Finding North Without a Compass

A retired Army officer and retired Fortune 500 executive, Warren may be best known for making waves while serving on the Mequon Common Council and Ozaukee County Board. He's no longer an elected official, but he has plenty to say about local, state and national issues.



On June 17, 1972, a break-in occurred at the Democratic National Committee at their Watergate complex in Washington, DC. After a two year investigation it was determined that President Nixon attempted to cover-up the break-in and other questionable activities during his administration. Facing impeachment charges in the House of Representatives, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. 

Now, on September 11, 2012, the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked by a heavily armed group. The attack which began about 9:40 PM, resulted in the burning of the mission building and the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and his associate Sean Smith. The attackers numbered some 125-150 gunmen shouting "Allahu Akbar" armed with AK-47 & assault rifles, hand grenades, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns and artillery mounted on gun trucks. The U.S embassy in Tripoli and authorities in Washington, DC were informed immediately (3:40 PM Eastern Time) along the US quick reaction force at the CIA Annex about one mile away.

The Pentagon responded by diverting a drone that was in the air conducting surveillance in the area to fly over the site. It provided a video feed to Washington, DC, starting about 11:40 PM local time. With the mission building overrun and ransacked, the attackers turned their attention to the CIA Annex with machine gun, mortar and rocket fire, just after midnight on September 12. The final assault occurred about 4:00 AM but the CIA defenders were able to hold off the attack. Two CIA operatives were killed when two mortar shells fell on their position on the roof manning an MK 46 machine gun. The assault terminated on the morning of September 12 and the bodies recovered. 

The repercussions in the United States began immediately - what, why, when, how? The Obama Administration sent out UN Ambassador Susan Rice with a set of "talking points" that alleged it was not a terrorist attack but a spontaneous demonstration initiated by an anti-Muhammad YouTube video, that got out of hand. The first iteration of the "talking points" prepared by the CIA said "we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qaeda participated in the attack." By the twelfth iteration all references to al-Qaeda were removed. It didn’t take long to blow that story out of the water. 

The backing and filling began from President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and others, thus raising the specter of a "cover-up" perhaps rivaling Watergate. So far, congressional committees are having a very hard time pulling the facts out for the American public. So it raises the question of "why." If this were a case of explainable mistakes and errors, why not admit them and move on? Why indeed can’t we get straight answers to a number of vexing questions?  

1. Why did the US State Department turn down requests from the US Tripoli Embassy for beefed-up security in Benghazi?

The answer can range from something simple like "we didn’t think they needed it," to "we didn’t want to irritate the new Libyan government by implying that we had no confidence in Libyan security" -- to "we had a ‘top secret’ operation in the works at Benghazi that additional security would have tipped off."

2. Why weren’t US and NATO military assets, available in the area, called on to respond to the attack? 

The answer given was "they couldn’t have gotten there in time to help." The answer appears to be as lame a one that could be conjured up. The attack lasted from 9:40 PM to about 5:00 AM - 7 hours and 20 minutes. Does anyone believe that assets from the US Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, US Army African Command and US Air Force fighters in Italy couldn’t have at least made an effort to help? We are told they were commanded to "stand down." Who gave that order and why? Would it somehow have revealed a "top secret" operation in the works? When were American citizens under attack ever hung out to dry without making some effort to help? 

3. Where was Ambassador Stevens’ normal entourage?  

Don’t our ambassadors travel with an entourage of staff and security personnel whenever they leave their embassies? Where was Ambassador Stevens’? The account only mentions Diplomatic Security Agent Scott Strickland, who survived, and Sean Smith, an information officer, who died, as being with Ambassador Stevens. This lack of staff and security is disturbing. Was it because a "top secret" operation was going down in Benghazi and the fewer in on it the better?

4. What was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi anyway?

Here’s the sixty-four thousand dollar question!  What was he doing there, away from his embassy in Tripoli with no entourage and minimum security? Has anyone seen an answer to this question? Has anyone even asked it? One account states he was meeting with a Turkish official. What was that all about? Fits right in to the theory that it was a "top secret" operation, probably involving moving substantial arms and ammunition from Libya to Turkey destined for the Syrian rebels. 

5. Was the terrorist attack planned in advance?

The Turkish official had departed the mission about 6:30 PM, with Ambassador Stevens obviously planning to spend the night before returning to Tripoli. It certainly wasn’t serendipity that timed the attack for that evening at 9:40 PM. That means the terrorists were tipped off and wanted to disrupt the "top secret" operation of weapon supplies to the Syrian rebels. Who could have tipped them off – and why? In Libya, still unsettled after Gaddafi, it could be anyone right up to the top. My theory is that they were an offshoot from the Hezbollah Lebanese organization that we now know is supporting Assad in Syria. What better motive than to disrupt the flow of arms to the anti-Assad Syrian rebels. They would be well equipped as we know and well trained. To fire mortars with any accuracy requires extensive Antraining and the terrorist dropped two on the roof of the CIA nex, killing two CIA agents manning a machine gun.  

Put all this together and one has a whale of a lot of questions that require answers. The Obama Administration has not been forthcoming in most of these areas. Why? Could it be that President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton approved an illegal "top secret" operation, which has now blown up in their faces? The truth may well have the President facing impeachment and a destroyed legacy, while Mrs Clinton could see her presidential aspirations go up in smoke. 

It’s not too difficult to rationalize the Benghazi incident resulting in President Obama’s equivalent of President Nixon’s Watergate, if and when all the facts come out when the five questions posed above are fully answered. That sounds like a good motive for a cover-up to me.

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