I’ve been covering the story of the explosion and fire that took place in the Cedar-Riveraide neighborhood on Minneapolis, Minnesota on New Year’s Day. There’s been a fair but of misinformation and confusion. This post is designed to clear up some of that with unfiltered facts from spokespeople for the gas company CenterPoint and the Minneapolis Police Department.
Please listen to the audio clips. There’s a LOT of detail in the clips. If you just read the post and skip the clips, you’ll miss a lot.
CenterPoint Is Definitive: No Gas Leak With Their System
Because of the conflicting statements, I contacted CenterPoint and spoke with Rebecca Virdin. I’m glad I did because as you’ll see in a moment, there’s some very bad reporting going on with this story.
Our distribution system after we checked it–which runs up to the meter, which is the distribution system’s responsibility, to the meter–has no leak on it at all. We tested that system and it holds its test. We even took it apart and tested it to make sure because it had no leakage. It’s fully sound.
As for our system, we had no leakage, no leak history, no leak calls into our call centers prior to the incident before, during or after.
Here’s audio of the interview, which is longer than what I quoted. It seems very definitive. Listen to it.
Police Officer Was On Scene
CenterPoint says nobody reported smelling gas and significantly, the spokeswoman for CenterPoint says that they were told a police officer was in the building just minutes prior to the explosion.
I followed up with the Minneapolis police, who confirmed an officer was outside when the explosion happened. The officer was been called to the address on a robbery call.
Explosion “Isolated To One Unit”
Apparently, the explosion came from one unit on the second floor.
Fire Chief Still Blames “Gas Problem”
Despite all of this–the firm denial from CenterPoint, the police officer on scene minutes before, the fact that the explosion came from one unit–the fire chief is still sticking to the gas story.
As the Star-Tribune reports:
Fire Chief John Fruetel said Thursday afternoon that witness accounts of a natural gas smell and the explosion strongly suggest that gas was involved.
Fruetel added that the fire began either on the second floor or third floor.
But Fruetel also said that investigators are not certain what caused the fire and they may never be certain. He said four or five investigators have been on the site around the clock, looking for evidence such as debris patterns.
No mention of the police officer. Uncertainty about whether the explosion and fire began on the second or third floor. And the prediction that investigators may never know what happened.
That’s the stuff conspiracy theories are made of. I hate conspiracy theories, so I’m going to keep reporting on
The Star-Tribune’s Bad Reporting
Further complicating the story is some unconscionably awful reporting by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. This article attributes two quotes to Rebecca Virdin.
I grappled over whether I should discuss this but after several people on Twitter told me that they’d heard that there was ‘no natural gas in the area’, I decided that I should speak out about what I knew.
The quote about ‘no natural gas in the area’ comes from the reporting of Paul Walsh at the Star-Tribune. I don’t know Mr. Walsh.
During the course of my interview with Rebecca Virdin, she told that Mr. Walsh had misquoted her. She also told me that she’d contacted him to correct the misquote and other errors. Here’s the audio of Ms. Virdin telling me about this.
Continued: Body recovered from rubble of Cedar-Riverside explosion, fire
Except that’s not what Rebecca Virden said.
On an important story that’s sparked national interest, a spokesperson is misquoted about important details by Star-Tribube. Another quote is made up. Bad, bad, bad.
I left a message for the New Editor of the Star-Tribune. No response.
The Benghazi Cover-up
Methods Of The Madness
This is as good a time as any to mention some of the tactics of deceit that get used in a cover-up such as this. Let’s first define our terms. What’s a cover-up?
For a working definition and description, I’ll use what Wikipedia has posted for November 16th.
A cover-up is an attempt, whether successful or not, to conceal evidence of wrongdoing, error, incompetence or other embarrassing information. In a passive cover-up information is simply not provided; in an active cover-up deception is used.
One of the primary tactics used by the people perpetrating a cover-up is denying that a cover-up exists at all. As arch-villain and master of deceit Keyzer Soze said in the film The Usual Suspects:
“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
Speaking of masters of deceit, let’s talk about the Clintons for a moment. Let’s harken back to the halcyon days of the Clinton Lewinsky scandal.
