A few days ago, President Obama, White House press secretary Jay Carney, and several Democratic members of Congress referred to the Benghazi attack as a “phony scandal.”
CNN is now reporting that “dozens of CIA operatives were on the ground during the Benghazi attack.” The fact that the CIA was in Benghazi is not new information; the second part of the Benghazi attack was on the CIA annex there (of course, that part of the tragedy was not well publicized).
The bigger – and more telling – part of the CNN report is this:
Sources now tell CNN that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing remains a secret. The CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.
The Obama administration is working awfully hard to keep information about a “phony scandal” from becoming public knowledge, aren’t they?
Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings.
The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.
It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.
In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”
Another says, “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”
According to former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer, the frequency of the polygraph testing is unusual. “Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that. If somebody is being polygraphed every month, or every two months it’s called an issue polygraph, and that means that the polygraph division suspects something, or they’re looking for something, or they’re on a fishing expedition. But it’s absolutely not routine at all to be polygraphed monthly, or bi-monthly.”
The number of Americans who were in Benghazi the night of the attack remains a secret. A source told CNN that the number was 35. It is still not known how many of them were CIA, but a source says that there were 21 Americans working in the annex.
U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, whose district includes CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, said:
I think it is a form of a cover-up, and I think it’s an attempt to push it under the rug, and I think the American people are feeling the same way. We should have the people who were on the scene come in, testify under oath, do it publicly, and lay it out. And there really isn’t any national security issue involved with regards to that.
Wolf has repeatedly asked to establish a committee to investigate the failures that occurred in Benghazi, and to find out exactly what the State Department and CIA were doing there. Wolf said he was contacted by CIA operatives and contractors who wanted to talk shortly after the tragedy, but that has stopped:
Initially they were not afraid to come forward. They wanted the opportunity, and they wanted to be subpoenaed, because if you’re subpoenaed, it sort of protects you, you’re forced to come before Congress. Now that’s all changed.
Lawmakers also want to know about the weapons in Libya, and what happened to them. Some speculate that the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya and into the hands of Syrian rebels.
In an email to CNN, the State Department stated that it was only helping the new Libyan government destroy weapons that were considered too damaged, old, or unsafe to retain, and that it was not involved in transferring weapons to other countries.
But, the State Department can’t speak for the CIA, of course, and the CIA has refrained from commenting on the transfer of any weapons.
Today Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) issued two subpoenas to the State Department for documents related to the deadly attack. Issa is chairman of the House oversight committee and is one of the chief investigators of government wrongdoing.
“We will follow the facts, and we will conduct investigations,” Issa stated. “If the president hides those facts, we will still find them, and we will report them.”
Speaking at a meeting of the House Republican Study Committee, Issa berated the Obama administration for its dismissal of investigations into the IRS, the 2012 Benghazi embassy attacks, and the Department of Justice’s Fast & Furious program as “phony scandals.”
Issa also played a short video compilation of testimony from family members of the victims of the attacks on Benghazi and the Fast & Furious “gun running” program, as compelling evidence that the scandals were anything but phony: