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Alleged bipartisan gunrunning ‘cover-up’ clouds Benghazi investigation

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WASHINGTON – Alleging a bipartisan “cover-up of U.S. gunrunning operations in the Mideast, critics are calling for an independent investigation of the 9/11 attack in Benghazi.

Despite numerous congressional hearings, “no one has asked about the underlying mission in Benghazi,” said Jeff Steinberg, senior editor at Executive Intelligence Review.

“The U.S. was running an operation dealing with terrorist networks that are part of the extended al-Qaida apparatus,” he charged.

Citing multiple sources, including the Congressional Research Service, Steinberg said there are “three levels of complicity” by the Obama administration.

“First, the president promised 9/11 families that he would try to declassify 28 pages of a joint congressional report” that reputedly linked the Saudi Arabian government to the attacks that killed more than 3,000 Americans in 2001.

benghazi
Sept. 11 Terrorist attack on US consulate in Benghazi

“Instead, (Obama) went the other way and had his solicitor general argue that (the 9/11 families’) case should be dismissed because of sovereign immunity of the Saudis.”

“Second, the overthrow of (Libyan President Moammar) Qaddafi was an unconstitutional war because Obama refused to go to Congress for war powers authorization.

“Third, there was the cover-up of Benghazi itself.”

Steinberg said Washington, along with Britain and France, intended “to move immediately from the overthrow of Qaddafi to regime change in Syria and to create conditions to deal with the Iran situation from a position of strength.“

As reported previously, a covert U.S. operation shipped weapons from Libya to Turkey and on to Syrian rebels who are attempting to oust President Bashar Assad.

Mapping a falling-domino scenario, Steinberg suggested that Washington’s goal is “to create conditions to deal with Iran.”

“If the Saudi involvement (in the original 9/11) had come out, it would have been impossible to pursue the insane regime-change policies in the Mideast and North Africa,” he said.

But under cover, “more weapons got into Mali, Algeria and the black market. These networks were honeycombed with al-Qaida capability.

“Obama is complicit in this mess, collaborating with terrorists.”

Steinberg said Congress is equally to blame.

“Republicans focused on (then-Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton regarding aspects of Benghazi, but have dodged the serious questions.”

susan_rice Foreign Policy
Susan Rice
Photo Credit: Foreign Policy

Newly released emails illustrated how the Benghazi investigation has gone off track. Republicans contend that the correspondence and “revised talking points” implicate the White House. Democrats argue the opposite.

“These documents undercut the reckless accusations by Republicans that the White House scrubbed the Benghazi talking points for political reasons,” said Rep. Elijiah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

CBS News’ Major Garrett reported Thursday that leaked versions of the White House emails sent out by the GOP to the network last Friday had “visible differences” from Wednesday’s official batch.

Will Wertz, of LaRouchePAC, a national activist group critical of both parties, said the emails reflect that the talking points used by Ambassador Susan Rice in the immediate aftermath of the attack were “ultimately shaped and approved by the National Security staff of the Obama White House.”

After examining the 100-plus pages of emails, Wertz noted:

“While it is true that the State Department in the person of Victoria Nuland expressed various concerns about the initial talking points prepared by the CIA, the involvement of (then-Deputy National Security Adviser) Denis McDonough and (then-National Counterintelligence Director) John Brennan in the editing process is much more important. Neither writes any emails that have been reported and neither receives any emails.

“If you follow the email trail, it leads directly to Obama and his top advisers,” Wertz asserted.But they are both in the center of the action.”

On Jan. 25 of this year, McDonough was made Obama’s chief of staff. Brennan assumed the office of director of the CIA on March 8.

To dig deeper into Benghazi and its aftermath, Steinberg said “convening a congressional select committee is the right way to go. It would have members from the intelligence and oversight committees, with full-time professional staff with subpoena power.”

As for now, “Congress is acting irresponsibly by not fulfilling a decisive check and balance on excessive presidential power,” he said.

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