President Bill Clinton’s performance was a Master’s Class in the art of the cover-up. You had parsing, innuendo, discrediting, behind the scenes intimidation, feigned outrage, plausible deniability and more. The world was able to see the full range of what power, lust, power-lust, a fine Ivy League legal education and absolutely no ethical basement was capable of.
Of course, I’m not bringing up Bill Clinton as a random example; Benghazi is a Clinton scandal as much as it is an Obama scandal. It’s got Clintonian cover-up fingerprints everywhere. Look no further than the heavy involvement of Clinton created Media Matters for America, which I’ll discuss in depth later.
But I want to discuss the Lewinsky scandal for a moment because today, we all know that Bill Clinton was lying. That’s settled fact. Whether you think the offense was major or minor, we know that Bill Clinton had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. We also all know that he and his wife Hillary Clinton used a variety of tactics and techniques to mislead the American people about that fact.
In the public’s mind right now, whether Benghazi is a scandal of any sort is far from settled fact. In fact, you may be among those who remain skeptical that there’s a cover-up at all.
So, under the assumption you’re reserving judgment on Benghazi, let’s find a place where we can agree about some other topic. I’m using Clinton / Lewinsky as our common ground.
So, the first thing to point out is simple: these people will lie. They’d done it before, shamelessly and without concern for victims. Hillary Clinton was an active part of the Lewinsky cover-up.
Of course, because Hillary Clinton has lied in the past doesn’t mean she is lying now. People can and do lie all the time and that doesn’t invalidate anything and everything they say.
Still, there’s a real qualitative singularity about the way the Clintons lied in the Lewinsky scandal. Many men cheat on their wives. Few use every means at their disposal to actively destroy and discredit the woman they cheated with. Few use a public forum and acting skills to lie to the world about their cheating, as Pres. Clinton did with his finger wagging “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” scene. That is some epic, ubermensch level lying.
Part of the problem with the Clintons and Barack Obama is simple. They are lawyers.
I don’t mean this as a pithy insult. I mean it is actually part of the problem. The esteemed reference source The Urban Dictionary has a good summary of the lawyer problem in a section on ‘plausible deniability’:
Because many lawyers are in politics, they brought this lower standard of ethics and integrity with them. This is why they rarely put anything controversial in writing. This is also why they most often have you talk to an underling or an agency bureaucrat so they can plausibly deny knowledge of the conversation or be able to say the underling or bureaucrat misstated their position.
Clinton-Lewinsky also showed the war mentality of the Clintons. They are ruthless, vicious and constantly looking for a political edge. Again, many men cheat. Few have their wives denigrate the people who accuse them of an affair as being part of a vast conspiracy. As Hillary Clinton told Matt Laer in 1998:
I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this — they have popped up in other settings. This is — the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.
The same people who believed Bill and Hillary Clinton then are likely the same people who believe Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton now.
The arguments they use are fallacious. Let’s go over a few of them, which are commonly very weak:
- “Well, what about Bush and Cheney?” This is a simple non-sequitur; an attempt to change the subject. No rhetorical value.
- “The only people talking about Benghazi are right-wing nut jobs.” Ad hominem; nothing more than an insult.
- “I read Dylan Davies lied on 60 Minutes, so Benghazi is discredited.” Fallacy of hasty generalization. One person lying about one subject doesn’t disprove other statements made about that subject.
Copyright Lee Stranahan 2013
(In progress : follow on @Stranahan on Twitter for real time updates)
We have to start our Benghazi cover-up timeline somewhere, so I’m going to start it on the morning on September 11th, 2012.
This choice of 9/11/12 as a starting point isn’t the only option in telling this story. The attack on the mission didn’t happen in a vacuum. A coherent understanding of the Benghazi attack must include some discussion of events that preceded the attack such as The Arab Spring, the war in Libya, the Syrian conflict, the role of the Obama administration in the Istanbul Process, and the role that the CIA played.
My focus is on the cover-up, however, so Septemeber 11th, 2012 is where we begin. It’s point from which I believe we can most clearly see what came both before and after.
I also choose to begin on that Tuesday morning because I don’t want to lose the skeptical or critical reader. I’m making a serious accusation: that the Obama administration and CNN deliberately misled the public about Benghazi for political purposes. I’m aware that if I spend too much time on other topics without proving that case, some readers will head for the exits.
