Based on numerous expert-interviews conducted by TheBlaze, and our myriad past reports on the crisis in Libya, here is what TheBlaze has found out:
The breach on America’s diplomatic outpost in Benghazi that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens, two Navy SEALs and an additional civil servant dead, is a foreign policy debacle so colossal, so convoluted, that piecing together its moving parts may be nearly an impossible feat. Yet, that is precisely what we are going to attempt to do.
The Obama administration, according to former CIA officer Clare Lopez, armed Libyan “rebels” with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), surface to air missiles and other weapons to topple Muammar Gadhafi and forces loyal to his regime. In 2011, these rebels were successful in their goal, ultimately torturing and killing the country’s longtime dictator before dragging his body savagely through the streets. Those rebels also turned out to be members of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliates.
The Situation As It Appears
The al-Qaeda rebels allegedly sought to oust Gadhafi because ironically, he had been cooperating with the U.S. to snuff out their presence in Libya. However, the Muslim Brotherhood, which had been coordinating with the U.S., offered its assistance in dealing with other insurgents in the region in exchange for help in crushing the Gadhafi — and likely Mubarak — regime.
Middle East experts including Stephen Coughlin, former chief prosecutor of the Blind Sheik Andrew McCarthy, Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum, along with Lopez, posit that the Muslim Brotherhood has been working with the U.S. on which factions to aid with arms and which it should not.
Recall that the U.S. had partnered with Gadhafi ever since he complied with U.S. demands that he abandon his nuclear and biological weapons program. Nonetheless, the Obama administration abandoned it’s agreement to continue joint cooperation with Gadhafi.
Since Gadhafi’s death, al-Qaeda’s only counterbalance in Libya has seemingly been removed, thus it stands to reason that the terror group responsible for the September 11 attacks has now been left uncontested to spread through the region like a cancer.
Benghazi — as an extremely volatile, America-hostile town — was a place where no U.S. diplomatic outpost should have ever been situated in the first place, according to McCarthy. However, Benghazi is a well known weapons location point, which might explain what Ambassador Christopher Stevens was doing there to begin with.
It is also believed that Stevens knew trouble was brewing, which is why he requested additional security for his outpost in Benghazi.
So now that we’ve covered what we know, there are still questions and suspicions regarding what we don’t. Case in point: There are experts, including former CIA officer Clare Lopez, who believe Ambassador Stevens may have been a “pointman,” or “official liaison” in this weapons-running scheme as he worked directly with Abdulhakim Belhadj, who serves as “emir” or commander of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). Through Belhadj, it is believed that Stevens supplied weapons for rebel forces in Libya and later to Syria via Turkey.
Why Ambassador Stevens and three other U.S. civil servants were killed by the very rebels they appear to have been aiding remains unclear, though theories abound. One is that the U.S. outlived its usefulness to al-Qaeda operatives on the ground in Libya. Another is that Assad, incensed by U.S. aid to rebel factions in Syria sent word, perhaps through Iran, to organize an attack on U.S. assets. Of course, this all remains speculation for now but one thing is certain — something is surely rotten in the state of Libya.
It is widely known that President Obama has maintained warm relations with Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, having spoken no less than 13 times by phone last year alone. The New York Times even reported that in June, CIA operatives were on the ground in Turkey helping opposition forces and it is known that Stevens had met with a Turkish official the night of his demise. Also no secret is the vitriol shared between President Bashar al Assad and Erdogan, who is said to harbor a personal vendetta for the Syrian dictator.
Claire Lopez, a former CIA officer, spoke to TheBlaze at length about the mentality at play with a contingent in the U.S. who do not see the Muslim Brotherhood as violent nor a threat to U.S. interests. She believes that the U.S. is, in effect, helping the Muslim Brotherhood come to power in Egypt, Lybia and perhaps soon Syria.
Foreign policy expert Stephen Coughlin agrees, and thinks the trend is “disturbing” to say the least, not to mention a tremendously destabilizing turn of events that can turn the entire region into Muslim Brotherhood ground that will soon engulf Israel.
Lopez believes Jordan and perhaps even Saudi Arabia may be next and that Israel’s future hangs in the balance.
Did the Administration Watch the Attacks Unfold and Do Nothing?
Lopez, who worked as a CIA officer for 20 years, said she has never seen a situation where a U.S. facility is under attack and no one from the administration sends help.
Cameras positioned in the compound, as well an aerial drone taking pictures of the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, are said by Lopez to have been fed live into the State Department, Pentagon and likely the Situation Room in the White House. Lopez wondered who was watching the attacks unfold and yet sat idly by and did nothing.
As to why this would have happened, Lopez remains unsure, but one theory is that since the administration was aiding the rebels, they may not have believed their own eyes as the attack unfolded.
It has also surfaced that a series of emails to the administration immediately following the attacks revealed that the al Qaeda group Ansar al-Sharia in fact took credit for the attack. In addition, repeated requests for help by our envoys on the ground in Benghazi to the administration went unanswered.
“Maybe they did not know people were actually dying,” Lopez attempted to reason before explaining that President Obama, Hillary Clinton, James Clapper, and General David Petraeus must have known what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi.
While these events may be difficult to believe, part two of this report will unveil the potential motivations for aiding those who seek to harm the U.S. under the guise of the greater good.
[Stay tuned: TheBlaze will return on Thursday with a follow up article, complete with insightful interviews with foreign policy experts including Stephen Coughlin, Daniel Pipes, Andrew McCarthy and Clare Lopez.]