Sunday, November 23, 2014

EPISTEMIC CLOSURE TO THE RESCUE

Based on previous research & personal observation, I'm not surprised that some conservatives refuse to accept the findings of the latest Benghazi and the denial goes all the way to the highest ranking conservatives:
Graham: House GOP Benghazi report 'full of crap'
By Rebecca Shabad - 11/23/14 09:29 AM EST
THE HILL

Host Gloria Borger said the report found no one lied.

“That’s a bunch of garbage,” Graham replied.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

WHEN FOX NEWS DID ITS OWN REPORTING ON THE LATEST BENGHAZI REPORT

instead of relying on the AP, it failed to state that there was no "stand down order" and no effort by the Federal government, including Obama and Hillary, to mislead the American public. This time, comments are still open.

CIA gathered intelligence on weapons to Syria: Benghazi report

By Catherine Herridge, Pamela Browne
Published November 22, 2014
FoxNews.com

A leading Republican wants to expand the House investigation into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack by adding a Senate probe, as a new House Intelligence Committee report Friday concluded that the initial CIA assessment found no demonstrations prior to the assault and a primary purpose of the CIA operation in eastern Libya was to track the movement of weapons to Syria.

The report described the attack as "complex" with the attackers affiliated with Al Qaeda. It also said the initial CIA assessment concluded there were no demonstrations outside the State Department Consulate in Eastern Libya.

Referring to the House Select committee Chairman, and the Democratic ranking member, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, said the current House investigation should be expanded.
"(Republican) Trey Gowdy and (Democrat) Elijah Cummings have done a good job,” he said. “I can't imagine the U.S. Senate not wanting to be a part of a joint select committee. We'll bootstrap to what you've done, but we want to be part of discussion," Graham told Fox News. "What I would suggest to (incoming Senate majority leader) Mitch McConnell is to call up Speaker Boehner and say 'Listen, we want to be part of this’."

Graham, along with his two Republican colleagues, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, have been outspoken advocates of a special investigation, because they say then-acting director of the CIA Mike Morell misled them about his role in crafting the so-called media talking points that blamed an opportunistic protest gone awry for the assault.

"Number one, Mike Morrell misled three senators," Graham said of their November 2012 meeting on Capitol Hill, where Morell accompanied then UN Ambassador Susan Rice to explain her flawed explanation on national television five days after the attack.
"I think it's important that for future CIA personnel to understand, that if you come to Congress and you’re asked a question and you give a deceptive answer, you tell half the story, not the entire story, you play word games, it will follow you and will be unacceptable," Graham said.

On Friday, with little fanfare, the House Intelligence Committee released the findings of its two year, bi-partisan investigation into the terrorist attack. The 37 page report found that the first, internal CIA assessment was accurate -- that no protests were involved -- but then-CIA Director David Petraeus, Morell and the administration latched onto information that supported the flawed demonstration scenario.

Fox News was first to report on September 17, 2012, one day after Rice's controversial Sunday talk show appearances, that there were no protests when the attack unfolded.
"One day after the assault, on 9/12/12, the first CIA assessment about the attacks, a September 12th Executive update, said ‘the presence of armed assailants from the incident’s outset suggests this was an intentional assault and not the escalation of a peaceful protest,” investigators found.  And while intelligence gaps remain, "No witness has reported believing at any point that the attacks were anything but terrorist acts,” the report added.

On Saturday September 14, 2012, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes wrote in an email titled "PREP CALL with Susan," that one of the goals for the administration's public statements should be "To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy."  The House report says these conclusions were "incorrect."

Judicial Watch, not Congress, obtained the Rhodes email as the result of a federal lawsuit.
The Obama White House did not move away from the protest explanation for the attack that killed four Americans - Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and former Navy Seals and CIA contractors Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty - until September 20, when then White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters 'It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,” and the State Department did the same much later.

The report found the CIA's Office of Public Affairs made three “substantive” changes to the talking points that included the removal of references to Al Qaeda and swapping the word "attacks" with "demonstrations."  It is not clear from the publicly available, and heavily redacted emails exactly who made the changes and who directed them, since the CIA public affairs office would be unlikely to make these changes unilaterally.