By the end of this chapter, I think the case that the Obama administration and CNN were engaged in a monumental cover-up will be proven.
In a couple of paragraphs, here’s what you need to know right now for some of the Benghazi timeline’s twists and turns to make sense.
Many of the official statements of the Obama administration about what they term the ‘disgusting and reprehensible’ film The Innocence of Muslims only make sense in the context of the administration’s promotion of United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18. This was an effort that had been led by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, a 57 nation alliance at the U.N. who describe themselves as ‘the collective voice of the Muslim world.’
Resolution 16/18 had the stated goal of ‘Combating Intolerance, Discrimination, and Violence Based on Religion or Belief.’ Critics of 16/18, such as Abigail Esman writing in Forbes, called it an ‘anti-free speech measure’ designed to stifle criticism of Islam. Passage of 16/18 was a priority for Obama/ Clinton State Department. Mrs. Clinton herself gave the closing remarks at the first meeting of the “Istanbul Process for Combating Intolerance and Discrimination based on Religion or Belief” hosted by the U.S. and held in Washington at the State Department on December 13th, 2011. Without debating the merits of resolution 16/18, it was a clear influence on statements by the White House surrounding the Benghazi attacks.
The film The Innocence of Muslims is exactly the sort of work that Resolution 16/18 was meant to combat. It’s openly, vehemently critical of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, accusing him of being, among other things, a pedophile. The crudely made film was produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula aka Sam Bacile, a Coptic Christian with a criminal background who was targeted and arrested shortly after September 11th. It was directed by the B-Movie filmmaker whose previous works include The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood.
The Innocence of Muslims played to a couple of empty screenings in Hollywood in June, 2012 before being posted on YouTube on July 2nd by ‘Sam Bacile.’ The film was reported to have been promoted to journalists on July 6th by Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-American critic of Islam. It’s believed a version of the trailer translated into Arabic was uploaded to YouTube and word began to spread.
There was rioting in a number of Muslim countries over the film in the next few weeks. Demonstrations in Pakistan on September 21st left fifteen people dead, for example.
It should be noted that Egypt–a member of the OIC that supposedly stands against “Discrimination, and Violence Based on Religion or Belief”–eventually sentenced The Innocence of Muslims filmmakers to death in absentia.
In Egypt, a protest over the film was planned for September 11th, 2012. Let’s begin the timeline.
All times are EDT.
9/11, 6am : The U.S. Embassy In Cario Tweets Condemnation Of Efforts To “Hurt The Religious Feelings of Muslims”
Before the protest started in Egypt, the official @USEmbassyCairo Twitter account of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo tweeted:
We condemn the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.
This tweet immediately caught the eye and ire of consecrative-leaning sites like Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy.com. They documented an exchange that shows Resolution 16/18 inspired logic behind the Embassy’s statement. Twitter user Eric Mertz asked the Cairo Embassy account:
Why are you condemning the 1st amendment rights of US Citizens? Do you have any idea how creepy that is?
And the Cairo Embassy replied:
we’re not condemning rights, we’re criticizing specific statements, a right guaranteed by freedom of expression
The Cairo Embassy also released a longer statement that contained a number of talking points that would be repeated in the following days.
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.
These statements came before the Egyptian protest began.
That night, Twitchy also documented how the original tweet had been deleted.
9/11 : 11am — Crowd begins to gather outside U.S. Embassy In Cairo
At around 5pm local time, the planned protest begins at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. The crowd is later estimated to be around 1,000 people.
Video from the protest shown that night on CNN showed a large crowd chanting and yelling. One protestor wore a Guy Fawkes mask.
The Egyptian protest is an actual protest as contrasted with what would happen hours later in Benghazi, which was an attack. However, the images coming back from Egypt would create an image of ‘protest’ in minds of many; something the Obama administration would play upon in their subsequent cover-up.
9/11 4:47 pm: Tweet from @USEmbassyCairo:
As Spokesperson Nuland said, protestors breached our wall and took down flag. Thanks for your concern and kind wishes.
One puzzling thing: despite the fact that a large protest was underway at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo where protestors breached the Embassy, there’s no indication that extra security was called for in Benghazi or anywhere else.
