It’s pretty clear at this point that the Obama administration explicitly misrepresented what they knew to be the truth about the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
In yesterday’s hearings, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) publicized a heretofore classified State Department email describing the attack as a premeditated assault by Ansar al-Sharia, a group that “is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.” Note, this email was sent on September 12th, a day after the attack and preceding several official administration statements that the attack had been the result of a spontaneous protest against a YouTube video depicting the prophet Mohammad.
Congressional Republicans have been up in arms at the Obama administration for not having enough security at the Consulate and for not being up front about whether the attack was a protest gone awry or a premeditated attack.
But the controversy kind of just stops there. Few Obama critics in Washington have any idea why the administration would knowingly mislead on the Benghazi attacks.
I can only speculate, but my best guess is that they wanted to avoid the political costs of another terrorist attack on American interests that was only made possible because of the U.S.-NATO bombing war in Libya aimed at toppling the Gadhafi regime. The decision to change the regime in Libya and excite the civil war had long-ranging consequences, from destabilizing the entire north African region to bolstering the presence and influence of al-Qaeda affiliated groups.
According to a book written by former Navy SEAL Jack Murphy and former Army Ranger Brandon Webb, the Benghazi attack was retaliation for the secret raids Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan directing on militias in Libya at the time.
“Brennan waged his own unilateral operations in North Africa outside of the traditional command structure,” the book says, calling it an “off the books” operation not coordinated with Petraeus and the CIA.
The authors then claim that these raids were a “contributing factor” in the militant strike on the U.S. Consulate and CIA annex on Sept. 11.
The raids, they said, “kicked the hornets’ nest and pissed off the militia.”
Benghazi was blowback. Is it any wonder the Obama administration tried to cover it up? No. But what is amazing is that Republicans are so allergic to acknowledging blowback as a phenomenon that it has barely entered the debate.