When Morell retired from the CIA last year, he told The Wall Street Journal he hoped to advise a presidential campaign, with anonymous sources telling the paper Morell was close to Hillary Clinton. Morell now works as a counselor at Beacon Global Strategies, a Washington D.C. firm closely aligned with the former secretary of State. He is also a national security analyst for CBS News. The President of CBS News is David Rhodes, the brother of Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.

An appendix filed by Democrats did not find evidence of “political motivations,” and Morell is praised for testifying “freely and openly” about the process.  Four Republicans, including chairman Mike Rogers, concluded “Mr. Morell operated beyond his role as CIA Deputy Director and inserted himself into a policy making and public affairs role….It is simply unfathomable that the White House’s policy preferences, or the concerns of the State Department senior officials, did not factor into his calculation about what was fair.  For these reasons, we believe that Mr. Morell’s testimony was at time inconsistent and incomplete.”

The House report leaves no doubt that the attack drew heavily on “those affiliated with al-Qai’da,”  including AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb), AAS (Ansar al-sharia), AQAP (Al Qaeda in Yemen), AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq) as well as the Egypt based Jamal Network.  As Fox News was first to report, and the committee investigation affirms, at least two long time Al Qaeda operatives, Faraj al-Chalabi, and former Guantanamo detainee Sufian bin Qumu, were significant players in the assault.

House investigators concluded that "CIA accurately assessed on September 12, and 13, 2012 that members of AAS (Ansar al-Sharia) and of various al-Qai'da affiliates perpetrated the attacks."  And that as more was known about the attacks the "CIA gained corroborating reporting to support their previous assessments."

The House report adds more weight to the conclusion that the attack was pre-meditated because it pulled together more than 80 operatives -- some from outside of Libya --for the assault and it drew on a skilled mortar team.  "The Tripoli security chief recalled that the mortar fire was far more accurate than anything he had seen during his tour in Afghanistan," it said.

The report also shed new light on the CIA operation in Benghazi. Morell said the CIA annex was in eastern Libya “collecting intelligence about foreign entities that were themselves collecting weapons in Libya and facilitating their passage to Syria. The Benghazi Annex was not itself collecting weapons.”

Newly declassified testimony before the House Intelligence Committee attached to the House report from the Director of National intelligence, James Clapper, as well as Morell, confirmed to lawmakers that the weapons shipments were known at the highest levels of the U.S. government.
Rep. Devin Nunes: Are we aware of any arms that are leaving that area and going into Syria?
Mr. Morell: Yes, sir.
General Clapper: Yes
Nunes:  And who was coordinating that?
Mr. Morell: I believe the (redacted) are coordinating that.
Nunes: And were the CIA folks that were there, were they helping to coordinate that, or were they watching it, were they gathering information about it?
Mr. Morell: Sir, the focus of my officers in Benghazi was (redacted) to try to penetrate terrorist groups that were there so we could learn their plans, intentions and capabilities (redacted.)
The discussion is cut short by Rogers, who says not all members present have sufficient security clearances to hear further details.  Fox News was first to question in October 2012 the significance of weapons shipments from Libya to Syria via Turkey, and who in the administration was read in on the program.

In a joint statement, the committee's Republican chairman Mike Rogers of Michigan, and ranking member, Dutch Ruppersburger, D-Md., said "...there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks but the early intelligence assessments and the Administrations’ public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attack were not fully accurate. A mixed group of individuals, including those affiliated with al-Qa’ida, participated in the attacks. Finally, the Committee found no evidence that CIA conducted any unauthorized activities in Benghazi and CIA did not intimidate any officer or otherwise dissuade them from telling their stories to Congress"

A QUESTION FOR REP. TREY GOWDY

Now that the HPSCI has found there was no WH conspiracy to hide information about Benghazi, perhaps Mr. Gowdy can tell us exactly what is his evidence for claiming that there was one.

I WASN'T SURE IF THIS STORY WAS FROM A MASS MARKET NOVEL OR A TABLOID...

(h/t Atrios)

maybe even a tabloid in a novel but it now seems terrifyingly real:

Media ‘gagged over bid to report MP child sex cases’

Security services accused of aiding Westminster paedophilia cover-up

Daniel Boffey policy editor
Saturday 22 November 2014 06.33 EST
THE GUARDIAN


The security services are facing questions over the cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring as it emerged that files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed.

