ICYMI: Threat made against Darrell Issa during Libya trip due to Democrats’ complaints

Darrell Issa

While this story has flown largely under the radar due to the political battles raging in Congress over the Continuing Resolution, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, recently took what was supposed to be unannounced trip to Libya to further investigate last year’s Benghazi terrorist attack.

But the trip became public when Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member on the Committee, slammed Issa for taking the trip without inviting any House Democrats to tag along. Cummings and his colleagues have been dismissive of congressional inquiries into the attack.

Cummings’ public complaint, however, had the unintended consequence of potentially putting Issa’s life in danger. CBS News reported last week that a “general threat” was made against the California Republican while he was on the trip:

[Last] Monday, a State Department email showed the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli reported that a Libyan national known as Eyad “shared his concern and his opinion that Representative Issa should not come to Libya for his own safety.”

Eyad told the embassy “The Sen. Mr. Darrell Issa if he would like to keep his luxury life with a half billion $$$ Do not come to Libya. Who is gonna [guard] the guy? And whom you gonna put a blame if the worst happened…Cuz all he gonna gained a several bullets in his smart skull.”

Director cancels CNN’s Hillary Clinton documentary

Hillary Clinton

In a post at the Huffington Post on Monday, Charles Ferguson, who was slated to directed a documentary on Hillary Clinton for CNN, announced that he has canceled the project because of lack of cooperation from Clinton and her allies:

The day after the contract was signed, I received a message from Nick Merrill, Hillary Clinton’s press secretary. He already knew about the film, and clearly had a source within CNN. He interrogated me; at first I answered, but eventually I stopped. When I requested an off-the-record, private conversation with Mrs. Clinton, Merrill replied that she was busy writing her book, and not speaking to the media.

Next came Phillipe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s media fixer, who contacted various people at CNN, interrogated them, and expressed concern about alleged conflicts of interest generated because my film was a for-profit endeavor (as nearly all documentaries and news organizations are). When I contacted him, he declined to speak with me. He then repeated his allegations to Politico, which published them.
Next came David Brock, who published an open letter on his highly partisan Democratic website Media Matters, in which he endorsed the Republican National Committee’s position, repeating Reines’ conflict of interest allegations and suggesting that my documentary would revive old, discredited Clinton scandal stories.

Ferguson — who gushed over Clinton-era “reform” proposals, including a carbon tax and government-run healthcare — noted that the answer to his inquires for an interview with Clinton were denied. Since he wouldn’t get the documentary he wanted, he decided to cancel the project:

HBO to produce movie on Benghazi terrorist attack

HBO has announced that it will produce a movie about the Benghazi terrorist attack, according to The Hollywood Reporter, based on bestseller, Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi (emphasis added):

HBO is getting political.

The premium cable network has optioned New York Times best-seller Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi,with Jerry Weintraub on board to executive produce. The telepic, much like the book by Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz, will offer an inside account of the attack against U.S. diplomatic and intelligence outposts in Benghazi, Libya.
The book, published this month, has been billed as a heart-stopping narrative of the diplomatic mission’s efforts to fend off and escape a terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2012, which resulted in the death of four, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Fire reveals the 12-hour ordeal confronted by Stevens, Sean Smith, his Diplomatic Security contingent and the CIA security specialists who raced to rescue them.

CIA suspends employee who refused to sign Benghazi non-disclosure agreement


A month after CNN reported that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had gone to great lengths to keep who were working on the ground the night of the Benghazi terrorist attack from talking to the media, agency director John Brennan reportedly cleared survivors to be able to talk to lawmakers and congressional investigators.

But one CIA employee who has refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) on Benghazi has been suspended by the agency, according to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) via the Washington Free Beacon:

A CIA employee who refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring him from discussing the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, has been suspended as a result and forced to hire legal counsel, according to a top House lawmaker.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) revealed at an event on Monday that his office was anonymously informed about the CIA employee, who is purportedly facing an internal backlash after refusing to sign a legal document barring him from publicly or privately discussing events surrounding the Benghazi attack.
“My office received a call from a man saying that he knew a CIA employee who has retained legal counsel because he has refused to sign an additional NDA regarding the Sept. 11, 2012, events in Benghazi,” Wolf said in Sept. 9 remarks at a panel discussion hosted by Judicial Watch.

House Republicans challenge State Department’s official Benghazi report

State Department

A little more than a year after the deadly attack on an American outpost in Benghazi, Libya, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is challenging the official report produced late last year by the State Department’s Accountability Review Board (ARB).

The ARB report noted that lax security and leadership failures at the State Department were part of the blame for the attack. But the 100-page report released yesterday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been investigating the Benghazi attack, says that the ARB report was deficient and lacked accountability.

“The ARB was not fully independent,” said Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) in a statement from the committee. “The panel did not exhaustively examine failures and it has led to an unacceptable lack of accountability.”

“While Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen have honorably served their country, the families of victims and the American people continue to wait for more conclusive answers about how our government left our own personnel so vulnerable and alone the night of the attack,” he added.

The report, Benghazi Attacks: Investigative Update Interim Report on the Accountability Review Board (embedded below), alleges that the ARB was not comprehensive, lacking thorough interviews with key officials.