Meanwhile, in Libya…
That morning at the temporary mission in Benghazi someone dressed in a police uniform was taking photos.
Sean Smith, who would be killed in the attack, posted a message to video gaming friends of his that day saying:
assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures
Smith was actually online with his friends when he suddenly said GUNFIRE and disconnected.
This is significant. Smith didn’t tell his friends PROTESTORS OUTSIDE or make any reference to a protest. Simply “GUNFIRE” and then he vanished.
Despite the protests in Egypt and man taking photos, no extra security precautions were taken.
At 9:42 pm local time, the assault on the temporary mission in Benghazi began.
There’s gunfire and Ambassador Stevens calls Greg Hicks in Tripoli to say they are under attack. There is no discussion of an Egyptian style protest because there was no such protest.
9/11 3:59 PM Washington D.C. : The Department of Defense orders a surveillance drone to move over Benghazi mission.
9/11 4:54 PM State Department email says firing has stopped.
9/11 8:06pm State Department email: Ansar Al Sharia has claimed responsibility for Benghazi attack.
The third email is the smoking gun: the administration was told that it was Ansar Al Sharia behind the attack. There’s a written record of it.
However, let’s go beyond that email for moment. We also know today that, in fact, Ansar Al Sharia WAS behind the attack.
Not only was Ansar Al Sharia behind the attack but we know that it was clear to people on the ground in Benghazi that it was Ansar Al Sharia.
As eyewitness Sofian Kadura said in a report that was published just hours after the attack on France24.com:
The Islamists I talked to last night belong to a brigade affiliated with the radical Islamist group Ansar Al-Sharia…
The Obama administration suddenly had a real public relations problem on their hands; Obama had claimed that Al Qaeda was decimated yet our embassy had been been attacked by them.
Worse, there were numerous eyewitnesses who could tell this damaging truth. There wasn’t a great mystery. Al Sharia had blocked off the roads with military vehicles then attacked the mission in Benghazi with RPGs and automatic rifles.
Were there demonstrators? Not in the same sense there were demonstrators in Egypt earlier in the day. As Sofian Kadura asked one of the Al Sharia brigade:
…did you really think it was a good idea to show up to ‘protest’ with RPGs and automatic rifles?
By 6:07pm, the internal email had gone out to saying that Al Sharia was behind the attacks. President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, David Petraeus and others in the administration all knew it.
By 9:00pm, anyone watching CNN would know it, too.
But by 10:00pm, the truth about Benghazi would vanish until after the election.
9/11 8pm-9pm : Anderson Cooper’s CNN show AC360 reveals the truth about Benghazi.
On the night of September 11th, CNN’s Anderson Cooper had the TV news scoop of the decade. While the firefight in Benghazi was still going on, his show AC360 correctly reported the details of who was behind the attack and how it unfolded.
After a report on the Egyptian protests, Cooper brought CNN Producer Jomana Karadsheh on via audio from Tripoli, Libya. At the time, there was only one confirmed death in Benghazi. Cooper asked her what the situation was in Libya and she told him:
Well Anderson, according to the eyewitness up to about an hour ago he describes the situation there as a frontline. Libyan security forces were engaged in heavy clashes with members of an armed group; that is Ansar Al Sharia, that is a radical militant group that is based in eastern Libya. He also reported rocket propelled grenades hitting the consulate building. Libyan army troops were deployed. Roads were blocked off by military vehicles.
As Jomana Karadsheh spoke about how the consulate had been taken over and looted, eerie video credited to Reuters/Libya showed the scattered groups of fighters with heavy weapons. They looked nothing like the earlier footage of protestors in Egypt. They looked like terrorists.
Elvis Costello once said ‘writing about music is like dancing about architecture.’ In other words, the right way to experience music is to hear it.
And so it is with this Anderson Cooper segment that exposed the truth about Libya months before the Obama administration would admit the truth.
I can write a description of the segment but what you should do now is stop reading this and watch the segment for yourself.
Then, you might do what I did when I first saw it and watch it again. It’s not often you can see a buried story.
