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New Benghazi book: Hillary Clinton ordered an 'across-the-board stand-down...of key rescue units


"[D]ecisions were clearly based on political opportunity, not operational concerns."

Ken Timmerman's new book, "Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi," contains a number of compelling revelations, primary among them his assertion that the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in Benghazi "was a state-sponsored terrorist attack, carried out on orders from the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

But while the geopolitical implications of Timmerman's overarching thesis are of perhaps the greatest import, there is one particularly damning takeaway with immediate political ramifications that may also be of interest readers:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Getty Images) Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Getty Images)

"Hillary Clinton and John Brennan made two...decisions that night [the night of the Benghazi attack] that amounted to an across-the-board stand-down order of key rescue units."

Timmerman divulges that the former Secretary of State, and current Director of the CIA, did the following on the night of September 11, 2012:

  • "They refused to convene the Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG), the only structured, experienced, interagency reaction team that could have decided which resources of the government were available for deployment immediately.
  • They refused to activate the State Department-led Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST), an extraordinary operational unit whose sole purpose was to rescue U.S. diplomats under attack and to stand up emergency services within hours using dedicated military, law enforcement, security, medical and secure communications personnel. They practiced a full-scale exercise twice every year at an overseas location.

Both decisions were clearly based on political opportunity, not operational concerns."

On the first decision, Timmerman writes:

"Why was the refusal to convene the CSG so important?

"Convening the CSG would have meant there was a terrorist strike under way," said Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer who supported Hillary clinton in her 2008 presidential bid. "Clearly, they didn't want to make that kind of admission." That decision was made at the White House by John Brennan and by National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, who preferred to handle the crisis in a way that wouldn't sound all sorts of alarm bells."

On the refusal to activate the State Department-led FEST, Timmerman writes:

[instory-book ISBN="9780062321190"]

 "The refusal to activate the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) also indicated the administration's unwillingness to face facts...

[Mark Thompson, a member of the U.S. Marines and leader of counterterrorism response efforts within the State Department] saw what was happening in Benghazi and immediately knew what to do and what resources he had available. Once he learned from the 10:05 PM alert from the State Department Operations Center that Ambassador Stevens had been taken to the safe haven, he alerted his leadership, and recommended that they deploy the FEST. He described what happened next in dramatic congressional testimony:

I notified the White House of my idea. They indicated that meetings had already taken place that even that had taken FEST out of the menu of options. I called the office within the State Department that had been represented there, asking them why it had been taken off of the table, and was told that it was not the right time and it was not the team that needed to go right then.

He added that Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy's office was the one who told him it was "not the right time" to deploy the FEST. There is no way Kennedy would have made such a decision without consulting with Secretary of State Hillary clinton.

...[FEST officers] were standing by. Team members were "shocked and amazed they were not being called..." Thompson said.

Not only was the FEST never called, but Hillary Clinton's handpicked Accountability Review Board never interviewed Mark Thompson, despite his repeated requests to be questioned on the events of that night."

Timmerman argues in the book that there were a number of fatal errors made in Libya, largely based on a wrong-headed view that regardless of the realities on the ground, the nation had to be treated as if it was a stable democracy no longer on war footing, and that terrorists were "on the run" both in Libya and throughout the Islamic world -- all as part of a narrative crafted for political gain.

With respect to Ms. Clinton's view on Libya and an American security presence there, Timmerman writes:

"She didn't want to upset the sensitivities of the Libyans by making it look like the U.S. military was invading their country. There would be no Marines landing "on the shores of Tripoli" on her watch. Just as she had insisted earlier with Lieutenant Colonel [Andy] Wood's Site Security Team of Special Operators [which had previously led security at the Benghazi compound], no military uniforms, insignia, or even boots would be tolerated in her State Department facilities in Libya. "People high up at State resented like hell us being there and doing what we did," Wood said."


Note: The links to the book in this post will give you an option to elect to donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale to a charity of your choice. Mercury One, the charity founded by TheBlaze’s Glenn Beck, is one of the options. Any donations to Mercury One are fully tax-deductible and go towards efforts such as tornado relief, preparedness training, and veterans support.


Follow Ben Weingarten (@bhweingarten) and TheBlaze Books on Twitter and Facebook.

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