Sunday, November 4, 2012

November 4, 2012

American, British Sources: Benghazi Attack Result of 'Complete Incompetence'
by Stephen Feller
November 3, 2012

Multiple American and British sources are questioning the CIA timeline of events in the attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, saying that armed assailants and roadblocks had been recognized hours before the  timeline starts.

Questions also are being raised as to why a “ragtag team” in Tripoli was assembled to respond to the attack instead of a more capable response prepared using the overwhelming U.S., British and other resources available in the region, Fox News reported.

The unnamed sources said that twice-weekly meetings revealed that officials who know the area and are aware of the situation there were astounded to find that staff appeared “complacent” and “didn’t seem to follow the normal American way of securing a facility.”

Included in the criticism were specifics that may have saved the life of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and possibly others, had anything been handled properly at the consulate.

“The safe room is one of the first measures you take,” said a former special operations soldier. “[I’m] not sure how you can set a safe room without fire suppression and ventilation in case of fire . . . Ambassador Stevens would likely be alive today if this simple and normal procedure was put into place."

Long before the beginning of the timeline, 9:40 p.m. the night of the attack, the chief of security at the consulate was “distraught” and reporting that “the situation here is very serious — we have a problem.”

According to the Fox News report, the U.S. has scores of drones patrolling the area, and British and Turkish resources on the ground in Libya, and closer than Tripoli, were never called in to help fend off the attack.

Read more:
State Dept Won't Explain Why Classified Docs Still at Benghazi Consulate
by Meredith Dake
November 3, 2012

Since the Obama Administration has launched the Accountability Review Board (ARB) to investigate the murders of U.S. diplomats and intelligence gatherers in Benghazi, the State Department has been tight-lipped on any developments discovered by news agencies. That changed this week when a State Department official went on the record in an attempt to explain some of the decisions by the State Department in response to the consulate attack.

While the Administration claims they have been stonewalling reporters' questions because there is an ongoing investigation, frustrations are growing because of the fact that an explanation to already widely-reported events and cables could not possibly interfere with an investigation about unknowns in the aftermath of Benghazi. Is the Administration stonewalling reporters to keep the integrity of an investigation, or is this just a stall tactic because an election is only days away?

Fox News has reported that in the critical response time after the Benghazi attack that senior counterterrorism officials felt "cut out of the loop" and that decisions were "isolated" to "the most senior level." These officials told Fox News that a FEST team (Foreign Emergency Support Team) should have been deployed immediately because it would have helped the FBI gain access to the consulate much faster. State Department spokesman Philippe Reines explained to Fox News, off camera, that a FEST team is only one "resource" of the State Department, and that one wasn't called because the embassy in Tripoli was able to operate normally.

This has frustrated reporters because the Administration has now given an official, on the record, statement but refuses to comment further on anything, especially on camera.

Read the exchange below:
QUESTION: There’s another report about security in Benghazi and – well, about the immediate aftermath of the attack and whether or not a FEST team should go. I notice that your colleague, at least one of them, has spoken about this on the record. I am wondering if you can tell us why the decision was made not to ask for one of these teams to go. 
MS. NULAND: Again, I am going to leave it to the ARB to do a full review of what went on before, during, and after. I’m not going to get into any of the details from the podium. 
QUESTION: So as soon as you stand down, you’ll go on the record and say something? 
MS. NULAND: I’m not planning on speaking on this issue at all.
QUESTION: Well, then can you explain why Philippe was quoted in this story, a State Department official? 
MS. NULAND: I’m going to again -- 
QUESTION: You’ve seen what he had to say? 
MS. NULAND: I actually didn’t see on this particular matter, but I’m going to refer you to him for anything he wants to say on it. 
QUESTION: I think that since it is a television network that is reporting this, that they would – they and all the rest of us would love to have something on camera. 
MS. NULAND: I’m sure that the television networks will appreciate you advocating for that, but -- 
QUESTION: Well, I hope they do. 
MS. NULAND: Yeah. 
QUESTION: And I think it’s ridiculous for someone, an official in this Department, to speak on the record about something and you not be able to speak about it from the podium. Just because it’s on camera -- 
MS. NULAND: Well, again -- 
QUESTION: -- doesn’t mean that -- 
MS. NULAND: Again, I didn’t see what he said this morning, so I will -- 
QUESTION: Well, can you explain to us why and – since has spoken about it on the record and is quoted in this story as talking about it, can you take that and come back to us on camera and give us a similar explanation as to why a FEST team wasn’t thought to be necessary? 
MS. NULAND: I will speak to him and figure out what it is he said, and we will go from there.
But the stonewalling didn't stop there. After multiple reports that classified documents have been left exposed, to be found by looters and journalists, at the the Benghazi site, reporters in the State Department press pool are questioning how the administration could be so incompetent to let that happen. The State Department didn't have any answers for reporters and hid behind the excuse that they didn't have enough facts, 50 days after the attack, to make any comment.

Read more:

Neil Cavuto Exposes Horrifying Devastation in Staten Island: Sanitation Workers Discovering ‘Bodies’ in Piles of Debris
by Erica Ritz
November 3, 2012

Neil Cavuto spent part of his Saturday program exploring the devastation in some of the worst-hit areas of Superstorm Sandy, noting that roughly a week later, help still has not reached many of those who need it.

John Tabacco called in from Staten Island to relate the situation on the ground, and said there has been no federal assistance “whatsoever.”  The only thing the “convoys” of those who appear to be FEMA agents and homeland security officials have done, he said, is “drive around with clipboards writing things down.”

He explained:
“We have volunteers and other people coming out giving water from their own homes. People need gloves. People need blankets and you can get to these homes. The question is, where is the government assistance? …There’s not a federal agent helping a single person where we are.”
But that’s not the worst of it.

Many of those in Staten Island are saying the death toll will be far higher once we have all the facts, partially because of terrifying situations like what Tabacco described:
“This morning we’re distributing stuff here and we’re helping people dig out, and we hear the sanitation guys scream out that there are bodies in the pile. Everybody jumps on the pile and starts pulling away debris. And, unfortunately, probably not reported right now, but that was about an hour and a half ago, certainly three more people deceased. God bless them…”
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