Then you may want to sit quietly and consider that you’ve just seen. You might want to consider a few questions, such as:
1) On the night of the attack-while Ty Woods and Glen Doherty were still alive-White House and State Department knew that Al Sharia was behind the attack. It was reported live on Anderson Cooper’s show. Why did it take David Petraeus until November 12th to admit it to Congress, behind closed doors?
2) Since Anderson Cooper and Jomana Karadsheh had reported the story, why didn’t they bring up this eyewitness testimony ever again?
3) Who was the eyewitness? Is he one of the people who was at mission that night like Dave Ubben, who is now apparently still at Walter Reed hospital?
One of Anderson Cooper’s slogans is ‘keeping them honest.’ It’s time for Mr. Cooper to be honest.
An honest journalist who’d been told in no uncertain terms by a producer on live television that the people who attacked the Benghazi mission were the Al Qaeda connected Al Sharia brigade would have questioned the White House version of the story.
An honest journalist would have kept pursuing the lead and brought the producer back on the show to get answers.
An honest journalist would have pursued the truth, even if the consequences of telling the truth meant the possible election of a candidate you didn’t favor.
Anderson Cooper did none of these things.
So, after he and CNN producer Jomana Karadsheh reported the truth about Benghazi on September 11th, did they shout it from the rooftops on September 12th?
Luckily, we don’t need to speculate.
CNN keeps a nice archive of the contents of Mr. Cooper’s AC360 shows. We need only look at them to see that Anderson Cooper used the death of four Americans at the hands of Al Qaeda terrorists for a segment on September 12th…to attack Mitt Romney.
Cooper did a ‘Keeping Them Honest’ segment on September 12th titled “Libya attack now campaign controversy.” The description on the AC360 website reads:
Mitt Romney is accusing the White House of apologizing to the mob that attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Anderson Cooper is Keeping Them Honest.
Another segment on the September 12th show was called “The timing of Romney’s Libya criticism.” It’s described as:
Ari Fleischer and Cornell Belcher debate Mitt Romney’s swift reaction after the attacks in Libya.
Lest you think he was being unfair, Anderson Cooper did have a special guest on to defend Mitt Romney; Senator John McCain. According the AC360 website:
McCain said he hasn’t paid much attention to the back-and-forth, but he told Anderson that he shares Romney’s argument that “this president is weak in his leadership.”
It’s unknown whether Sen. McCain wasn’t “paying much attention’ because he was distracted by video poker, as McCain was doing during a hearing on whether to go to war with Syria earlier this year.
While Anderson Cooper dropped the truth about Benghazi like it was hot, what about CNN producer Jomana Karadsheh — the woman who actually reported the story? Is there any evidence of a political bias in her past?
There is, actually.
Karadsheh wasn’t always a CNN producer. In 2006, she was working in the Middle East for Fox News. That’s right; Fox News, the outlet that the left reviles and hates.
However, Karadsheh left Fox News in a very public way that actually reveals a good deal about her own political bias.
As leftist news show Democracy Now! reported:
Two weeks ago, two producers working for Fox News in Amman Jordan resigned in protest of the network’s coverage. In their resignation letter, Serene Sabbagh and Jomana Karadsheh wrote “We can no longer work with a news organization that claims to be fair and balanced when you are so far from that.” They went on to write “Not only are you an instrument of the Bush White House, and Israeli propaganda, you are war mongers with no sense of decency, nor professionalism.”
STILL WRITING. Follow @Stranahan on Twitter.
Copyright 2013, Lee Stranahan
for more info: LeeStranahan.com
This story could not have been written 14 months ago. Parts of it perhaps could have been exposed if people were paying more attention at the time. I’ll confess, I was not.
However, as I write in November, 2013 we know a good deal more about the September 11th attack on Benghazi than we did when it broke. Part of that information gap was intentional. I’ll show you there was a deliberate cover-up campaign by the Obama administration. I’ll show you that part of it was a deliberate campaign of omission and misinformation by media, especially CNN. Part of it is just the normal process of more information coming out over time.
The main motive of the cover-up by the Obama administration and the media was straightforward: to ensure a second Obama term.
When the temporary mission in Benghazi was attacked and four Americans killed, the 2012 presidential election was less then 60 days away.