Two newspaper executives have told the Observer that their publications were issued with D-notices – warnings not to publish intelligence that might damage national security – when they sought to report on allegations of a powerful group of men engaging in child sex abuse in 1984. One executive said he had been accosted in his office by 15 uniformed and two non-uniformed police over a dossier on Westminster paedophiles passed to him by the former Labour cabinet minister Barbara Castle.

The other said that his newspaper had received a D-notice when a reporter sought to write about a police investigation into Elm Guest House, in southwest London, where a group of high-profile paedophiles was said to have operated and may have killed a child. Now it has emerged that these claims are impossible to verify or discount because the D-notice archives for that period “are not complete”.

The two journalists, Don Hale, the former editor of the Bury Messenger, and Hilton Tims, news editor of the Surrey Comet between 1980 and 1988, both recall their publications being issued with D-notices around 1984. ... He [Hale] had been given a file by Castle, by then an MEP, which had details of a Home Office investigation into allegations made by the Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens of the existence of a Westminster paedophile ring. The files contained the name of 16 MPs said to be involved and another 40 who were supportive of the goals of the Paedophile Information Exchange, which sought to reduce the age of consent.

HERE'S THE SUMMARY OF THE BENGHAZI REPORT


I used http://www.onlineocr.net/ to convert the PDF image files to MS Word files.



Executive Summary
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence ("HPSCI" or "the Committee") conducted a comprehensive and exhaustive investigation into the tragic attacks against two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya on September 11-12, 2012. The nearly two-year investigation focused on the activities of the Intelligence Community ("IC") before, during, and after the attacks. During the course of thousands of hours of detailed investigation, HPSCI reviewed thousands of pages of intelligence assessments, cables, notes, and emails; held 20 Committee events and hearings; and conducted detailed interviews with senior intelligence officials and eyewitnesses to the attacks, including eight security personnel on the ground in Benghazi that night.
This report details the findings and conclusions of HPSCI's investigation. In summary, the Committee first concludes that the CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi and, without a requirement to do so, ably and bravely assisted the State Department on the night of the attacks. Their actions saved lives. Appropriate U.S. personnel made reasonable tactical decisions that night, and the Committee found no evidence that there was either a stand down order or a denial of available air support. The Committee, however, received evidence that the State Department security personnel, resources, and equipment were unable to counter the terrorist threat that day and required CIA assistance.
Second, the Committee finds that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks. In the months prior, the IC provided intelligence about previous attacks and the increased threat environment in Benghazi, but the IC did not have specific, tactical warning of the September 11 attacks.
Third, the Committee finds that a mixed group of individuals, including those affiliated with Al­Qa'ida, participated in the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, although the Committee finds that the intelligence was and remains conflicting about the identities, affiliations, and motivations of the attackers.
Fourth, the Committee concludes that after the attacks, the early intelligence assessments and the Administration's initial public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attacks were not fully accurate. There was a stream of contradictory and conflicting intelligence that came in after the attacks. The Committee found intelligence to support CIA's initial assessment that the attacks had evolved out of a protest in Benghazi; but it also found contrary intelligence, which ultimately proved to be the correct intelligence. There was no protest. The CIA only changed its initial assessment about a protest on September 24, 2012, when closed caption television footage became available on September 18, 2012 (two days after Ambassador Susan Rice spoke), and after the FBI began publishing its interviews with U.S. officials on the ground on September 22, 2012.
Fifth, the Committee finds that the process used to generate the talking points HPSCI asked for—and which were used for Ambassador Rice's public appearances—was flawed. HPSCI asked for the talking points solely to aid Members' ability to communicate publicly using the best available intelligence at the time, and mistakes were made in the process of how those talking points were developed.

 


Finally, the Committee found no evidence that any officer was intimidated, wrongly forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement or otherwise kept from speaking to Congress, or polygraphed because of their presence in Benghazi. The Committee also found no evidence that the CIA conducted unauthorized activities in Benghazi and no evidence that the IC shipped arms to Syria.