Was Benghazi “Consulate” a CIA Front?

Benghazi

The White House changed the wording from ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’. What does that mean? It looks very much like the Benghazi consulate ‘was not a consulate at all but basically a secret CIA operation. Institute for Public Accuracy. Wednesday, May 15, 2013

CNN’s Gloria Borger noted on Tuesday: “White House spokesman Jay Carney says the White House changed the wording from ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ to be more accurate. So what does that mean? Thanks to the digging of Glenn Kessler in The Washington Post, it looks very much like the Benghazi consulate ‘was not a consulate at all but basically a secret CIA operation.'”

In fact, Goodman wrote in November for ConsortiumNews that: “the consulate was the diplomatic cover for an intelligence platform and whatever diplomatic functions took place in Benghazi also served as cover for an important CIA base.” See: “The Why Behind the Benghazi attack.”

Melvin Goodman is director of the National Security Project at the Center for International Policy. He was an analyst at the CIA for 24 years. His most recent book is the just-released National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. Goodman just wrote the piece “The Real Benghazi Scandal” for CounterPunch, which states: “When congressional Republicans complete manipulating the Benghazi tragedy, it will be time for the virtually silent Senate intelligence committee to take up three major issues that have been largely ignored. The committee must investigate the fact that the U.S. presence in Benghazi was an intelligence platform and only nominally a consulate; the politicization by the White House and State Department of CIA analysis of the events in Benghazi; and the Obama administration’s politicization of the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General, which has virtually destroyed the office and deprived congressional intelligence committees of their most important oversight tool.

“When U.S. personnel were airlifted from Benghazi the night of the attack, there were seven Foreign Service and State Department officers and 23 CIA officers onboard. This fact alone indicates that the consulate was primarily diplomatic cover for an intelligence operation that was known to Libyan militia groups. The CIA failed to provide adequate security for Benghazi, and its clumsy tradecraft contributed to the tragic failure. On the night of the attack, the small CIA security team in Benghazi was slow to respond, relying on an untested Libyan intelligence organization to maintain security for U.S. personnel. After the attack, the long delay in debriefing evacuated personnel contributed to the confusing assessments.”

Goodman lists a series of major failures by the CIA where no one was held accountable. The most recent: “The politicization of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003 was the worst intelligence scandal in the CIA’s history, but there were no penalties for those who supported CIA director George Tenet’s efforts to make phony intelligence a ‘slam dunk’ as well as Deputy Director John McLaughlin’s ‘slam dunk’ briefing to President George Bush. The CIA’s production of an unclassified white paper for the Congress on the eve of the vote to authorize force in October 2002 marked the misuse of classified information to influence congressional opinion, but there were no consequences.

“The destruction of the torture tapes, a clear case of obstruction of justice in view of White House orders to protect the tapes, led to no recriminations at the CIA. The controversy over the use of drone aircraft; the intelligence failure that accompanied the Arab Spring in 2011; and the inadequate security presence in Libya in the wake of the killing of Muammar Gaddafi have not received the necessary scrutiny. Any CIA component in the Middle East and North Africa is a likely target of militant and terrorist organizations because of the Agency’s key role in the Bush administration’s ‘war on terror’ and the Obama administration’s increasingly widespread use of drone aircraft.

“The ability of the Nigerian underwear bomber to board a commercial airline in December 2009 marked an intelligence failure for the entire intelligence community, but there was no serious attempt to examine the breakdown in coordination between five or six intelligence agencies, let alone pursue accountability. Instead, President Obama halted all efforts to return home Yemeni prisoners at Guantanamo.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Institute for Public Accuracy. 980 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045. (202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org

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