Erik Prince, founder of the private security firm Blackwater, Inc. and author of "Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror," said something about the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi on Wednesday that could change the way the horrific conflict is viewed.
Prince was speaking on Glenn Beck's radio program when Beck remarked: "The people in Benghazi that were killed, private contractors, we just left them behind, just discarded them. I think we were running guns over to Syria."
"No. Actually missiles," Prince said.
"Okay," Beck paused. "Do you have anything on Benghazi you want to share?"
"No. Look, the reason that annex was there, they were buying back missiles from the Libyans and shipping them to Syria," Prince said.
"Which was a theory of mine about three days into it, and I was just hammered to death for it," Beck responded. "And nobody seems to care. ... We were doing really nasty things. We left people behind. And we don't care about them at all for some reason or another."
An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012. (Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
Prince is not the first to say the United States was smuggling weapons into Syria. But he is yet another voice, and one with extensive knowledge of the region, to make the claim.
In addition to Beck's assertions shortly after the attack, in May of 2013 Geraldo Rivera said his sources were saying the same thing.
“I believe, and my sources tell me, they were there to round up those shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. They were going to hand those missiles over to the Turks, and the Turks were going to give them to the rebels in Syria,” Rivera said.
And in October of 2013, CNN reported: "Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels."
But the American people still don't have any concrete answers on what exactly happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, or why the attack was initially blamed on a YouTube video.
The two also discussed the Islamic State's growing power in the Middle East.
"If the Assad regime were to fall right now, then ISIS would be running Syria as well," Prince said. "We can do the whole post-analysis of what was done wrong that led to ISIS being in charge, but now, the people we should be supporting vigorously are the Kurds."
Prince said that at some point, however, "some force is going to have to crush ISIS and prevent them from spreading."
"Because they will spread," he said. "They are now trying to get going in Egypt. You have radical Islamists in Libya that have professed allegiance to ISIS as well, to the caliphate. .... This cancer will spread. You are going to have to deal with some of the primary tumors to suppress them, or they are going to continue to metastasize."
Prince has said a private contractor could be the best force to deal with the Islamic State, and gave Beck more details about what would be needed.
Though some are saying it would require a ground force with tens of thousands of troops to defeat the Islamic State, Prince said a private contractor with "a good organic air package" could get the job done with 5,000 men.
"ISIS flows from being an Al Qaeda-like pure terrorism force -- IEDs, ambushes..." Prince said. "A unit that could move on them with a battalion-size operation -- with armor, with artillery, with some air -- and that's well-supplied and will pursue them relentlessly, they are not used to standing and fighting against that level of organized force."
"Why would that be a bad thing? Why would we not do that?" Beck's co-host Pat Gray asked.
"It's ultimately a political question," Prince responded. "From the private sector, yes, it is very possible to do this. I know people very well who know how to organize this, and it should be an option. That's why I talk about it in the book. This is an option that's been in the tool box of the American decision-makers for a long time."
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