Today, it’s acknowledged that the attack was planned in advance and carried out by Ansar Al Sharia, an Al Qaeda affiliate.
For example, a year after the attack the Washington Post ran an article titled U.S. officials identify extremist groups in Benghazi attack.
The article’s lead paragraph says:
U.S. counterterrorism officials have determined that several extremist groups, including Ansar al-Sharia, took part in last year’s attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other officials. They think the terrorist organizations selected the U.S. diplomatic outpost there as a potential target ahead of time.
The first official acknowledgement of that Benghazi was a planned attack by Al Qaeda appears to have come from Former CIA Director David Petraeus.
This admission came on Capitol Hill testimony on November 12, 2012–six days after the election victory of President Obama.
CNN reported that night Ex-CIA chief Petraeus testifies Benghazi attack was al Qaeda-linked terrorism.
The hearing was closed but New York Congressman Pete King spoke to reporters afterwards and said this conflicted with previous accounts.
King said Petraeus’ testimony differed from an earlier assessment the former CIA director gave lawmakers just days after the September 11 attack, which left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
“He (Petraeus) … stated that he thought all along he made it clear that there was significant terrorist involvement, and that is not my recollection of what he told us on September 14,” King said.
“The clear impression we were given (in September) was that the overwhelming amount of evidence was that it arose out of a spontaneous demonstration, and was not a terrorist attack,” he said.
Rep. King’s belief that the information supplied by the Obama administration has changed was correct.
That’s because the administration knew within hours that the Benghazi attack had been carried out with military precision by Al Qaeda. Not only did the Obama administration know but CNN had actually reported this information live on the night of the attack, pointing out the same details that Petraeus told Congress after the election was over.
Before I go over the shocking and indisputable timeline of events that proves the Obama administration and CNN covered-up the truth about Benghazi, it’s important to understand a little about the events of the night and how we know what we know.
In the days following the attack, the Obama Administration and CNN tried to paint the events in Benghazi that night as muddled and confusing. In official White House statements and news stories, they convinced the American public that nobody could really know what happened. They told the nation that uncovering the truth about Benghazi would be a long process.
Ambassador Susan Rice made five now-infamous appearances on Sunday morning talk shows five days after the attack on September 16, 2012. She repeated the same thing that she told Jake Tapper on ABC’s “This Week”:
Well, Jake, first of all, it’s important to know that there’s an FBI investigation that has begun and will take some time to be completed.
Ambassador Rice didn’t mention in the any of the five appearances what the Obama administration knew within hours: that the attacks were well organized and had been carried out by Ansar Al Sharia. With the election so close, they needed to run out the clock by muddling the facts.
Part of this cover-up involved not telling the public that they were actually many eyewitnesses at the Embassy that night.
Those eyewitnesses to the attack provided immediate testimony that was clear and consistent; Ansar Al Sharia blocked the roads around the mission and attacked with RPGs and rifles. No witness reported a demonstration like the one in Cairo earlier that day, because there was no such demonstration in Libya. In Benghazi, there was an attack.
Who were these witnesses?
First and foremost, there were the people stationed at the embassy that night. This included U.S. personnel as well as Libyan guards who worked for Blue Mountain Security or were part of the Quick Response force.
These guards and personnel not only knew what happened that night but they also were well aware of the growing public presence of Al Qaeda in Benghazi leading up to the attack.
The problem with many of these eyewitnesses is that they either can’t talk on the record or they are Arabic speaking Libyans who are hard for U.S. journalists to access.
The good news: there is one witness who has gone on the record who was part of mission operations, speaks English and Arabic and was willing to go on the record with a detailed account that included the fact that the attack was carried out by Al Sharia.
The bad news: that witness is Dylan Davies, who was the subject of controversy recently for his appearance on 60 Minutes.
So, let’s leave Mr. Davies aside for the moment.
There were other witnesses who saw the attack; bystanders who weren’t connected with the operation of the mission.
One of these witnesses was a man named Sofian Kadura, whose account of the attack was published the next day by France 24. I’ve found Mr. Kadura’s Facebook page and he’s currently living in Ontario, Canada.
The article with the statements of Sofian Kadura written by journalists Gaelle Faure and Segolène Malterre provides a great deal of insight on what actually happened that night in Benghazi.
