Trey Gowdy has been consistent with his questions relating to Benghazi and unlike some others, he has managed to distill the issues in a meaningful way. Why does it matter? This is a question that only a progressive liberal would ask, yet Trevor Gowdy provides a thought provoking response. I am not talking about the cracks regarding the fact that the NYT and other LSM have no idea about how to spell Benghazi, but I am talking about the way in which he has distilled the reason why this is so important.
In Gowdy’s own words, you do not leave people flapping in the breeze after sending them into a dangerous situation. You make an effort to get them out again. This, in a nutshell is one of the things that was so very wrong during the Al Qaeda attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
However, that fact is only a portion of the full story. There are many unanswered questions. Hillary Clinton has been less than honest in her answers. The “investigation” conducted by Thomas Pickering was a sham. At least one of the State Department employees removed from his/her position had nothing at all to do with the security issues relating to Benghazi and he has been unfairly punished. The question is why was he removed?
From the earliest days after the attack, we knew that the security officers who were with Ambassador Stevens were there to try and track weapons that were floating about the area. In those early days there was talk about an AQ training camp and that people were aware of this training camp. The weapons issue is in my opinion a bit of the iffy side and the reason for my expression of “iffiness” is due to the fact that Gadhafi had a large cache of weapons that included the rocket launchers etc. My question here is whether or not those weapons had already been rounded up so that they could not end up in the wrong hands.
My next issue relating to the weapons is who did the supplying when Qatar was doing the buying. To refresh your memories in relation to the weapons, oil money was used to pay Qatar for shipments of weapons. These were shipments that ended up being used in Misrata. There must have been other weapons that were also shipped in because there was no shortage of the supply of rocket launchers and the like as that war had dragged on. However, what also needs to be pointed out that the French and the British also supplied weapons. The French dropped weapons into the mountains in the region that was closest to and outside of Tripoli. The group who received those weapons were not Al Qaeda affiliated but they were Bedouin, and they belonged to a minority group inside of Libya. (This group had a particular beef against Gadhafi because he had banned them from using their own language). One commander of this group had a book where he noted the serial numbers of the weapons and who they were issued to before they set out on what was a successful campaign that led to the downfall of Tripoli. What I do not know is whether or not those weapons were collected and returned to the French, as agreed.
Another issue to keep in mind is that Gadhafi also armed those who were loyal to him, and this means that there was a separate group that also have weapons. Amongst those Gadhafi loyalists are the Touareg, and it is this group that had been active in Mali. Please keep this in mind, because it means that it was Gadhafi money that had been used to launch the attack on the government in Mali. It is also a possibility that the Touareg had helped themselves to some of the weapons caches within Libya. There was ample evidence immediately after the end of the civil war in Libya that weapons were missing from some of these weapons caches. The question remains who took them? The members of LIFG were too busy fighting to have had the time to have taken the weapons and sent them across the border hundreds of miles away from where they were fighting. The question I think remains open.
Despite my above comments, I accept that there is also ample evidence of weapons remaining in the wrong hands in Benghazi after the war ended. The real problem was Ansar al-Shariah who were acting as though they had the right to dictate to the population of Benghazi with regard to how they conducted themselves. Some of these individuals were responsible for the flag of AQ flying over the ministry of justice building, yet the people of Benghazi did not welcome them.
Looking back at the timeline of events does not reveal much about the identity of those involved in the actual conflict. The February 17th brigade seems to have been made up of a disparate group – those who were “good” and those who were Islamists and had other motivations. If you did not follow the conflict you would not be aware that a lot of the young men were getting themselves wounded and killed because they had absolutely no experience with warfare. If they were shot at then they would run away. In those early days the “rebels” would advance, gain a small victory, and then when Gadhafi’s loyalists hit back they would run away. Eventually they were taught how to deal with the situation. This group of young men I would classify as the “good”. They were fighting for their lives and not a cause. Ansar al-Sharia joined with them but they were also the ones that seem to have committed most of the war crimes that were done by the rebels.
A big risk was taken when this particular group i.e. Ansar al-Sharia was supplied with weapons such as the rocket launchers. From what I understand, Ansar al-Sharia is not the same organization as LIFG but there can be some intermingling because LIFG had the political motivation to be rid of Gadhafi. That leaves open the question as to whether or not members of LIFG took part in the AQ attack on the US consulate. It does appear that it was Qatar who was doing the funneling of weapons that were supplied by the USA, Great Britain and France in particular.
Whilst the civil war in Libya was winding down, the civil war in Syria was winding up. Certainly in the early days of the conflict the rebels had been a mixture of Islamists and others opposed to the Assad regime. Turkey was dragged into that conflict and remains on the periphery because Syrians fled across the borders and they remain in the refugee camps on the border between Syria and Turkey. It must be kept in mind though, that with the Libyan conflict, Nigeria, Algeria and Tunisia were also dragged into the conflict in the same way. There was always the opportunity for the weapons held by the Gadhafi regime to end up across the border. It really is that messy.
There are many questions that need answers including:
1. Did Obama secretly agree to supply weapons to the Libyan rebels? Did Libya pay for the weapons via Qatar?
2. Did Obama make a secret agreement with Turkey to supply the Syrian rebels with weapons?
3. At any stage did Obama consider the risk of these weapons ending up in the hands of Al Qaeda sympathisers?
4. What was the real reason for Ambassador Stevens to be in Benghazi? I have heard several versions including the tracking of weapons, and the latest version was the talk of making the consulate a permanent feature.
5. Why did the Department of State ignore the requests for greater security?
6. Why did Obama persist in the lie about a C grade documentary that had nothing to do with the AQ attack on the consulate? In other words, what were the ulterior motives for the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi? How much bigger is the cover-up?
I note here that I have seen some interesting speculation regarding the truth about the use of the c-grade documentary, and yes that speculation revolves around the issue of Muslim supremacy and the fact that Muslims want to shut down our ability to state the truth about Islam.