Whistleblower: Remember the Americans who died in Benghazi

Gregory Hicks

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack on the American outpost in Benghazi, Libya that claimed the lives of four Americans — Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Ty Woods, and Glen Doherty.

During an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya turned whistleblower, recounted the events of that tragic night in Benghazi and continued to express frustration with what happened in the aftermath of the attack.

“I’ve been perplexed and frustrated with the way this has all played out. Because to me this is a simple story. Ambassador Stevens went to Benghazi to do his job. To what he knew Secretary [Hillary] Clinton wanted him to do. And he was attacked while he was there,” Hicks told Stephanopoulos.

“And the American staff in Benghazi and in Tripoli responded as we’ve been trained to do, in an amazing way, to save the lives of our people who were in Benghazi. Unfortunately, we lost four people in the line of duty,” he said.

Syria intervention would come at a real cost

Even as Congress is contemplating military action in Syria, few are asking questions about the cost of even a brief campaign against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

During yesterday’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, a few representatives brought up the cost of limited strikes in Syria. But those concerns were hardly the focal point of the hearing, nor will it play a factor for many members when they cast their votes on the issue in the next week or so.

We know from the Obama Administration intervention in Libya that even a limited airstrike campaign can come with a hefty price tag. In 2011, the administration spent over $1 billion to help depose Muammar Gaddafi. That was a seven month air strike campaign that didn’t involve troops on the ground.

CNN Money reported yesterday that the budget implications of military strikes against Syria would be relatively small, provided the United States doesn’t get sucked into a broader campaign involving troops on the ground. And despite what the Obama Administration is saying, no one guarantee that American soldiers won’t eventually be pulled into the conflict.

U.S. looking at options in Syria, drafting plans for air strikes

After another round of reports that Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his own citizens in the bloody civil war raging in Syria, President Barack Obama has ordered Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to begin drawing up plans for air strikes in the Middle Eastern country:

A U.S. official said the Pentagon has crafted military options for limited U.S. air strikes in Syria that would send a message to the regime of President Bashar al Assad not to continue using chemical weapons against its civilians.  There has been no presidential decision to use the military options,  and U.S. intelligence continues to investigate an apparent large-scale chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime this week that may have killed as many as 1,000 civilians.

The official said the military options developed for consideration by the White House are limited in scope and would be intended to “deter or prevent” the Assad regime from the further use of chemical weapons.  The options are not intended to remove the Syrian president,  who has tenaciously hung on to power as Syria’s two-year civil war has raged on.

Traveling on a plane to Malaysia, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel confirmed to reporters that Obama had asked the Pentagon to provide military options in Syria in light of the reported use of chemical weapons against civilians by the civilian government.

Obama skirts question on Benghazi terrorist suspects

During his press conference on Friday, President Barack Obama was asked two questions by Ed Henry, the White House correspondent for Fox News, one about the implementation of ObamaCare and the other about the efforts to bring to justice the terrorists who attacked the American compound in Benghazi.

“[O]n September 11th we’ll have the first anniversary of Benghazi. And you said on September 12th, ‘Make no mistake, we’ll bring to justice the killers who attacked our people,’” noted Henry. “Eleven months later, where are they, sir?”

President Obama’s didn’t waste any time in invoking the name of Osama bin Laden, who was killed by Navy SEAL team in May 2011, and pointed to the recent indictment of Ahmed Abu Khattala, a suspect in the Benghazi attack, which claimed the lives of four Americans.

“Well, I also said that we’d get bin Laden, and I didn’t get him in 11 months,” Obama told Henry. “So we have informed, I think, the public that there’s a sealed indictment. It’s sealed for a reason. But we are intent on capturing those who carried out this attack, and we’re going to stay on it until we get them.”

Henry pressed the President, asking if investigators were close to other suspects in custody. However, President Obama declined to elaborate on any possible arrests, though he insisted .

“I will leave it at that. But this remains a top priority for us,” he said. “Anybody who attacks Americans, anybody who kills, tragically, four Americans who were serving us in a very dangerous place, we’re going to do everything we can to get those who carried out those attacks.”

Charges filed in Benghazi terrorist attack

Nearly a year after the terrorist attack on the American compound in Benghazi that claimed the lives of four Americans, the United States has finally filed charges in the effort to bring the attackers to justice.

Ahmed Abu Khattala, who is suspected to have led the attack, has been charged with murder, though prospects of arrest and negotiations with the Libyan government over where he will be tried seem tenuous:

Federal law enforcement authorities have filed murder charges against Ahmed Abu Khattala, a prominent militia leader in Benghazi, Libya, in connection with the attacks on a diplomatic mission there last Sept. 11 that killed the United States ambassador and three other Americans, according to senior law enforcement and United States officials.

The authorities have identified roughly a dozen others who they said they believe participated in the attacks, and have filed charges under seal against some of them, the officials said.

Despite making progress in the investigation, some F.B.I. agents who are leading it from Tripoli, the capital of Libya, have grown frustrated that there have been no arrests, the officials said. Apprehending the suspects will most likely take significant negotiations between the State Department and the Libyan government over who will try to do so and where the suspects will be tried.

It is not clear that either government knows the whereabouts of all the suspects.


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