be devastating to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The former diplomats inform PJM the new revelations concentrate in two areas — what Ambassador Chris Stevens was actually doing in Benghazi and the pressure put on General Carter Ham, then in command of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and therefore responsible for Libya, not to act to protect jeopardized U.S. personnel.
Stevens’ mission in Benghazi, they will say, was to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups issued to them by the State Department, not by the CIA. Such a mission would usually be a CIA effort, but the intelligence agency had opposed the idea because of the high risk involved in arming “insurgents” with powerful weapons that endanger civilian aircraft.
Apparently Clinton decided to proceed because she wanted “to overthrow Gaddafi on the cheap.”
When it became clear that the “insurgents” actually were al-Qaeda, Stevens was left with the unenviable job of cleaning up the mess.
The former diplomat who spoke with PJ Media regarded the whole enterprise as totally amateurish and likened it to the Mike Nichols film Charlie Wilson’s War about a clueless congressman who supplies Stingers to the Afghan guerrillas. “It’s as if Hillary and the others just watched that movie and said ‘Hey, let’s do that!'” the diplomat said.
Perhaps adding credence to this version of events is a March 30, 2011 report by Jake Tapper, Jon Karl and Russell Goldman of ABC News :
President Obama has a signed a secret presidential finding authorizing covert operations to aid the effort in Libya where rebels are in full retreat despite air support from U.S. and allied forces, a source tells ABC News.
The presidential finding discusses a number of ways to help the opposition to Moammar Gadhafi, authorizing some assistance now and setting up a legal framework for more robust activities in the future.
The finding does not direct covert operatives to provide arms to the rebels immediately, although it does prepare for such a contingency and other contingencies should the president decide to go down that road in the future.
The White House press office issued a statement saying it does not comment on intelligence matters.
It was rumored, last Fall, that the head of AFRICOM, General Carter Ham was told to stand down from sending aid to Benghazi, but he had decided to proceed, anyway, and for that he was relieved of his command.
In an October 25 statement, Defense Secretary Panetta claimed that the refusal to use force had come from him, General Dempsey and General Ham.
But General Ham broke with that story when he told Congressman Jason Chaffetz, days later, that he played no part in the decision not to bail out the consulate and the Navy SEALS.
According to military contacts of the diplomats, AFRICOM had Special Ops “assets in place that could have come to the aid of the Benghazi consulate immediately (not in six hours)”, but (as rumored) Ham decided to disobey and did so anyway, whereupon the White House “called his deputy and had the deputy threaten to relieve Ham of his command.”
The diplomat and his colleagues also told Simon they suspect that the leaking of former CIA Chief General David Petraeus’ affair was timed to silence him – a suspicion many of us had when it happened.