For once thing, it confirms all the other reports about what we now know to be true: that the attack was by Ansar al Sharia, that roads were blocks and it was well organized.
Kadura, who is Muslim, said he was out with friends when they saw shooting at the mission:
…when we tried to get closer to the consulate, we realized that armed Islamist extremists had blocked off the streets. They had automatic rifles, RPGs, and big machine guns mounted on cars. It was obvious they were Islamists due to their long beards.
Mr. Kadura also reveals something that may shock many of people, especially conservatives, who have been critical of the Obama administration over the Benghazi issue; the YouTube trailer of the film The Innocence of Muslims may have been a co-factor in the attack by Ansar Al Sharia.
The issue of the Innocence of Muslims video is a complex one that I’ll discuss later.
While the motives of Ansar Al Sharia aren’t 100% clear, even today, what is clear is that 1) Ansar Al Sharia led the organized attack on the Benghazi mission 2) the Obama administration and CNN knew this on 9/11/12 and covered it up and 3) the cover-up involved ‘blaming the video’ by trying to conflate the attack in Libya with a large protest earlier that day in Cairo, Egypt.
There were eyewitnesses to what happened in Benghazi. As you’ll see in the next chapter, the Obama administration and CNN knew about them. The eyewitness stories are consistent with what General Petraeus finally admitted to Congress six days after the election.
The American people still haven’t heard from them all the eyewitness, in part because it would reveal what the Obama administration and CNN knew and when they knew it.
Before looking at the timeline, it’s also important to remember what President Obama’s claims had been about Al Qaeda during the 2012 elections. This issue is crucial because it shows why the cover-up was so important to the Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Even as late as the third Presidential Debate on October 22nd, President Obama was claiming that Al Qaeda’s core leadership had been “decimated.”
In an article called CNN Fact Check: Is al Qaeda’s core decimated or is group growing?, the news network laid out Obama and Romney’s positions this way:
Obama: Al Qaeda’s core leadership has been decimated.
Romney: This is a group that is now involved in 10 or 12 countries, and it presents an enormous threat to our friends, to the world, to America, long term, and we must have a comprehensive strategy to help reject this kind of extremism.
What did CNN conclude? CNN said:
Both claims are true.
Al Qaeda’s core leadership has been seriously weakened, but the affiliates remain active, particularly in Yemen and North Africa, where the threat to Western interests and plotting against the homeland remain strong.
Romney’s claim that al Qaeda is in 10 to 12 countries is in the ballpark, and the administration would seem to agree that poses an enormous threat.
You’ll note that CNN makes no mention of the attack on Benghazi in their Fact Check.
Now, imagine for a moment how this debate and the entire election would have been altered if CNN and the Obama administration told the truth as they knew it on the night of September 11th, 2012.
President Obama’s repeated claims that Al Qaeda had been decimated were proven false by the Benghazi attack, which the Obama administration and CNN both knew was carried out by Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar Al Sharia.
Not only would revealing the truth about Benghazi have been a body blow to the Obama campaign, it also would have likely snuffed out Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions.
In fact, it’s the 2016 election dreams of Hillary Clinton that are still at stake with the Benghazi issue.
As I’m about to demonstrate, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton along with world famous news network CNN were personally, actively involved in hiding the truth from the American public about what really happened on that dark night in Benghazi. They did this by hiding information, failing to reveal what they knew to be true until after the election and outright lying.
Even more damning, the Obama administration intimidated the media, eyewitnesses and government officials as part of their cover-up. The Obama / Clinton political machine used the bully pulpit, the White House briefing room and outside groups like Media Matters for America to not just bury the story but to smear and insult anyone trying to find the truth. They turned the death of four Americans into a partisan political issue and called it a phony scandal, a hoax and right-wing conspiracy theory.
In order to keep and preserve political power, Obama and Clinton ran roughshod over the facts as they knew them on the night of attack, used a scorched earth strategy against truth-tellers and with the direct help of CNN managed to win the 2012 election.
And the whole time, they knew the truth. They knew the truth. They knew.
The truth about Benghazi is that the cover-up is the biggest crime of all.
That’s my contention. Now, let me prove it to you.