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Posted by on Oct 3, 2012 in At TMV | 5 comments

The Politics of Benghazi Terrorist Attack Breaks Out Into the Open

WASHINGTON – The report from Eli Lake of the Daily Beast cites multiple attacks in Libya before the assassination of Ambassador Stevens. It stems from a letter Lake obtained from chairman Rep. Darrell Issa and subcommittee chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz of the House Oversight Committee, written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, outlining the previously unreported attacks.

The new information disclosed in the letter obtained by The Daily Beast strongly suggests the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the late Ambassador Chris Stevens were known by U.S. security personnel to be targets for terrorists. Indeed, the terrorists made their threats openly on Facebook. – Eli Lake

The politics of the Benghazi terrorist attack are now engaged, with the letter to Clinton alleging that “repeated requests for extra security in Benghazi” were “denied.”

On CNN late Tuesday, Wolf Blitzer picked up that Secretary Clinton has been asked to speak at a hearing next week, the date cited in the House letter to Clinton is October 10.

Blitzer asked Rep. Nancy Pelosi about it during the segment and she said Congress should know the details, but Secretary Clinton can’t offer anything until the investigation is complete. Pelosi also noted that Republicans cut State Department funding for security by several hundred million dollars, sending a signal to chairman Issa that where he’s going could get rough for him, too.

Josh Rogin reports that Secretary Clinton has written Chairman Issa, promising answers on the Benghazi attack.

On Tuesday, White House spokesperson Jay Carney refused to comment.

The attacks are outlined in the letter to Secretary Clinton, which also includes this set of questions:

The report from Lake cites drone attacks inside Libya as a source of friction, which has been the case since President Obama began expanding his drone policy in multiple hot spots. Using Facebook before hitting the International Red Cross, the warning was sent as a “message for the Americans disturbing the skies over Derna,” which is a strong indication that drones were causing problems.

Lake’s report mentions whistleblowers who have contacted the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, claiming to have specific and direct knowledge of what has been unfolding in Benghazi.

Details on these alleged incidents stem in part from the testimony of a handful of whistleblowers who approached the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the days and weeks following the attack on the Benghazi consulate.

[…] Rep. Chaffetz told The Daily Beast Monday that the allegations detailed in the letter were based on whistleblowers he described as “people who have firsthand knowledge of the incidents themselves.” Chaffetz declined to provide more details about the whistleblowers other than to say they were U.S. government employees and there were fewer than 10 of them. – Eli Lake

The new information cites another Facebook posting that directly mentioned Ambassador Stevens and his jogging route: “After stopping these morning runs for about a week, the Ambassador resumed them.”

As I’ve written before, Ambassador Stevens made the choice to leave Tripoli to be closer to the people. It’s also known as “an old-school diplomat” who believed in being on the ground where he was most needed in order to do the job.

One official characterized the 9/11 assassination attack as out of the ordinary, saying “We faced a coordinated, military-style assault. We’ve never seen that kind of attack before.”

President Obama pulled all official government personnel from Benghazi, as of Monday.

Taylor Marsh, a veteran political analyst and former Huffington Post contributor, is the author of The Hillary Effect, available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. Her new-media blog covers national politics, women and power.

Paul Szep cartoon used by permission.