A group of former top military officers, CIA insiders, and think tankers known as the Citizens Commission on Benghazi declared that after a seven-month review of the 2012 attack on the American consulate that it could have been prevented – That is if the Obama Administration hadn’t knowingly armed those responsible in the months leading up to it.
Clare Lopez, who’s a member of the commission, had an interview with MailOnline and said that “The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures.”
According to Lopez, the commission blames the Obama administration for failing to stop a $500 million arms shipment from the United Arab Emirates that went to al-Qaeda militants in Libya. She explained that the weapons were permitted to enter the country by our armed forces that had all the major entrances blockaded by both land and the sea.
“’They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed,” she said. “The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.”
According to Lopez, the weapons were intended to go to Gaddafi but the Obama administration allowed them to go to his radical opposition instead.
In the interim report released by to commission on Tuesday they wrote that “The White House and senior Congressional members deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.”
The members of the commission acknowledge that Gaddafi wasn’t exactly a good guy, but he was willing to back down in order to retain power. However Obama ignored his offer for a truce and instead backed the very people who perpetrated the attack that led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
According to Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic, the White House refused to allow the Pentagon to pursue the truce talks with Gaddafi seriously so they fell apart before anything meaningful happened.
“We had a leader who had won the Nobel Peace Prize,” Kubic said, “but who was unwilling to give peace a chance for 72 hours.”
Kubic explained that the African Command wasn’t actively targeting Gaddafi which in turn let him know that a deal could be reached. So Gaddafi responded by pulling his forces out of rebel strongholds in cities that included Benghazi and Misrata.
Gaddafi asked for only a few things in order for the truce to go through, including lifting sanctions on him and those close to him, and to be able to continue to fight al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Instead the Obama administration refused to take his offer seriously and continued to back his opposition, which “led to extensive loss of life (including four Americans)” when al-Qaeda militants attacked U.S. diplomatic facilities in the city of Benghazi,” the commission said.
The commission filed nearly 85 Freedom of Information Act requests and used testimony from insiders in the Pentagon and those with extensive knowledge on the flow of weapons to Libya and other areas in Africa in order to make its conclusions.
Along with finding that the Obama administration knowingly allowed weapons to flow into the hands of al-Qaeda militants they found that the U.S. did in fact have sufficient military assets to deploy to the area for support. They said that the claims that there wasn’t enough resources just don’t add up.
“I’m going to tell you that’s not true,” Admiral James ‘Ace’ Lyons said. “We had a 130-man unit of forces at Sigonella [AFB in Italy]. They were ready to go.”
“The flight time from Sigonella to Benghazi is roughly an hour.”
The commission has called for a Congressional Committee to investigate the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi. Along with their recommendation a total of 189 members of the House have signed on to a bill that would actually create it, which would be bipartisan and have sweeping powers to subpoena the executive branch of our government.
Do you think there should be a Select Committee to investigate? Let us know with a comment!